FAQ Topic: Rainier Avenue Paving and Traffic Calming

Does the project enable the planting of street trees?

Yes, street trees could be planted in the future, possibly even in some of the wider buffer areas. City staff is exploring options for tree planting and greening along this segment of Rainier and will bring recommendations for a future project to implement tree planting and greening of the corridor.

How do the changes to Rainier Avenue affect parked cars?

One of the best ways to park cars and protect cyclists is by moving cars away from the curb and putting the bike lane in between the sidewalk and the parked cars. In the demonstration project configuration, there is a five-foot buffer protecting the parked cars from the bikeway and an extra three-foot buffer protecting … Continued

How do the changes to Rainier Avenue effect on-street parking?

Parking on Rainier Avenue was provided along both sides of the street prior to the installation of the demonstration project. However, we found less than one-third of the curb space west of Maria Drive was occupied during peak times, and even less is occupied east of Maria Drive. To accommodate a safer road design for … Continued

Will this project increase traffic volumes on other nearby streets?

Rainier Avenue is large enough to accommodate about 40,000 cars per day. Even with a lane reduction the street can accommodate more than the total vehicles using the road now. 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 … Continued

How does the demonstration project design increase safety?

DRIVING LANES  According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), converting four traffic lanes to three lanes – one travel lane in each direction with a center left-turn lane – can improve safety and traffic flow while adding benefits for pedestrians and cyclists. ¹   [1] The Federal Highway Administration found a crash reduction of 19 … Continued

Close window