• South Lake Union lane restrictions begin for streetcar improvements

    By: KIRO 7 News Staff

    Updated:

    SEATTLE - Starting Monday, drivers in Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood will see changes to help speed up the South Lake Union Streetcar.

    Those who live or work in the area probably have noticed signs warning drivers of what's to come in Phase 1 of the improvement project.

    Between Republican and Mercer, Terry Avenue's left lane will be a streetcar-only lane all day, every day.

    Between Harrison and Republican streets, the lane restriction is from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays.

    Drivers also won't be allowed to park on Terry Avenue between Thomas and Mercer from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays.

    No northbound left turn from Terry Avenue to Harrison and from Terry to Republican will be allowed weekdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

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    The Seattle Department of Transportation said it is trying reduce travel delays and improve travel times for the streetcar that takes riders from the heart of South Lake Union to downtown Seattle.

    Though the work will be focused on Terry Avenue between Thomas and Mercer, traffic will be impacted beyond that route because commuters use side streets to get onto I-5.

    Phase 2 of the project happens in July 2019 when SDOT will install streetcar-only legends and red-paint treatment on Terry Avenue between Harrison Street and Mercer Street.

    The final phase, which is expected to happen in mid-2020 when construction at Terry/Thomas is complete, will make a streetcar-only lane restriction on Terry Avenue between Thomas Street and Harrison Street from 3-7pm weekdays.

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