Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St Safety Improvements

Updated January 19, 2024

What's Happening Now?

New traffic poles and mast arms installed

In January, we installed new metal traffic signal poles and mast arms, which are the cross bars that attach to the poles and extend out over the street. These mast arms will hold the new traffic lights, which will be added soon to complete the new permanent traffic signal at the intersection of Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St. 

Construction crew installing traffic poles at the intersection of Highland Park Way Southwest and Southwest Holden Street. 17-foot-tall sculpture of a Steller's jay on a branch oversees the work

Crew members installing traffic poles. Photo by Kay Kirkpatrick

Thank you for your patience as we create a safer and more accessible intersection for all. If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at: HighlandHolden@seattle.gov or leave us a voicemail at: (206) 900-8741.To stay informed of project progress, please sign up for our email updates.

Project Overview & Design

Highland Park Way SW is a major north-south route in West Seattle, providing access to SR 99, SR 509, I-5, and the Duwamish Trail. It has been the site of several crashes and safety issues due to poor sight distances, high speeds, travel lane confusion, and a lack of pedestrian facilities like crosswalks. The Highland Park community asked for changes at this busy intersection and this project includes:

  • A more durable traffic signal with metal poles that have signal lights instead of lights connected to wooden poles.
  • Traffic cameras to monitor and adjust the signal in real-time, as well as vehicle detection in the pavement so the signal can recognize when a person driving is waiting at the light.
  • New sidewalks and upgraded ADA accessible concrete curb ramps and curb bulbs at all four corners of the intersection.
  • Permanent crosswalks at each crossing. 

Map of Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden Street intersection that shows new crosswalks at all four crossings, an upgraded 4-way permanent traffic signal, and upgraded curb ramps and curb bulbs at all four corners of the intersection.

Public Art Installation

On November 9, 2023 this 17-foot-tall Steller’s jay landed on southwest corner of Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St, welcoming all to the neighborhood. This new public artwork was created by Matthew Mazzotta and is titled Where’s the Party: Elevating Nature and Resilience. It was chosen by a community selection panel and administered by Seattle Office of Arts & Culture as part of the Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St Safety Improvements Project. Learn more on our blog.  

17-foot tall sculpture of a Steller's jay at the corner of Highland Park Way Southwest and Southwest Holden Street

Project History & Additional Traffic Calming 

The closure of the West Seattle Bridge on March 23, 2020 brought significant traffic to the Highland Park neighborhood and to the already-strained intersection of Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St. One of the first projects we built shortly after the bridge closed was a temporary signal at the intersection. This temporary signal will be replaced by a permanent signal as part of the Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St Safety Improvements project. 

In June and July 2020, we also built speed humps and cushions in nine locations near the intersection to support safety around the new traffic signal. These locations are shown below. The speed humps and cushions help slow down vehicles as they approach the intersection and discourage neighborhood cut-through traffic. Speed humps are a solid hump across the road and speed cushions leave spaces between for emergency vehicles and people biking to easily pass through. 

Separate from this project, the Reconnect West Seattle project team added traffic calming in the Highland Park neighborhood to address detour traffic from the West Seattle Bridge closure, through a Home Zone. A Home Zone involves the entire neighborhood working together to prioritize improvements that calm traffic on residential streets and improve pedestrian mobility and neighborhood livability.

Locations of speed humps and cushions in Highland Park neighborhood

Materials

Funding

This project is funded by the 9-year Levy to Move Seattle, approved by voters in 2015. The public artwork was built into the construction budget as a 1% for Art project. 

Transportation

Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623
684-Road@seattle.gov

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.