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Information for Shoreline

As of:   November 2019
Phase:   Pre-Design Study Completed

What is a Woonerf?

A woonerf is sometimes referred to as a “shared” or “living” street. Although there are many variations, a woonerf can generally be described as a slow-paced, curb-less street where pedestrian and bicycle movements are prioritized. Vehicles are invited guests that move slowly through the woonerf and expect to yield to people frequently.

These photographs help visualize the concept (click on image for better view):

BellStreet_Seattle ParkLane_Kirkland
Bell Street, Seattle WA Park Lane, Kirkland WA
Pike Place Market, Seattle WA 

The proposed 3rd Avenue NE Woonerf will be located just north of the future Shoreline South/145th light rail station. By extending 3rd Avenue NE between NE 149th Street and NE 151st Street, this new, slow-paced roadway weaves together the future Trail Along the Rail and 148th Street Non-Motorized Bridge touchdown into a new, enlivened civic space that will connect to the future light rail station.

The 3rd Avenue NE Woonerf provides space for social gathering, outdoor dining, informal play, and performance at the heart of a transit-oriented community which is zoned for a dense mix of land uses. Its flexible design could provide a commuter drop off/pick up area and access for deliveries and short-term parking during the week. During an evening or weekend, it could be temporarily “closed off” and utilized for special events like a farmer’s market or festival. This dynamic, multi-functional space will become a vibrant mobility hub with easy connections to local destinations by foot or bicycle and access to regional destinations just a train ride away.

The City’s initial study produced the following conceptual drawings (click images for larger view):

 Conceptual rendering of 3rd Avenue NE Woonerf
Circulation diagram 
Cross-Section A (location referenced on conceptual rendering image above) 
 Cross-Section  B - Looking South - thumb nail
Cross-Section B (location referenced on conceptual rendering image above) 


During the initial study, the City collaborated with Sound Transit to develop the woonerf concept that is compatible with the layout, operations, and maintenance of the Shoreline South/145th Station and elevated light rail guideway. On January 8, 2018, City staff presented the 3rd Avenue NE Woonerf concept to City Council. The staff report can be viewed at

Next Steps

Although the rough footprint for the 3rd Avenue NE Woonerf has been identified, the concept will need to be further developed during a future design engineering phase. Currently, the City does not have funding in place, so a project completion date is yet to be determined. It is possible that private redevelopment could be the initial driver for construction.