Look out for road workers this week, as Seattle re-stripes Denny Way to create an eastbound bus-only lane, from Fairview Avenue east to Stewart Street.
It’s meant to speed the chronically late Route 8 bus by one or two minutes during afternoon peaks. Only one general-traffic lane will remain westbound, next to the new Denny Substation under construction. Car and bus traffic going west may become slower at times, especially when right-turning drivers stop for people walking.
The Denny Way bus lane will be the middle of three eastbound lanes, so the left traffic lane goes up the Denny/I-5 overpass, and buses coast past the right traffic lane that’s full of cars crawling toward the southbound I-5 entrance at Yale Street. (Bus drivers for years have been veering into the left lane to squeak past car lineups.)
A new transit-only signal will give the Route 8 bus a head start when it departs Fairview toward Capitol Hill. This Denny Way lane restriping will follow new blacktop laid last weekend, to smooth out cuts and potholes from substation construction.
Meanwhile, new bicycle lanes are scheduled to open Monday, on the left sides of Pike and Pine streets, running east-west from the existing Second Avenue bike lane to Eighth Avenue. Pike and Pine will have one less general-purpose lane. In the case of Pike Street, one lane will be reserved for buses, which rely on direct access from the Fourth Avenue bus lane to the Pike Street I-5 on-ramp. The city has no immediate cure for swinging car doors and for-hire cars blocking bikes farther uphill, as shown in this YouTube video by cyclist David Seater.