Rainier Avenue is large enough to accommodate about 40,000 cars per day. Even with a lane reduction the street could accommodate more than the total vehicles using the road now. If Rainier Avenue were extended westerly at some time in the future, we believe that a three-lane street would still be sufficient for the expected increase in cars that would use Rainier Avenue. Thus, we don’t believe people would choose to go out of their way to avoid Rainier Avenue and use nearby neighborhood streets.
Traffic volumes on Rainier Avenue are well below the threshold to support one through lane in each direction. During the peak hours, Rainier Avenue carries up to 325 vehicles in each direction, but the street’s peak hour capacity is over four times that. Reducing the number of lanes from four to three would provide traffic calming while still leaving room for over 800 vehicles per hour in each direction. This is still many more vehicles than use the road today. There would also be more than enough room for potential future traffic from the Crosstown Connector, which would be projected to result in about 200 additional vehicles per hour, or a total of 525 vehicles per hour in each direction during the peak hours.