Third Avenue Transformation Gets Boost from New Report

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Busses and pedestrians on Third Avenue

You may have seen recent news coverage of an Urban Land Institute Northwest report offering updated recommendations to improve Third Avenue. This new report, commissioned by DSA and the city of Seattle, was informed by a ULI Strategic Forum comprised of leaders from the public and private sectors who conducted interviews with other stakeholders.

This work was inspired by DSA’s Third Avenue Vision, published in 2019. Like our document, the ULI report identified several near-term improvements to enhance Third Avenue and longer-term recommendations.

Over the next two years, the short-term actions would include:

  • Providing regular maintenance for a clean and functional corridor.
  • Improving and replacing bus shelters.
  • Enhancing wayfinding with clear signage.
  • Illuminating the corridor.
  • Decluttering the street and removing obsolete infrastructure.
  • Inviting joy through art, banners and branding.
  • Curating a regular programming schedule in partnership with the community.
  • Facilitating accountability and inspiring stewardship.
  • Streamlining and expediting the permitting process.
  • Encouraging large employers to return to the office.
  • Activating empty lots and vacant spaces.

DSA supports these actions and understands the importance of making other meaningful and lasting improvements to the experience on Third Avenue. This includes addressing chronic public safety issues, homelessness and drug sales and use.

To that end, DSA — with funding from MID ratepayers — continues to invest in Seattle Police overtime patrols and in private security. Additionally, we’ve increased DSA/MID Clean Team shifts and resources along Third Avenue, conducting more washing, sweeping and alley flushing.

We appreciate the engagement of city and county officials in developing this new report and advancing key recommended actions. City and county transportation agencies are now moving forward with the plan’s near-term recommendations and working to elevate the experience along Third Avenue. Moreover, Mayor Harrell’s Downtown Activation Plan calls for zoning flexibility, lighting and increased outreach efforts on the corridor.

The 2026 World Cup in Seattle presents an opportunity to act urgently to implement these near-term improvements. The continued focus by public and private sector partners on these items, coupled with crucial actions to improve public safety, can transform Third Avenue into a great street for pedestrians and transit riders.

DSA’s June 20 Virtual Access event will focus on Third Avenue. You can find information about how to register on our website.

For more information, please contact DSA’s Vice President of Advocacy & Economic Development, Kylie Rolf, at