Changes on Denny Way and Capitol Hill hoped to make the 8 less late

Delayed work — including new parking restrictions and expanded bus stops on Capitol Hill — to make the heavily-used but notoriously behind schedule Metro Route 8 line more dependable is expected to be wrapped up this week.

SDOT announced the construction update Monday on the most significant piece of the street puzzle — lane changes on Denny Way:

One of the busiest stretches of Denny Way, eastbound from Fairview Ave E to Stewart St, is about to get a new transit-only lane—dedicated to moving many people efficiently. The project is part of a larger effort to address the historically late King County Metro Route 8, which serves an estimated 10,000 riders per weekday.

Diagram of new Denny Way configuration, Fairview Ave to Stewart St. (Image: SDOT)

CHS first reported on the changes when they were lined up to be completed in 2017. SDOT says the schedule was changed to accommodate needs of Seattle City Light’s major Denny Substation construction project.

In addition to some new street parking restrictions along the 8’s routes, Metro planned two bus stops on E Olive Way and E John to be expanded “so buses don’t have to leave and re-enter heavy traffic, and to provide more space and amenities for waiting passengers.”

The reconfiguration project is expected to finish Tuesday, August 28. Let us know if the 8 is less late after the work is wrapped up.


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16 thoughts on “Changes on Denny Way and Capitol Hill hoped to make the 8 less late

  1. Lol. Let me know how that works out. I literally moved out of the city thanks to wasting hour and hours of my life waiting for the 8 that sometimes just never showed up.

    Ever sit on a bus for and hour and 45 minutes to go 2 miles in the pouring rain. Because I have.

    • You could have taken a bus from Lower Queen Anne or SLU to Westlake and ridden the light rail 1 stop to Capitol Hill, but instead you chose to leave the city entirely?

      • Jim is a smart guy. Also, even when the light rail was put in, the backup on Denny from the WholeFoods straight up to I-5 congested traffic all the way into the depths of Lower Queen Anne. I have been on a bus that turns right at the Space Needle to go Downtown for an hour to only travel 3 blocks.

      • Jason, monorail -> bus (or monorail -> light rail since 2016) would have gotten you from LQA to the Hill faster. Denny Way is a parking lot at rush hour and, because of the new Seattle Center arena, will only worsen. Think outside the 8.

  2. Maybe some day they’ll also fix that intersection for the traffic getting onto I-5. Right now you get the choice of doing the right thing and watching all the “cheaters” go by & cut in, or joining ’em in the bad behavior.

    • I’d love to see plastic barriers around the bus lane! Or better.. a police officer in the area.

      I also wonder why the leftmost lane of Stewart isn’t right turn only onto Denny – it makes for a weird race to the i5 left.

      • Based on how quickly the plastic posts get destroyed on protected bike lanes, I don’t think they’d last very long between two lanes of motor vehicles. Didn’t they have some on Howell near Rebar not too long ago? They didn’t last long.

      • Ha fair enough. The ones that seem to last longer are raised too. Maybe sturdy concrete one.

        I feel like engineers could figure something out.

    • Aren’t they just about a two minute walk apart from each other? Seems to be a time-waster to have two stops so close to each other.

    • As the crow flies, the Denny & Olive stop is 343 feet away from the Olive & Summit stop. That left turn from can take a long time if the bus waits for a light and traffic’s congested, though.

  3. This is probably going to make it more difficult to get off Capitol Hill, driving westbound on Denny in the one lane that is available. I predict serious backups from Olive Way to Fairview.
    And I’m skeptical that the bus lane will mean significantly reduced transit times for the 8 bus.

  4. I’m doubtful. Fairview to Stewart is rarely a problem. After picking up at Fairview, buses usually hop over to the mostly clear left lane and get to Stewart quickly.

    The bigger problem is everything BEFORE Fairview. Regardless of which stop you wait at (Westlake, Fairview, Dexter…) I’ve literally sat at those stops for 10 lights watching a bus get only one or two car-lengths closer each time.

  5. When I bus home I usually opt to walk to the 10 instead of dealing with the 8. I tried the 8 yesterday and it arrived quickly. So for my 1-day sample it is a 100% improvement. I’m debating on if I should try it again or just stick with the 10-bus.