Bicyclists and an Intercity Transit bus share the road along Olympia’s 4th Avenue Bridge.

What Olympia Values:

Olympians want a transportation system that can move people and goods through the community safely while conserving energy and with minimal environmental impacts. We want it to connect to our homes, businesses and gathering spaces and promote healthy neighborhoods.

Our Vision for the Future:

Complete streets that move people, not just cars.


Olympia’s future transportation system will focus on moving people, not just cars. Our ability to create vibrant urban areas, reduce our environmental impact, and conserve our financial and energy resources will depend on an increase in walking, biking and transit.

Our future streets will work for all modes of transportation - thanks to our investment in sidewalks, bike lanes, trees, and safe crossings. We will build streets that are human scale, for people, as well as cars. A more connected grid of smaller streets will shorten trips for people walking, biking and driving, and allow trucks, buses and emergency vehicles to have direct and efficient routes.

As Olympia grows, we are learning to use a range of tools that will help us to both respond to growth and provide people with more choices. It won’t eliminate congestion, but with the help of involved citizens, our future system will provide safe and inviting ways for us to walk, bike, and use public transit.

Olympia’s Gateway Corridor.

This Transportation chapter takes direction from a number of state, regional and local plans, policies, and guidelines:

•    The Washington State Growth Management Act guides cities to link transportation and land-use planning. This means that as growth occurs, the City will provide adequate public facilities and a transportation system that supports walking, biking, and public transit, as well as vehicles.

•    The Thurston Regional Transportation Plan describes how the region will work together on regional problems and priorities. The plan encourages us to develop high-density, mixed-use urban form in our cities, make new street connections, and find ways to reduce drive-alone commuting.

•    The Olympia Transportation Mobility Strategy provides overall guidance on how we can build a multimodal transportation system. It looks strategically at system capacity, complete streets, bus corridors, connectivity, transportation demand management, and funding.

•    The City has relied on a number of studies in the past to help it make decisions on capacity, street connectivity, and street design, and these decisions have had a long-term impact on our local transportation system. They also have helped to shape the transportation goals and policies in this plan. See Appendix A, Transportation Planning History for study descriptions.

•    This plan is consistent with the Washington Transportation Plan, which establishes a 20-year vision for the state’s transportation system and recommends statewide transportation policies and strategies to the legislature and Governor.

Bicyclists travel over Olympia’s 4th Avenue Bridge.

Complete Streets

Streets with wide sidewalks and trees invite us to walk to the store or a friend’s house. Bike lanes make biking to work more appealing and convenient. The way we design our streets will create new opportunities for how we travel within our city, and how we interact with one another.

”Complete streets” are built for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders, as well as cars, trucks and buses. They increase the number of people walking, biking and using transit, and are also safe for motor vehicles. Complete street policies complement other goals, such as boosting our economy, reducing congestion, increasing land-use density, minimizing environmental impacts, and giving people more opportunities to be physically active.

4th Avenue near City Hall redesigned with bike lanes and wider sidewalks.

Goals and Policies


All streets are safe and inviting for pedestrians and bicyclists. Streets are designed to be human scale, but also can accommodate motor vehicles, and encourage safe driving.

PT1.1Retrofit major streets to be human scale and include features to make walking, biking and transit use safe and inviting.

PT1.2Build streets with individual lanes that are as narrow as safely possible to discourage speeding, while making sure larger vehicles are able to enter areas where they are needed.

PT1.3Establish speed limits to create a safe environment for pedestrians and bicyclists, while maintaining motor vehicle traffic flow. Speed limits shall not exceed 35 miles-per-hour on arterial and major collector streets, and 25 miles-per-hour on neighborhood collectors and local access streets, and in the City Center. Provisions are allowed to establish 20 miles-per-hour speed limits for select conditions and as allowed by state law.

PT1.4Reduce the impact of traffic on pedestrians by creating buffers such as on-street parking, trees, planter strips, wide sidewalks, and creating interest along the street with amenities and building design.

PT1.5Create attractive streetscapes with sidewalks, trees, planter strips, and pedestrian-scale streetlights. In denser areas, provide benches, building awnings, and attractive and functional transit stops and shelters.

PT1.6Build intersections that are safe for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motor vehicles. Use minimum dimensions (narrow lanes and crossings) for a human-scale environment, while maintaining vehicle access and safety.

PT1.7Use medians for access control and to keep the number of motor vehicle lanes to a minimum.

PT1.8Use medians for pedestrian crossing islands, and to enhance the beauty of the street.

PT1.9Build streets in a grid pattern of small blocks to allow streets to be narrow and low-volume, encourage walking, and provide travelers with a choice of routes.

PT1.10Minimize driveways along major streets to reduce conflicts between vehicles and bicyclists and pedestrians. Encourage shared driveways or provide access off side streets and alleys.

PT1.11Require consolidation of driveways and parking lot connectivity for adjacent commercial areas to facilitate access from one site to another without having to access the roadway.

PT1.12Recognize the value of street trees for buffering pedestrians from motor vehicle traffic, to capture vehicle emissions, shade sidewalks, and protect asphalt from heat. Proper selection, care and placement are critical to long-term maintenance of trees along streets, street pavement and sidewalks.

PT1.13Consider modified street design to enhance the function of a street for a particular mode, such as bicycling, or to support the unique identity of a street, such as an historic district.

PT1.14Provide adequate and safe street and pathway lighting, in a way that reduces light pollution.

Bicyclist on 5th Avenue.

As new streets are built and existing streets are reconstructed, add multimodal features as specified in the City of Olympia Engineering Design and Development Standards.

PT2.1Build arterial streets to serve as primary routes connecting urban centers and the regional transportation network. Include bike lanes, sidewalks, planter strips, pedestrian-crossing features, and other amenities that support pedestrian comfort and safety.

PT2.2Build major collector streets to connect arterials to residential and commercial areas. Include bike lanes, sidewalks, planter strips and pedestrian-crossing features.

PT2.3Build neighborhood collectors to provide circulation within and between residential and commercial areas. These streets should include sidewalks and planter strips, and may include pedestrian-crossing features. Some neighborhood collectors include bike lanes, or signs and markings to designate a bike route. (See Appendix D: Bike Network Map and List.)

PT2.4Build local access streets to provide direct connections to properties within neighborhoods. All new local access streets should include sidewalks and planter strips and may include wayfinding signs to direct cyclists to the larger bicycle network.

PT2.5Provide transit stops and service accommodations, in consultation with Intercity Transit. Encourage sidewalk access to all designated stops and consider pedestrian crossing improvements to facilitate access, including mid-block crossing islands on high-volume streets.

PT2.6Install or allow traffic-calming devices on local access, neighborhood collector, and some major collector streets where speeds, volumes and other conditions indicate a need. Consider pedestrian, bicyclist and transit bus safety and access when installing traffic-calming devices.

PT2.7Allow on-street parking on local access and neighborhood collector streets.

PT2.8Make it a priority to add bulb-outs for shorter pedestrian crossings and to slow traffic on existing arterials and major collectors with on-street parking. Consider building bulb-outs on neighborhood collector streets with on-street parking where overall narrowing of the street is not possible.

PT2.9Allow the City to modify street standards in environmentally sensitive areas based on planning work, and specify these changes in the code.

PT2.10Use innovative designs to reduce or eliminate stormwater run-off.

PT2.11Use Olympia’s regularly updated Engineering Design and Development Standards to ensure that transportation-related facilities constructed in Olympia and its Growth Area are safe, well-constructed, durable, and can be maintained.

PT2.12Regularly revise the Olympia Municipal Code and Engineering Design and Development Standards to give detailed guidance on how transportation services should be paid for and delivered in accordance with the principles established in this Comprehensive Plan.


Streets allow the efficient delivery of goods and services.

PT3.1Design streets so that goods and services can be delivered safely and efficiently. This means buses, commercial trucks, emergency and other public service vehicles have an appropriate level of access.

PT3.2Designate and enforce appropriate linear curb space so that commercial vehicles can load and unload in urban areas.

PT3.3Consider large-vehicle movement in the design of arterial and major collector streets, particularly at intersections, on streets in industrial- zoned areas, and in mixed-use areas.

PT3.4Require alleys where feasible and practical and retain alleys as public right-of-way.

PT3.5Require alleys where feasible and practical behind lots fronting on arterials and collectors, so that houses or businesses can face the street, sidewalks are continuous, and vehicles can access properties from behind.

PT3.6Establish objective criteria in City standards to determine the practicality and feasibility of alley construction for new development.

PT3.7Maintain alleyways for delivery and service vehicles by ensuring they are not blocked by trash receptacles, cars, or other obstructions.


A city with a well-connected network of smaller streets helps create a better city for walking, biking, riding the bus and driving. This “connectivity” creates a human-scale environment. Whether people are walking, biking, or driving, their routes are shorter. Transit riders can get to their stops more easily. A well-connected street grid provides direct and efficient access for all types of service vehicles including transit buses, delivery trucks, and emergency vehicles.

A street connection extends Olympia Avenue to the downtown.

A 1994 planning study conducted by the City led to the fully-connected street network we are now building. The study determined that instead of continuing to widen our major roads, we should build a connected grid of smaller streets. This study became the basis for our vision of a modified street grid and planned street connections. (See maps in Appendix B and the Transportation Planning History in Appendix A for additional information.)

Because well-connected streets create more direct routes, fewer miles are driven, saving fuel and reducing pollution. During emergencies and major construction, the grid provides options: if one route is blocked, other direct routes are available. A grid also provides more opportunities to turn left, reducing traffic back-ups.

There can be challenges with making street connections. Topography and environmentally sensitive areas can make certain street connections infeasible. Some street connections and the resulting changes to traffic patterns have the potential to affect neighborhood character or disproportionately impact some residents. The City will balance decisions about the value of a street connection with potential impacts to the unique geography, character or historical context of a residential neighborhood. In these cases, policies help guide the analysis of a street connection. When street connections are not made for motor vehicle access, priority will be given to making a connection for bicyclists, pedestrians, emergency vehicles and transit.

Pathways and trails provide connectivity for bicyclists and pedestrians. Pathways are shortcuts in neighborhoods that provide connections to parks, schools, trails and streets. Trails allow travel off the street system, benefitting bicyclists and pedestrians for transportation and recreation.

The gridded street network in an older neighborhood.

Goals and Policies


The street network is a well-connected system of small blocks, allowing short, direct trips for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, motorists, and service vehicles.

PT4.1Connect streets in a grid-like pattern of smaller blocks. Block sizes should range from 250 feet to 350 feet in residential areas and up to a maximum of 500 feet along arterials.

PT4.2Build new street connections to reduce travel time and distances for all users of the street system.

PT4.3Build new street and pathway connections so that people walking, biking, or accessing bus stops have direct route options, making these modes more inviting.

PT4.4Build new street connections so that motor-vehicle trips are shorter, to save fuel, cut travel time, and reduce pollution.

PT4.5Build new street connections so the grid provides other routes if an emergency or major construction blocks travel.

PT4.6Build new street connections so that emergency vehicles, transit, and other service vehicles have direct and efficient access.

PT4.7Build a human-scale street grid of small blocks by defining required dimensions in the Engineering Design and Development Standards. Use street-spacing criteria to define the frequency of different types of streets in the grid, and define block sizes on each type of street to keep blocks small.

PT4.8Build new arterials, major collectors and neighborhood collectors based on the general location defined on the Transportation Maps in Appendix B. Require the use of the Engineering Design and Development Standards.

PT4.9Seek public and private funding to construct street connections in the network.

PT4.10Require new developments to connect to the existing street network and provide for future street connections to ensure the gridded street system is built concurrent with development.

PT4.11Retrofit existing development into a pattern of short blocks.

PT4.12Build bike and pedestrian pathways for safe and direct non-motorized access. Where street connections are not possible, build pathways based on block sizes defined in the Engineering Design and Development Standards.

PT4.13Build an adequate network of arterials and collectors to discourage heavy traffic volumes on local access streets. (See maps and lists in Appendix B.)

PT4.14Build a dense grid of local access and collector streets to provide motorists with multiple ways to enter and exit neighborhoods instead of using arterial streets for trips within the neighborhood.

PT4.15Allow cul-de-sacs only when topographic and environmental constraints permit no other option. Cul-de-sacs that are built should have a maximum length of 300 feet and be built with pedestrian and bike connections to adjacent streets, or to destinations such as schools, parks and trails wherever possible.

PT4.16Use signs to identify planned but still unbuilt street connections or "stub outs" and to indicate the type of street that is planned. This information should also be shown on maps of newly platted areas.

PT4.17Create public bicycle and pedestrian connections for interim use when street connections are not completed with new development.

PT4.18Plan and identify street connections in undeveloped areas to ensure they are eventually connected.

PT4.19Plan for adequate rights-of-way for future streets.

PT4.20Use traffic-calming devices to slow vehicles, where necessary, especially when new streets are connected to existing neighborhoods.

PT4.21Develop measures to demonstrate the connectedness of an area and to help explain the value of new street or pathway connections. Measures may include intersection density, centerline miles per square mile, and a route directness index.


Street connections to existing residential areas and in environmentally sensitive areas will be carefully examined before a decision is made to create a connection for motor vehicle traffic.

PT5.1Seek to avoid street connections through wetlands or other critical areas by examining alternative street alignments. Fully mitigate impacts when a street connection in an environmentally sensitive area is determined to be the preferred option.

PT5.2Carefully examine proposed street connections to existing residential neighborhoods. The developer, City, or County will analyze the street connection with the involvement of affected neighborhoods and stakeholders. Consideration will be given to the unique neighborhood character and context, particularly any direct impacts of a street connection on established neighborhoods. This analysis will determine whether or not to construct the street connection for motor vehicle traffic. Affected neighborhoods and other stakeholders will be consulted before a final decision is made and be involved in identification of any potential mitigation measures. As appropriate, this evaluation will include:

•    Effects on the overall city transportation system

•    Effects on reduced vehicle miles travelled and associated greenhouse gases

•    Opportunities for making additional connections that would reduce neighborhood impacts of the connection being evaluated

•    Impacts on directness of travel for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, and motorists

•    Impacts on directness of travel for emergency-, public-, and commercial-service vehicles

•    An assessment of travel patterns of the larger neighborhood area and volumes at nearby major intersections

•    An assessment of traffic volumes at the connection and whether projected volumes are expected to exceed the typical range for that classification of street

•    Bicycle and pedestrian safety

•    Noise impacts and air pollution

•    Social justice issues and any impacts on the unique character of a neighborhood or effects on affordability of housing

•    Likelihood of diverting significant cross-town arterial traffic on to local neighborhood streets

•    Effectiveness of proposed traffic-calming measures

•    The cost of a street connection and the cost of any alternative approach to meeting transportation needs if a street connection is not made

•    Consideration of the information in Appendix A of this chapter

PT5.3In the event that a street connection is not made for motor vehicles, priority will be given to pedestrian, bicycle, transit and emergency vehicle access.

PT5.4Address safety concerns on newly connected streets and build any needed improvements at the time when street connections are made. Define what constitutes safety improvements in the Engineering Design and Development Standards.


Pathways enhance the transportation network by providing direct and formal off-street routes for bicyclists and pedestrians.

PT6.1Establish and improve pathways in existing built areas.

PT6.2Require new developments to provide direct bicycle and pedestrian pathways that connect to adjacent, developed properties. These will be at the same interval spacing as street spacing requirements or at closer intervals.

PT6.3Install signs at pathways to indicate they are open to the public and an official part of the transportation network.

PT6.4Coordinate with the State to increase bicycle and pedestrian access through the Capitol Campus.


A network of regional and local trails enhances mobility for bicycles and pedestrians.

PT7.1Work with regional jurisdictions to develop the on- and off-street trails network, as identified in the Thurston Regional Trails Plan.

PT7.2Increase access to trails by requiring or acquiring pathways, easements, or dedicated rights-of-way from new developments adjacent to current and future trails.

PT7.3Install signs that identify the trails network, public destinations, nearby streets, and transit routes.

System Capacity

One of the ways we gauge the quality of a community is how easily we get around. No one likes getting stuck in traffic. In Olympia, we are looking for new ways to address congestion - ways that retain the human-scale character of our streets - instead of adding more lanes.

Traffic and a cyclist move through downtown.

Transportation professionals use ”level of service” ratings to describe vehicle congestion, ranging from A to F -- “A” being no congestion and “F” being heavy congestion. The concept of concurrency means that as our community grows, the level of service (level of congestion) that we consider acceptable for a specific street is maintained. To achieve this requires that we add “capacity” to the street.

The capacity of a transportation system is traditionally thought of as the space needed on our streets to move cars. In Olympia, we want to look at capacity more broadly and see it as our ability to move people.

The street system can move more people when more trips are made by walking, biking, or riding the bus. On streets that have unacceptable levels of motor vehicle congestion, and where widening is not appropriate, we will increase capacity by building facilities to support walking, biking, and transit.  

This is needed most in the oldest parts of our city, where roads cannot be widened further. Considered "strategy corridors," these streets are already at the maximum five-lane width, have environmental constraints, or are adjacent to areas that are fully built-out.

Efforts to reduce auto trips, such as adding bike lanes and sidewalks and improving transit services will be used to relieve traffic congestion and increase capacity on all major streets, but especially on strategy corridors (See Appendix H, the Corridor Map, for strategy corridors.)

The project list and maps in Appendix B include system capacity improvements for vehicles likely to be needed over the next 20 years.

Appendix I shows Traffic Forecast Maps of current and future traffic volumes.

Goals and Policies


Impacts of new development on the transportation system are addressed by establishing level of service standards that indicate when improvements are needed.

PT8.1Measure level of service using the average vehicle volumes that occur during the highest-volume, consecutive, two-hour period. Use the two-hour level of service as a screening tool to determine capacity needs at intersections and along streets. Consider location efficiency in this calculation to remove disincentives for development along urban corridors where increased density is desired.

PT8.2Determine the need for, and feasibility of, motor vehicle capacity improvements, particularly widening the street. Consider the types of streets and connectivity of the street network in the area, environmental impacts, the impacts on the walkability and character of the area, cost, and physical constraints.

PT8.3Consider signal upgrades and signal timing as standard ways to reduce congestion.

PT8.4No street will exceed the width of five general purpose auto lanes (such as two in each direction and a center turn lane) mid-block when adding capacity to the street system. Turn lanes may be added as appropriate, with careful consideration of pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

PT8.5Consider roundabouts instead of signals at intersections to maintain traffic flow.

PT8.6Establish and maintain appropriate levels of service using the following guidelines (see street system maps in Appendix B and Corridor Map in Appendix H):

•    Level of service E will be acceptable on arterials and major collectors in the City Center and along urban corridors

•    Level of service D will be acceptable in the rest of the City and Urban Growth Area

•    Higher levels of service may be maintained in parts of the City because of low traffic demand

•    For some intersections, level of service is F is acceptable

•    On strategy corridors, where widening is not an option, levels of service may fall below adopted standards

PT8.7Exempt transportation facilities and services of statewide significance from concurrency requirements per RCW 36.70A.070(6). Proposed improvements to state-owned facilities will be consistent with the Thurston Regional Transportation Plan and the State Highway System Plan within Washington’s Transportation Plan.


The impacts of new land-use development on the transportation system are mitigated appropriately.

PT9.1Require mitigation for new developments so that transportation level of service does not fall below adopted standards, except where policies allow.

PT9.2Require new development to construct improvements or contribute funds towards measures that will improve the function and safety of the streets, such as installing bike and pedestrian improvements, turn pockets or special lanes for buses, or roundabouts, or modifying traffic signals.

A bus stops on Capitol Way.

PT9.3Ensure a fair distribution of new transportation-related costs to new developments through imposition of impact fees.

PT9.4Use the State Environmental Policy Act to determine mitigation requirements for the impacts of new development on the transportation system.

PT9.5Construct complete streets and maintain an urban form that is human scale, when widening is necessary.


On designated strategy corridors, when road widening is not an option, increase capacity by providing walking, biking and transit facilities, facilitate increased land use density, and eliminate transportation system inefficiencies.

PT10.1Add bike lanes and sidewalks, improve transit services, and use demand management measures to ensure that transit, walking and biking are attractive and easy to use during peak travel periods on all streets, especially strategy corridors, those which cannot be widened.

PT10.2Review and update concurrency ordinances as appropriate to implement multimodal and system efficiency strategies in strategy corridors. (See Concurrency Report explanation in Appendix A.)

PT10.3Expand the City’s network of street connections, pathways and trails to help relieve congestion.


System capacity improvements focus on moving people and goods more efficiently, minimizing congestion by replacing car trips with walking, biking and transit trips, and by increasing system operational efficiency and reliability.

PT11.1Pursue a person-trip concurrency program in order to allow construction of bicycle, pedestrian and transit system improvements as concurrency mitigation.

PT11.2Seek voluntary concurrency mitigation measures separate from other transportation mitigation measures required by either State Environmental Policy Act or the City’s Transportation Impact Fee policies and programs.

Land Use

The land use and transportation goals and policies of this plan are interconnected. When attractive housing is close to jobs, services and stores, trips are short and easy to make without a car. Transit stops can be close by and convenient for longer trips outside the neighborhood. In compact, mixed-use areas, it is easier for people to walk, bike and ride the bus than it is to drive, reducing our dependency on our cars.

The dense, mixed areas we are trying to achieve are made more attractive, comfortable and functional when streets have wide sidewalks, safe pedestrian crossings, bike lanes, and the bus is convenient. We can optimize our investments in the transit system by locating a mixture of dense land uses along our major bus routes. Without the coordination of land use and transportation, we will continue to rely on our cars, congestion will worsen, streets will be wider and unfriendly, and more parking will be needed.

An attractive sidewalk along a major bus route.

Goals and Policies


The transportation system provides attractive walking, biking and transit options, so that land use densities can increase without creating more traffic congestion.

PT12.1Build a system that encourages walking, biking and transit to reduce car trips and help achieve our land-use density goals.


A mix of strategies is used to concentrate growth in the city, which both supports and is supported by walking, biking, and transit.

PT13.1Consider increasing allowed densities in the downtown core and along parts of the urban corridors, while maintaining lower densities in the periphery of the City.

PT13.2Consider a geographically-influenced impact fee based on costs that would likely incentivize development or redevelopment in the downtown core and along parts of the urban corridor.

PT13.3Consider incentives to address the specific challenges downtown redevelopment faces.

PT13.4Promote infill in close-in neighborhoods and increased land-use density in activity centers and downtown to reduce sprawl, car trips, and to make the best use of the existing transportation network.

PT13.5Allow housing in commercial and employment areas to reduce commute and errand distances, and encourage alternatives to driving.

PT13.6Allow neighborhood centers in residential areas to reduce commute and errand distances and encourage alternatives to driving.


Greater density along priority bus corridors optimizes investments in transit and makes transit an inviting mode of travel. (See Appendix H, the Corridors Map, for bus corridors.)

PT14.1Encourage transit-supportive density and land-use patterns along priority bus corridors, through zoning, incentives, and other regulatory tools.

PT14.2Encourage schools, public services, major employers, and senior and multi-family housing to locate along priority bus corridors, as they tend to benefit from the availability of public transit.

PT14.3Enhance the gridded street network of small blocks adjacent to bus corridors to improve access to transit.


The urban corridors of Martin Way, Pacific Avenue, east 4th and State Avenues, Capitol Way/Boulevard and portions of Harrison Avenue, Black Lake Boulevard and Cooper Point Road are areas where a large portion of trips are made by walking, biking and transit. (See Appendix H Corridor Map for urban corridors. See Land Use and Urban Design chapter for specific land use designations.)

PT15.1Retrofit City streets in urban corridors to City Street Standards to attract new development and increase densities.

PT15.2Work with the State of Washington to include urban corridors in the state’s preferred leasing area, so that state employees can easily walk, bike or take public transit to work.

PT15.3Encourage public agencies to build in the urban corridors to support the City’s transportation-efficient land use goals so citizens and employees can easily walk, bike or take public transit to these buildings.

PT15.4Partner with the cities of Lacey and Tumwater to pursue the coordinated transportation and land use objectives identified for the urban corridors.


Streets are public space, where people want to be.

PT16.1Design streets to preserve or enhance the unique qualities and “sense of place” of a neighborhood or district.

PT16.2Design streets as gathering spaces and destinations, and highlight their cultural and natural features.

PT16.3Look for opportunities to create multi-use, public spaces along streets and encourage public and private efforts to make these places unique and memorable.


We can use bus service for many of the routine trips we make, and significantly reduce congestion. As traffic increases, transit will be an efficient way to move more people on the same streets.

Intercity Transit is the primary public transit operator for Thurston County, and its strong partnership with the City will be critical to meeting community transportation needs.

People board a bus at the downtown Olympia Transit Center.

In the near-term, Olympia envisions a distinct system of “bus corridors:” major streets with high-quality, frequent service that will allow people to use transit more spontaneously. The first priority for bus corridor development will be along strategy corridors. See the Corridor Map in Appendix H for bus corridors and strategy corridors.

Building bus corridors is a major new commitment in which the City and Intercity Transit will jointly invest. Intercity Transit will provide fast, frequent and reliable bus service along these corridors and the City will provide operational improvements, such as longer green time at traffic signals to prevent bus delays in congestion. Attractive streetscapes, pedestrian crossings and sidewalks will enhance people’s access to transit. The City will also encourage a mix of land uses and increased densities along these corridors to increase ridership.

Bus corridors will be planned as regional connectors between Olympia, Lacey, and Tumwater. To sustain the level of service for transit in these corridors, increased residential and commercial density of development is needed. They will ideally connect with similar corridors in Lacey and Tumwater.

Over the long term, Intercity Transit and the communities it serves will together carry out the most current long-range transit plan and the Thurston Regional Transportation Plan.

A bus travels over the 4th Avenue Bridge.

Goals and Policies


Bus corridors have high-quality transit service allowing people to ride the bus spontaneously, and easily replace car trips with trips by bus.

PT17.1Develop a system of bus corridors with fast, frequent, and predictable service. Transit service should operate at least every 15 minutes on weekdays where surrounding land uses call for it.

PT17.2Achieve density and mix of land uses along bus corridors to support increased ridership and frequent service.

PT17.3Formalize bus corridors through a joint agreement between Intercity Transit and the City of Olympia, with efforts to include Lacey and Tumwater.

PT17.4Coordinate with Intercity Transit to give traffic signal priority to buses, build bypass or exclusive transit lanes, and take other measures designed to speed bus service.

PT17.5Ensure street, site, and building designs are well-planned for pedestrian use along bus corridors.

PT17.6Integrate transit and bicycle network planning and require bicycle end-of-trip facilities, such as bike parking, along bus corridors.

PT17.7Eliminate minimum parking requirements along bus corridors.

PT17.8Give priority to sidewalks and mid-block pedestrian crossings that enhance access and safety on high frequency bus corridors.


Intercity Transit’s short- and long-range plans are supported.

PT18.1Support Intercity Transit’s existing and planned services and facilities by ensuring that street standards, system operational efficiencies, land uses, and site design support transit along current and future routes.

PT18.2Coordinate with Intercity Transit on bus stop locations so they are safe, accessible and inviting for pedestrians and bicyclists.

PT18.3Consult with Intercity Transit when new developments are being reviewed so that current and future bus routes can be accessed by transit vehicles.

PT18.4Make transit more inviting by designing transit access at major destinations such as worksites, schools, medical facilities and shopping complexes in a manner that allows efficient access for buses, while placing bus stops in locations that are more convenient than parking areas.

PT18.5Coordinate with Intercity Transit in requiring developers to provide facilities that help transit riders easily walk or bike to and from stops, such as shelters, awnings, bike parking, walkways, benches, and lighting.

PT18.6Encourage Intercity Transit to provide service to passenger rail stations or other intermodal facilities.

PT18.7Explore opportunities for circulator transit routes to enhance connectivity between urban corridors, their adjacent neighborhoods, and the city center.


The region is prepared to advance high-capacity transportation.

PT19.1Work with Intercity Transit and the Thurston Regional Planning Council to plan for long-range, high-capacity transportation in Thurston County.

PT19.2Preserve significant rail corridors threatened with abandonment as identified in the Regional Transportation Plan.

PT19.3Integrate land use and high-capacity transportation planning so that dense urban centers are developed around multi-modal transit stations, and coordinate this regionally.

PT19.4Encourage the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Thurston Regional Planning Council to identify and address deficiencies in regional commuter services.

PT19.5Achieve the land-use densities and mixed uses necessary to build ridership needed for high-capacity transportation.


The rail system can move materials over long distances efficiently and inexpensively.

PT20.1Work with regional partners and the Washington State Department of Transportation to support and expand freight rail in the region.


This plan aims to make streets safe and inviting for walking for more people. The City can accomplish this over time by designing streets that are “human scale,” places where people can enjoy walking, sitting and interacting with others. Building and retrofitting streets by planting trees, creating landscaped strips and installing decorative lighting can encourage people to walk and create an active street life.

When streets are designed for people, rather than dominated by cars, neighbors interact, businesses thrive, and people feel more engaged in their community. All of this can stimulate activity, attract development, and improve the quality of life, even as the population increases.

A new sidewalk is buffered by a planter strip and street trees on San Francisco Avenue.

Well-designed sidewalks are integral to a community’s transportation network because they separate pedestrians from motor vehicles, and provide a flat and predictable surface for walking. For those with walking aids, sidewalks significantly enhance access. Sidewalks invite people to gather and interact in public space right outside their front door. Sidewalks provide safe places for children to walk, run, skate, and play.

Appendix C includes a map of sidewalk projects based on the City of Olympia Sidewalk Program (2003).

A flashing beacon at a crosswalk on Olympic Way will alert motorists to pedestrians.

Another important safety factor for walkers is to ensure that streets are easy to cross. Pedestrian crossing improvements shorten the crossing distance, increase visibility of walkers to motorists, increase crosswalk law compliance, and enhance the safety and comfort of pedestrians.

Goals and Policies


Walking is safe and inviting, and more people walk for transportation.

PT21.1Encourage walking and educate people about walking safety and the benefits of walking.

PT21.2Ensure City street standards reflect the importance of walking for transportation and recreation.

PT21.3Build new streets and retrofit existing streets to be more inviting for walking with sidewalks, crossing improvements and streetscape enhancements.

PT21.4Allow property developers to pay a fee-in-lieu for sidewalks in certain instances so that sidewalks and other pedestrian improvements can be constructed in the locations they are most needed.

PT21.5Consider the needs of people walking in all aspects of street operations and maintenance.

PT21.6Use construction practices that provide safe access for pedestrians. When roadway closures are necessary for construction, provide a reasonably direct route through or around the construction area for people walking.

PT21.7Require direct, safe, and convenient pedestrian access to commercial and public buildings from sidewalks, parking lots, bus stops, and adjacent buildings.

PT21.8Explore the expanded use of alleys for pedestrian travel.


Sidewalks make streets safe and inviting for walking.

PT22.1Build all new streets with inviting sidewalks on both sides of the street.

PT22.2Focus City sidewalk construction on major streets, where heavy traffic volumes and speeds make it difficult for walkers to share space with motor vehicles. Prioritize sidewalk construction projects based on street conditions, transit routes, and the proximity to destinations such as schools.

PT22.3Retrofit selected smaller local access streets within neighborhoods with sidewalks to address unique conditions, such as: limited sight distance; the need for access to bus stops, schools and parks; or, because no other parallel street exists nearby to provide a safe walking route.


Pedestrian crossing improvements remove barriers for walkers on major streets, especially wide streets with high vehicle volumes.

PT23.1Build new streets and retrofit existing streets with crossing islands and “bulb outs” to increase pedestrian safety.

PT23.2Raise driver awareness of pedestrians at crosswalks on wide, high-volume streets using blinking lights, flags, signs, markings, and other techniques.

PT23.3Add safe, mid-block crossings for pedestrians to new and existing streets. This is especially important on major streets that have long distances between stop lights, and those with high-frequency transit service.

PT23.4Design intersections to make pedestrian crossing safety a priority: minimize the crossing width, make pedestrians more visible with bulb outs and lighting, and minimize “curb radii” (sharper corners instead of sweeping curves).

PT23.5Consider the use of pavers or colored, patterned concrete on crosswalks in commercial or mixed-use areas to increase motorist awareness of pedestrians and to improve the appearance of an area, without negatively affecting cyclists or pedestrians.

PT23.6Consider the needs of the elderly and disabled in all crosswalk design and signal timing.

Streetscape enhancements include awnings, trees, and wide sidewalks.

Streetscapes buffer walkers from motor vehicle traffic, enhance the experience of walking, and increase the attractiveness of an area.

PT24.1Separate sidewalks from motor-vehicle traffic with buffers of trees and landscaping.

PT24.2Allow on-street parking as a buffer, where appropriate, between walkers and motor-vehicle traffic.

PT24.3Provide sidewalks wide enough to include the “streetscape” elements and space needed to support active street life. In busy pedestrian areas, install benches, artwork and other features to make streets interesting and inviting, while maintaining safe walking surfaces and adequate space for those in wheelchairs.

PT24.4Require continuous awnings over the sidewalk along building frontages in densely-developed areas to protect pedestrians from weather; encourage them everywhere else.

PT24.5Use pedestrian-scale lighting to make sidewalks feel safe and inviting at night.

PT24.6Use City investments to retrofit streets and add wide sidewalks and streetscape improvements as a method of drawing development to targeted areas.

PT24.7Develop streetscape plans for commercial and mixed-use areas.

PT24.8Integrate inviting bus stops and shelters into streetscape design.


Bicycling is clean, economical, efficient, and ideal for trips within our community. As with walking, the vision of this plan is to consider biking as a valuable mode of transportation, and to make the safety of bicyclists a high priority. Because bicyclists have access to the same streets as drivers, they must have both the same rights and responsibilities.

A bicyclist approaches the 4th Avenue Bridge.

A well-connected network of facilities for bicyclists is the key to increasing the use of bicycles for regular transportation. A bicycle network includes bike lanes, signs and markings, trails, pathways, and bicycle parking. An effective network is supported by maintenance and operations practices that remove barriers to bicycling.

Providing bike lanes on existing streets is a cost-effective way to create separate, safe spaces for bicycling, especially where vehicle volumes are high and motorists and bicyclists need a predictable system for sharing the street. (Appendix D shows the list of bike lane projects identified in the Bicycle Master Plan and a map illustrating the existing and future bicycle network.)

Education, enforcement and encouragement can both improve bicycle safety and encourage more people to bike. Programs are needed to raise awareness of the benefits of bicycling, teach urban-cycling skills to adults, teach children to be safe riders, and let all roadway users know what their responsibilities are.

A bicyclist adds a red light to her bike to be more visible by motorists.

Goals and Policies


Bicycling is safe and inviting, and many people use their bikes to both travel and stay active.

PT25.1Retrofit streets to provide safe and inviting bicycle facilities. Use the Bicycle Master Plan (2009) to guide facilities development, but look for other opportunities to provide bicycle facilities where possible.

PT25.2Build bike lanes on new major streets: arterials, major collectors and selected neighborhood collectors. Bike facilities planned for specific classifications of streets are defined in the Engineering Design and Development Standards.

PT25.3Use signs and markings to alert drivers to the presence of bicyclists, to guide bicyclist and motorist behavior, and to guide bicyclists to destinations.

PT25.4Explore the use of bicycle boulevards to support novice and family bicycling - streets with low volumes and special accommodations for bicycling.

PT25.5Make pedestrian crossing islands large enough for families cycling together.

PT25.6Consider the needs of bicyclists in all aspects of street operations and maintenance including signal system operations.

PT25.7Use construction and maintenance practices that provide safe access for bicycle travel. When roadway closures are necessary, provide for a reasonably direct bicycle route through or around the construction area.

PT25.8Require new commercial developments, public facilities, schools, and multi-family housing to provide end-of-trip facilities for bicyclists, including covered bike racks and lockers.

PT25.9Use education, encouragement and enforcement programs to improve the safety of and promote bicycling.

PT25.10Partner with businesses, schools, developers, and employers to support bicycling through site and building design, end-of-trip facilities and programs to promote bike use.

PT25.11Educate people about biking and walking in order to reduce motorized travel and make the best use of the City’s investments in infrastructure.

PT25.12Educate drivers about and enforce regulations that protect the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians.

PT25.13Educate bicyclists and walkers about their responsibilities as users of the street system.

Transportation and Demand Management

When more people ride the bus, carpool, walk, and bike for their daily commute, traffic congestion, pollution, and energy consumption are reduced. We also save money and get more exercise.

Many current community efforts focus on helping both workers and students find alternatives to driving alone. Ridematch programs link carpoolers and help set up long-distance vanpools. Frequent bus service to major work sites makes the bus more inviting. Bike lanes, bike parking and networks of trails, sidewalks and safe crossings encourage people to walk and bike.

Commute trip reduction efforts focus on employee and student commute trips because these trips are predictable and are made by large numbers of people. A successful change in these travel habits can have a positive impact on our streets.

We need school programs - as well as bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly streets -- to encourage students to walk, bike, carpool, or take the bus to school. Large numbers of students and parents driving to and from school can create congestion and safety issues for students.

State employees cross Capitol Way at the Tivoli Fountain.

Washington state’s 1991 Commute Trip Reduction Law called on workers to reduce their drive-alone commuting. Since then, commute trip reduction programs have focused on large worksites in the most congested areas of the state.

When we reduce drive-alone commuting, we make the best use of existing streets and reduce the need for costly new lanes. And, when more people walk, bike, carpool and ride the bus, we can increase land-use density without increasing traffic.

Goals and Policies


Walking, biking, riding the bus, and carpooling are convenient for trips to work or school. Fewer drive-alone trips will reduce pollution, energy consumption, and the growth in traffic congestion.

PT26.1Help affected employers in the region meet the goals of the State’s Commute Trip Reduction Law.

PT26.2Support the State’s Commute Trip Reduction Law with City policies and programs that encourage ridesharing, transit, walking and biking.

PT26.3Work with the State to locate new worksites in the City’s dense urban area - in locations where frequent transit is possible, and where employees can easily walk and bike.

PT26.4Encourage all employers in the City to reduce employee drive-alone commute trips. Provide specific emphasis for worksites in the City Center.

PT26.5Provide infrastructure to support walking, biking, transit, and ridesharing for commuting.

PT26.6Encourage areas, such as malls, with high concentrations of employees, to develop coordinated commuter programs to reduce drive-alone commuting.

PT26.7Work with community partners to provide programs, services and incentives that will promote transit, ridesharing, walking, and biking.

PT26.8Encourage employers and schools to stagger start times to reduce peak-hour traffic volumes. Encourage employers to allow flexible work schedules, so employees can more easily take advantage of transit and ridesharing opportunities.

PT26.9Encourage employers to allow telecommuting and compressed work weeks to eliminate commute trips.

PT26.10Give City employees high-quality commuter services and incentives, while limiting parking availability, as a way to discourage drive-alone commuting.

PT26.11Require end-of-trip facilities, such as clothes lockers, showers and bike parking for walking, biking and transit users at schools and worksites.

Students participate in a Walk and Roll event.

PT26.12Encourage students to walk, bike and rideshare to reduce congestion near schools, to introduce them to transportation options, to enourage more exercise, and, at high schools, reduce the need for parking.

PT26.13Coordinate City and school district policies to site new schools in locations where students can easily walk or bike to school, and where school employees and students can commute on public transit. Consider multi-story buildings on smaller lots to accommodate capacity needs closer to the urban core and to reduce disruption to the street grid.

PT26.14Provide sidewalks, bike lanes, trails, pathways, and crossing facilities near schools to encourage students to walk and bike.

PT26.15Educate the public about travel options and how these choices benefit them, the community, and the environment.


Parking is provided in a way that reduces the number of employees who commute alone by car.

PT27.1Discourage drive-alone commutes by managing the cost and supply of public parking, but give priority to parking for business patrons.

PT27.2Establish parking standards that meet the needs of business patrons, but do not result in cheap and readily-available parking for employees.

PT27.3Work with adjacent cities and the State of Washington on consistent parking strategies to help meet the commute trip reduction goals of the region. This will also ensure that parking standards do not act as a deterrent to the location of development.

PT27.4Collaborate to establish more park-and-ride lots in the region.


The funding sources we’ll need to realize our transportation vision must be developed over time. As the economy changes, our population fluctuates, and funding circumstances change, the City will need to be flexible and resourceful about funding opportunities, while keeping the vision of this plan in mind.

Funding for transportation comes from federal, state and local sources. Information on how the City spends transportation dollars is defined in the annual operating budget and the Capital Facilities Plan.

The City’s operating budget allocates funds for maintenance of streets, signals and other aspects of the transportation system. The City’s General Fund pays for operations; this fund is made up of taxes and fees.

The Capital Facilities Plan defines City construction projects for a six-year period and identifies funding sources. Capital projects are paid for with a combination of grants, fees such as impact fees, General Fund dollars, gas tax revenues, stormwater utility rates, and private utility taxes.

A resident learns about transportation funding at a public workshop

It will be important for the City to evaluate potential new funding sources such as:

•    A commercial parking tax

•    Local improvement districts

•    Motor fuel taxes (levied County-wide)

•    Transportation benefit districts.

However, each potential source must be carefully weighed for its legality, stability, fairness, and administrative complexity.

The projects shown in lists and maps in Appendix B, C and D reflect the vision of this plan, but may not be achievable within the 20-year horizon of this plan. The full network needs are described to provide a comprehensive view of the system we envision, and to be prepared for funding or other opportunities that would allow us to complete this work.

Goals and Policies


Transportation facilities and services are funded to advance the goals of the City and the region.

PT28.1Make it a high funding priority to enhance the operational efficiency of the City’s transportation system.

PT28.2Plan and prioritize projects so they are consistent with available and projected funding to advance the community’s transportation vision.

PT28.3Use master plans, sub-area plans and facilities programs to identify improvements to our transportation system and how to fund them.

PT28.4Continue to be innovative with the use of existing funds and explore new funding sources for transportation.

PT28.5Support and partner with other agencies to obtain funding to improve public transportation services.

PT28.6Use public and private funds to advance transportation priorities and meet the needs of new trips in the system.

PT28.7Explore adding multimodal capital improvements to the list of projects that can be funded by impact fees, such as transit priority at signals, transit queue jump lanes, and pedestrian and bicycle improvements.

PT28.8Partner with community organizations to help complete projects.

PT28.9Encourage action at the federal and state level to address transportation funding needs for cities.

PT28.10Focus transportation investments along urban corridors and in the city center to help stimulate development and achieve land-use densification goals.

RW Johnson Boulevard is rebuilt.

The transportation system is maintained at the lowest life-cycle cost to maximize the City’s investment in its infrastructure.

PT29.1Schedule regular maintenance of the City’s transportation system for efficiency and greater predictability, and to reduce long-term costs.

PT29.2Protect street pavement by resurfacing streets with low-cost treatments before they deteriorate to a point that requires major reconstruction.

PT29.3Require property owners to maintain their sidewalks and planter strips.

Regional Planning

Many long-term transportation issues require regional coordination to be resolved. Regional issues that will require Olympia’s attention include trails, transit, capacity and safety of regional corridors, highway access, passenger and freight rail, commuter services and park-and-ride lots, and the use of the marine terminal. Funding strategies will also require regional coordination.

The Thurston Regional Transportation Plan is the blueprint for the region’s transportation system, and it identifies projects and issues for regional attention. It is based on land-use forecasts and regionally established priorities, and places heavy emphasis on the connections between land-use and transportation planning. The City is responsible for addressing the individual projects that emerge from the Regional Transportation Plan.

A bus waits for passengers at the Olympia Transit Center.

Goals and Policies


Olympia engages with neighboring jurisdictions to advance common goals and solve regional problems.

PT30.1Use this Comprehensive Plan and the Thurston Regional Transportation Plan to guide regional transportation decisions.

PT30.2Establish and maintain compatible street standards with Thurston County and the cities of Lacey and Tumwater.

PT30.3Work with the cities of Lacey and Tumwater and Thurston County to develop bus corridors.

PT30.4Work with neighboring jurisdictions to develop trails.

PT30.5Work with neighboring jurisdictions to improve freight, rail, and truck mobility.

PT30.6Coordinate with the Port of Olympia on truck access routes, freight rail, and, as needed, on air and water transportation needs.

PT30.7Work with regional jurisdictions to develop a funding strategy for the regional transportation network.

PT30.8Coordinate with adjacent jurisdictions and the Thurston Regional Planning Council on regional transportation and land-use goals.

PT30.9Work with Lacey and Tumwater to promote dense commercial and residential development in urban centers and along urban corridors.

PT30.10Work with the region to support the infrastructure needs of electric vehicles or other alternative fuel vehicles.

Appendix A: Transportation Planning History

The policies and goals in this plan reflect a number of plans and studies the City has used in the past to identify and explore specific transportation problems, evaluate issues in more detail, and identify actions or system improvements. For example, the Boulevard Road Corridor Study recommended the use of roundabouts to address safety and congestion issues on this street. These plans have guided us on decisions affecting congestion and capacity, street connectivity, bicycle and pedestrian needs, and street design. This Appendix reviews findings and recommendations from prior plans and studies.

Public dialogues like this one can draw on a range of perspectives to solve problems.

Southeast Transportation Issues

The street network in the southeast provides north-south routes, but few east-west routes. Mobility is poor for autos, buses, bicycling and walking. This creates overloading on the Yelm Highway and 18th Avenue corridors.

However, in 2012, a project to widen Yelm Highway and add roundabouts, bike lanes, sidewalks and crossing islands was completed. And, beginning in 2010, 18th Avenue from Fones Road to Boulevard Road was improved with bike lanes, sidewalks, streetlights, and two roundabouts.

These major reconstruction projects should increase capacity, reduce delay and accidents, and provide more safe and inviting streets for walking and biking. In order to relieve the further pressure on these existing streets, additional connectivity is planned through the extension of Log Cabin Road.

Log Cabin Road Extension: Boulevard Road to Wiggins Road

An extension of Log Cabin Road between Boulevard Road to Wiggins Road is planned to improve east-west movement in the southeast Olympia area. The City will build part of this two- to three-lane street; private development along the corridor will build the rest.

This connection will create a new east-west corridor that will parallel Yelm Highway. Consistent with standards, this new major collector will include bike lanes, sidewalks, planter strips, trees, lighting, and a curved design to slow vehicle speeds.

The new street is expected to increase peak-hour traffic by approximately 60 percent on the existing section of Log Cabin Road (west of Boulevard Road), according to a 2011 projection of future peak-hour trips. This is within the capacity of the existing lanes on Log Cabin Road. The connection will also better distribute traffic in the area, and reduce the projected growth in traffic on Wiggins Road, Boulevard Road, Morse Merryman Road, and Yelm Highway. (Ordinance #5861, 12/15/98 and Ordinance #5661, 12/26/96)

Fones Road-18th Avenue Area Connectivity Evaluation

Eighteenth Avenue from Boulevard Road to the City of Lacey will continue to be the most northerly east-west major collector within the southeast area. In the past, other routes, north and south of 18th Avenue, have been proposed to help distribute the traffic. For example, in 1996, the City analyzed the proposed extension of 22nd Avenue to Wiggins Road and a neighborhood collector connection from Dayton Street to Fones Road near Pacific Avenue. However, both alternatives were limited by the presence of wetlands.

The 22nd Avenue extension was removed as a proposed major collector west of Allen Road. A Class II wetland within a kettle (enclosed basin) lies between Boulevard and Allen Roads. A wetland report and an evaluation of several different alignments indicated that there were no feasible or cost-effective routes west of Allen Road that did not adversely affect the wetlands and greatly increase the possibility of flooding adjacent properties. The extension of 27th Avenue will terminate at Allen Street with a "T" type intersection.

At one time, there was a proposal to connect Dayton Street to the commercial and industrial land that lies along Fones Road. However, a Class II wetland (the headwaters of Woodard Creek) lies between the two areas. Several different alignments were evaluated, and the least costly would have been the railroad corridor, the location of the Woodland Trail. This alignment would have widened the existing railroad fill over the wetland, adjacent to the trail. The railroad alignment also could have been used east of Fones Road to eventually connect with Sleater-Kinney Road in Lacey.

However, any east-west connection along the Dayton Street alignment would have adversely affected the character of this isolated neighborhood and would have increased peak-hour traffic volumes. Though designated a neighborhood collector, this connection would have been characteristic of a major collector, particularly if extended east of Fones Road. Under either classification, such a connection could have potentially become a bypass for 18th Avenue traffic.

Access to this neighborhood still can be provided in a way that avoids affecting any wetlands: a neighborhood collector connecting Dayton Street to Fones Road, using the approximate alignment of Van Epps Street.

The elimination of these two potential transportation links will place more demand upon the existing network of collectors within this sub-area. However, improvements made to 18th Avenue, Fones Road, Yelm Highway, and Log Cabin Road should be able to handle this demand.

Fones Road Improvements

Fones Road from 18th Avenue north to Pacific Avenue needs to be widened to three to five lanes with turn pockets at major intersections. In 2010, a roundabout was installed at the intersection of Fones Road and 18th Avenue, and second roundabout is planned at the south driveway of Home Depot. Both will allow Fones Road between 18th Avenue and the south Home Depot driveway to only be widened to three lanes: two lanes southbound and one lane northbound. (Turn lanes are planned at selected driveways.)

North of the south Home Depot driveway, four to five lanes are needed. The planned widening of Fones Road between 18th Avenue and Pacific will include bike lanes, sidewalks, planter strip, and streetlights. (Ordinance #5661, 12/26/96)

Chambers Basin Analysis

In 2006, groundwater and stormwater problems were evaluated in the area south and southwest of Chambers Lake, for future land use. The evaluation was prompted by concerns over whether adequate drainage could be provided in this valley, due to shallow groundwater and flat grades. At the land-use densities proposed, there was a strong likelihood of persistent flooding, property damage, and other environmental impacts.

The evaluation determined that the valley area could not be developed to the planned urban densities of 5 to 13 units per acre, due to high groundwater and flat topography. As a result, the City reduced allowed development density and applied new low-density street standards in the valley. The unique design standard for local access streets in this area is narrower than the conventional local access standard, with sidewalks on one side, rather than both sides.

Boulevard Road Corridor

The 2006 Boulevard Road Corridor Study defined the multimodal and capacity improvements that were needed for this corridor. Boulevard Road is a major north-south route and a major regional corridor to the city center. It is also considered a residential street to the many people who live along it.

Full street standards, including sidewalks, lighting and trees, are planned for the entire corridor, with some changes to planter strips to lessen property impacts. There will be a center-turn lane for the entire corridor, interspersed with landscaped pedestrian islands, landscaped medians, and left-turn pockets.

Roundabouts are planned for three major intersections along the corridor. A double-lane roundabout was built at Log Cabin Road in 2009, (which eventually will connect to the planned Log Cabin extension to the east). A single-lane roundabout at 22nd Avenue is planned for 2014, and a roundabout at Morse-Merryman Road is planned for construction sometime between 2014 and 2017.

The City plans to evaluate the long-term need for a roundabout at 18th Avenue, as well as possible intersection improvements at 28th Avenue, 30th Avenue, 41st Way, and Wilderness Drive. As safety and mobility concerns warrant, parking on Boulevard Road (north of where it crosses I-5) may be removed to allow for a center-turn lane and other intersection improvements at Pacific Avenue and Boulevard Road.

Pacific and Lilly Focus Area

In the area bounded by Pacific Avenue and Interstate 5, Lilly Road and the city limits, the traditional block pattern of local access streets now provides good access for vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians.

However, to the south of Pacific Avenue and north of the Woodland Trail, most properties are oriented toward Pacific Avenue, and the lack of side streets makes it hard for vehicles to enter or leave this busy arterial. This area lacks bike lanes and crossing islands, and is not inviting for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Meanwhile, nearby Lilly Road dead-ends at Pacific Avenue for travelers coming from the north, and just one block to the west, Fones Road dead-ends at Pacific Avenue for travelers coming from the south. Long-term, it would be ideal to align Fones Road to Lilly Road, but this would require major reconstruction of public right-of-ways and private properties.

Improvements to the street network could significantly improve traffic circulation in this area:

•    Lilly Road should be extended southward to connect with Sixth Street, providing a new route for movement between Fones Road and Lilly Road.

•    Fifth Street should be extended to connect with the new Lilly Road Extension.

•    While Royal, Plummer, Ferry, Wier, and Birch streets now provide good access to the Pacific and Lilly area, they could be realigned to improve development potential. (However, any realignment would need to meet the City’s intersection-spacing standards, to maintain pedestrian-sized blocks.)

•    Plummer, or its successor street, should be connected through to the South Sound Center to create an additional connection between Lilly Road and South Sound Center.

•    Access to Royal Street from Lilly Road has poor sight distance, and could be a candidate for closure; even now it is strictly one-way in-bound, because of this limitation. (Ordinance #5661, 12/26/96)

Lakewood Drive

In 1997, the City Council decided not to make a street connection on Lakewood Drive between the Cove and Holiday Hills subdivisions, though it preserved this as a future option. Signs were installed here, and at the east end of Lakewood Drive, to indicate a possible future connection.

If the street connection is eventually constructed, specific traffic-calming devices, signing, crosswalks, and a sidewalk will be installed. The existing bicycle/pedestrian connection will be maintained between these two subdivisions until a full-street connection is made. (Ordinance #5757, 12/16/97)

Northeast Transportation Issues

Northeast Olympia has seen a great deal of residential development, due to its close proximity to major retail and medical services and access to I-5. Like the southeast area, the northeast area has good north-south corridors but few, if any, east-west corridors.

Primarily, there is a need to develop east-west corridors at the major collector and neighborhood collector levels to help disperse local traffic away from the Martin Way corridor, and onto the local street network.

By providing a good major and neighborhood collector road network throughout the northeast area, no major road widening will be necessary through 2030.

Lilly Road Corridor

The congestion and access problems on the Lilly Road corridor north of Martin Way, past St. Peter Hospital and on to 26th Avenue will continue to increase without additional street connections to the east and west of Lilly Road. The City has identified this as a "strategy area," which means that before existing streets can be widened, new street connections must be considered.

Without additional street connections in the northeast, growth will increase traffic congestion at the intersections of Martin/Lilly Road, Martin/Sleater-Kinney Road and Pacific/Fones Road.

Increases in peak-hour traffic volumes will lead to longer delays at traffic signals, and will worsen the level of service at the intersections with traffic lights, projected to be at level of service F before 2020. Given the current conditions at these intersections, it would be difficult to justify building additional lanes to relieve congestion, and it would not be in keeping with the vision of this Plan.

With the loss of opportunities to connect Lilly Road to South Bay Road in two locations, at 12th Avenue and Lister Road (as described below), the City will need to place greater emphasis on the remaining proposed street connections in the area of Lilly Road. (Ordinance #5661, 12/26/96)

12th Avenue to 15th Avenue, NE, Corridor

In 2002, a new street connecting South Bay Road to Lilly Road, on the 12th-15th Avenue alignment was removed from City plans, as it included a wetland crossing. At that time, the City recommended that northeast area transportation options should be reviewed in the regional transportation plan update. Further consideration of other alternatives should occur, in order to determine how to deal with the Martin Way, Sleater-Kinney, Lilly Road "strategy area."

It will be important for this eastern connection of the 12th/15th Avenue corridor to continue to be pursued from Lilly Road to Sleater-Kinney. An extension of 15th Avenue (south of the Group Health facility) should connect with an extension of Ensign Road in the north-south direction, west of and parallel to the Chehalis Western Trail. A crossing of the trail will be necessary and an easterly connection should be made at approximately 12th Avenue or 15th Avenue. Although this would result in a "T" type intersection between the existing 15th and 6th Avenue intersections on Sleater-Kinney, the pattern of previous subdivisions has precluded any better intersection alignments.

West of Lilly Road, there is an opportunity to connect Ensign Road to a new north-south street which would connect back into Lilly Road using 12th Avenue. This new connection would use Providence Lane, currently a private street. (Ordinance #5661, 12/26/96 and Ordinance #6195, 7/3/02)

Circulation North of 15th Avenue, NE

A proposed street connection west of Lilly Road from Lindell Road north and east to Lister Road was eliminated, due to concerns about a wetland crossing.

Access to the residential area west of Lilly Road and south of 26th Avenue is needed and should be integrated into the surrounding neighborhoods. The 24th Avenue alignment is the remaining opportunity north of 15th for a new collector street. (Ordinance #5661, 12/26/96)

24th Avenue, NE, Alignment

With the loss of the Lister/Lindell Street connection, the proposed neighborhood collector connection on the alignment of 24th Avenue is increasingly important. Emergency service response time could be improved to this neighborhood by a connection proposed at 24th Avenue, NE. This would cross the same Class II wetland system as described in the 12th to 15th crossing.

At the proposed 24th Avenue crossing, Woodard Creek and the wetland lie in a depression, which is favorable for a bridge crossing. Approach fills would be allowed to keep the bridge a single span of 130 feet.

Stoll Road Area

Stoll Road is a dead-end street west of Lilly Road, between Martin Way on the north and I-5 on the south. The site is within an urban corridor and within a quarter mile of the major transportation arterials, where this plan calls for a mix of retail, office, and high-density housing.

Unless new street connections are made, all traffic in and out of this neighborhood must pass through the intersection of Stoll Road and Lilly Road. Consequently, any major new development in this area will be dependent on providing new street connections to Martin Way, either by connecting the existing north-south alignment of Stoll Road to Martin Way, or a westerly extension of the east-west segment of Stoll Road to Martin Way, to be located south and west of Bailey Motor Inn. Additional local access streets would also be needed.

Participation in the cost of these improvements should be a condition of significant development approvals in the Stoll Road area. This participation could be through a local improvement district, a transportation benefit district, or some other measure, which equitably distributes the costs to benefiting properties. (Ordinance #5661, 12/26/96)

Westside Transportation Issues

Olympia’s Westside experienced a great deal of commercial and residential development in the 1980s and early 1990s. Many of the commercial developments in West Olympia, such as the Capital Mall, Target, Top Foods, and the Capital Auto Mall, are regional in nature and tend to generate traffic from as far away as Pierce, Lewis, Mason, and Grays Harbor counties. And, because these are retail land uses that typically produce a large number of non-work-related trips, much of this traffic won’t be affected by commute trip reduction strategies.

This fact, and the relatively limited access to this area, have prompted several studies. Each has produced similar results and recommendations. The West Olympia Access Study (2008 to 2010) drew further conclusions about traffic capacity and needed improvements, particularly access to US 101.

US 101/West Olympia Access Project

Access to and from West Olympia is primarily through the Black Lake/Cooper Point interchange and the Crosby/Mottman interchanges, which, together, feed traffic to Black Lake Boulevard and Cooper Point Road, currently the largest intersection in the City.

When the Crosby Boulevard/Mottman Road interchange was improved in 1996, the City of Tumwater and the Washington State Department of Transportation agreed not to build this interchange beyond five lanes at mid-block due to capacity limitations, and to keep the area as human scale as possible. Part of this agreement was to study additional future access to US 101. New access between US 101 and West Olympia would distribute traffic more evenly throughout the street network and take pressure off streets that otherwise would be overburdened.

In 2008, the City and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) began a joint study of the City street and state highway systems on the Westside, and agreed on an approach to developing additional access to US 101.

The chosen approach includes an eastbound on-ramp and a westbound off-ramp at Kaiser Road as Phase 1 (within 15 to 20 years) and an off-ramp extension in the westbound direction from Black Lake Boulevard to Yauger Way as Phase 2 (beyond 20 years).

This approach will distribute traffic on the Westside street system and provide three westbound exit options. This redundancy in the street system is especially valuable to the hospital and medical facilities in the area, and will make better transit operations possible.

The approach will allow the existing commercial area near Black Lake Boulevard, Cooper Point Road and Harrison Avenue to grow and intensify in an area where infrastructure is already in place. This new access to US 101 also may create pressure to zone underdeveloped areas with high densities and a different mix of uses.

In cooperation with WSDOT, the extensive process to development of an Interchange Justification Report for these new ramps began in 2014. This report will include traffic analysis, environmental review, and intial design work.

Future related work will identify improvements to the local street network to increase walking, biking and transit trips, and look for ways to improve street and pathway connectivity.

Harrison Avenue from West Bay Drive to Division Street

This corridor was examined in the City’s 1992 4th-5th Avenue Bridge Corridor Study. The street is a strategy corridor, where the City does not recommend widening to solve congestion problems. Future capacity will be gained by expanding bus service, enhancing walking and biking, and using Transportation Demand Management measures.

From Division Street to Perry Street, increased traffic flow and safety might be achieved by constructing either left-turn pockets at selected intersections, or a continuous left-turn lane. From Perry Street to West Bay Drive there is limited right-of-way and steep slopes on either side of the street. The only access and flow improvements in this area are restricted left turns with periodic opportunities to make left and u-turns. The City should consider pedestrian access along and across the corridor if any modifications to Harrison are planned.

Harrison Avenue from Cooper Point Road to Overhulse Road Evaluation

In the mid-1990s, Harrison Avenue from Cooper Point Road to Yauger Way was improved to meet street standards. It now has two vehicle lanes in each direction, a center-turn lane, sidewalks, bike lanes, pedestrian crossing islands, and streetlights. The improvements between Yauger Way and Kaiser Road were in response to increased vehicle traffic on this street. Before the improvements, it was expected that the street would be at unacceptable levels of congestion by 2008 or 2009.

A 2006 study examined the need for and timing of the widening to four to five vehicle lanes. At several public meetings, citizens and businesses gave the City a wide range of opinions on the widening issue. A consultant validated the technical analysis about the need to widen the road.

In 2011, the street was widened to four to five vehicle lanes, and bike lanes, planter strips, trees, lighting, and sidewalks were added. Pedestrian crossing islands were added for pedestrian safety, while preserving access to businesses.

The remaining section of Harrison, from Kaiser Road to Overhulse Road, is likely to be completed as future developers fund frontage improvements.

West Bay Drive Corridor Study

West Bay Drive is a major collector and a primary link to northwest Olympia neighborhoods. The street is located between the shore of Budd Inlet and steep slopes to the west. This corridor was examined in the 2004 West Bay Drive Corridor Study, which identified ways to modify the major collector street standard to meet the needs of bicyclists, pedestrians and cars while minimizing the cut and fill of the steep slopes along the street.

The unique street standards identified for West Bay Drive are defined in the City’s Engineering Design and Development Standards. The modified standards include sidewalks, bike lanes, and turn pockets. In some areas, the planned multi-use trail and sidewalk will be combined. Planter strips will vary and will be built only where possible, given the topography. On the east side, landscaping in the planter strips will not obstruct water and city views. Pedestrian crossing improvements have been identified at Brawne Avenue, the Garfield Trail, and the proposed Woodard Avenue pathway. A two-to-three lane street will be adequate for West Bay Drive based on traffic projections for the next 20 years. (Ordinance #6389, 1/24/06)

Kaiser Road and Black Lake Boulevard Area Connections

New street connections are expected as more growth occurs in the area of Black Lake, Kaiser Road and US 101. The planned connection from Kaiser Road to Black Lake Boulevard south of US 101 will create a new north-south corridor parallel to Black Lake Boulevard. Consistent with standards, this new 2-lane major collector will include bike lanes, sidewalks, planter strips, trees, lighting and a curved design to slow vehicle speeds.

If at some future time, Kaiser Road is extended to Black Lake Boulevard, extension of Park Drive to Kaiser Road may be considered in order to provide access for bicycles, pedestrians, and emergency vehicles.

Urban Corridors, Strategy Corridors and Bus Corridors

Urban Corridors

“Urban corridors” are an integrated land use and transportation concept defined in the 1993 Regional Transportation Plan and reflected in the 2025 Regional Transportation Plan. The urban corridor approach intends to reduce sprawl and dependence on the auto by allowing people to live in attractive urban neighborhoods where they can walk or use transit to get to work and meet their daily needs.

Urban Corridors are the major arterials in our system, that generally correspond with high density land uses. These corridors are east 4th and State Avenues, Martin Way, Harrison Avenue, Capitol Way/Boulevard, and the triangle on the Westside shaped by Harrison Avenue, Cooper Point Road and Black Lake Boulevard. The land use designations along these streets vary (see Future Land Use Map in the Land Use Chapter), to promote a gradual increase in density and scale of uses that supports and remains in context with the adjacent neighborhoods. These streets remain urban corridors for transportation planning purposes, and to be consistent with Regional Transportation Plan. Urban corridors are shown on the Corridors Map, Appendix H.

Along these corridors, land use will be supported by a multimodal transportation system. Improvements for bicyclists, pedestrians and transit in these corridors are intended to allow the densities to increase while minimizing new car trips. It is acceptable for arterial and major collector streets within urban corridors to have a transportation level of service E. Bus corridors will be developed along the strategy corridors within these urban corridors. These corridors can be found on the Corridors Map found in Appendix H.

The Urban Corridors Task Force, made up of policy makers from throughout the region convened in 2009 and met through 2011 to identify measures all cities in the region could pursue to achieve the vision for these corridors. The City of Olympia along with the cities of Lacey and Tumwater and Thurston County passed a joint resolution accepting the recommendations of the Urban Corridors Task Force in November 2012, (Resolution M-1786).

Strategy Corridors

Most “strategy corridors” are the City’s major streets within urban corridors, though some fall outside urban corridor boundaries. As described in the Thurston Regional Transportation Plan, strategy corridors are places where road widening is not a preferred option for solving congestion problems, either because the street is already at the maximum five-lane width, or because adjacent land uses are built out or environmentally sensitive. In strategy corridors, levels of service may exceed adopted standards, because while congestion may be at unacceptable levels, these are the areas where we want to encourage more density, more jobs and housing.

In strategy corridors, a different approach is needed for maintaining safety and mobility. If the City can make travel on foot, by transit and bicycle attractive and convenient, these strategy corridors will increase mobility despite increased traffic. Bus corridors will be developed along most of these corridors, where improved transit efficiency can encourage transit use. Traffic signal improvements that prevent buses from getting stuck in traffic, such as extended green time and queue jump lanes, will be an increasingly important focus for the City in these corridors. A map of the City’s Strategy Corridors can be found on the Corridors Map found in Appendix H.

Bus Corridors

“Bus corridors” are Olympia’s main bus routes: major streets with high-quality, frequent transit service. Bus corridors correspond to most strategy corridors. Transit is expected to help improve mobility and capacity on strategy corridors, as will street improvements, and a mix of dense land uses. The bus corridor concept was introduced in 2009 as part of the Olympia Transportation Mobility Strategy. These corridors can be found on the Corridors Map found in Appendix H.

Downtown and City Center Transportation Issues

“Downtown” is defined as the area bounded by the bridges to the west, Marine Drive to the north, Eastside Street to the east, and Union Avenue to the south. The “City Center” is defined as the downtown the Capitol Campus, and the Port.

City Center traffic levels vary throughout the day. For the most part, no new roadways are proposed here, based on the existing land-use plan and expected development. The area is a well-connected grid-street network that can handle large volumes of traffic, and where plans are in place to provide excellent support to pedestrians, bicyclists and transit riders. Traffic congestion will continue in the City Center, but the City is focused on moving people and goods instead of accommodating only vehicles.

Some intersections in City Center will continue to be congested during morning and evening rush hours. But because the City Center is a strategy corridor, widening is not an option. Future capacity will come from improvements to walking, biking and transit.

The City works with the Port of Olympia to establish and maintain truck routes between Interstate 5 and the Port’s marine terminal, which are now Plum Street, Olympia Avenue and Marine Drive. Any proposals to change these routes must consider, at a minimum, traffic impacts, pedestrian and bicyclist safety, the Port of Olympia, and the potential noise and air quality effects they could have on adjacent properties.

The Port of Olympia’s investment in redeveloping the East Bay area since the mid-1990s has created new street connections that improve access and mobility in northeast City Center. The Thurston Avenue-Olympia Avenue connection from East Bay Drive to Jefferson Street has greatly improved access into the north part of the City Center, and now provides a new east-west route option.

4th and 5th Avenue Corridor Study

In 1991, the City began a multi-stage study of the 4th and 5th Avenue corridors in an effort to improve transportation between the City Center and the Westside. The study looked at ways to reduce congestion and improve access and safety for walking and biking. It also studied how the City could help maintain the livability of nearby neighborhoods, enhance City Center vitality, protect the environment, improve the appearance of the corridor, and improve access for buses and carpools.

The study recommended a new three-lane bridge, roundabouts, and a significantly enhanced street system for walking and biking. This corridor planning was critical to the City’s ability to fast-track these projects after the 2001 earthquake and complete them by 2004.

A new four-lane bridge to replace the old, two-lane bridge would have been a simple solution to congestion. But the City’s decision to build a three-lane bridge kept its commitment to building human-scale street system, while at the same time, reducing congestion.

A three-lane bridge still allows two lanes to exit the downtown, which provided the greatest potential to alleviate congestion that could bring downtown to a standstill.

Additionally, the new roundabouts greatly improved traffic flow in the corridor, reducing delays and collisions – as well as the potential severity of any collision.

Wide sidewalks, flashing light systems for crosswalks, roundabouts, and bike lanes enhanced access for bicyclists and pedestrians. Viewing areas on the bridge, art and a new park in the corridor transformed this transportation facility into a destination itself.

This project -- one of the City’s largest and most visible -- demonstrated for the first time its major commitment to providing many travel options for its citizens. And it demonstrated how a transportation project can do more than just move cars. It can enhance the character of a City.

Olympia’s Downtown Streetscape Strategy

The 2003 Downtown Streetscape Strategy Report provides a design template for streetscape improvements for Olympia’s Downtown. Streetscape improvements will focus on public right-of-way improvements rather than zoning or development standards.

The City expects the strategy will be applied over the long term, through the combined efforts of annual capital improvements, streetscape improvements, and partnerships with other public and private agencies.

East Downtown Streetscape

The east downtown area is defined as the area bounded by Plum Street on the east, Adams Street on the west, State Avenue on the north, and 7th Avenue on the south. A market analysis indicated that new types of commercial and residential development are becoming feasible in this area.

The 2003 Olympia East Downtown Development Plan calls for east downtown to feature a mix of commercial activities and housing types within a walkable neighborhood setting. Specific streetscape improvements have been defined to help achieve the vision for this district.

Improvements for 4th, State, Cherry, Chestnut, and Legion in the east downtown have been defined and incorporated in the development standards to guide public- and privately-funded improvements to these streets.

Downtown Growth and Transportation Efficiency Center (GTEC)

In 2007, the City Council established a “Growth and Transporation Efficiency Center” for downtown Olympia with the specific goal of reducing the commute trips of its some 20,000 City Center employees. A dense City Center will help meet the City’s land-use, transportation, environmental, and economic goals. But only by reducing trips will it be able to have an effective transportation network and a dense, vibrant downtown.

Capitol Way Study

In 2005, the City studied the safety and transportation issues along the Capitol Way Corridor from 14th Avenue to Carlyon Avenue. Through a series of workshops, the City asked the community about potential multimodal improvements and to help define the unique historic, environmental, and community values in the corridor.

Many neighborhood residents told the City they were concerned about the history of accidents at the curve south of 25th Avenue, pedestrian crossing safety, vehicle speeds, the lack of a bicycle route, and the impacts of increased traffic volumes. They also identified the historic and neighborhood character elements they wanted preserved in the corridor.

This study explored roadway design options that would help solve problems identified by these residents, including a possible three-lane roadway configuration. The City found, however, that reducing the number of vehicle travel lanes from four to three would increase congestion to an unacceptable level.

In the end, the City developed a four-lane option that addressed some of the safety and mobility concerns expressed by the public.

City-Wide Planning Efforts

Street Standards Update

The City of Olympia’s Engineering Design and Development Standards include standards for constructing all classifications of streets. Specific requirements and dimensions for all street features are defined, such as sidewalk width or the need for a bike lane. The street standards were updated in 2006 to align with “complete street” principles. Updates were made to street widths to reduce speeds, and smaller curb radius dimensions to narrow pedestrian crossings at intersections.

Transportation Mobility Strategy

In August 2009, the City Council accepted the Olympia Transportation Mobility Strategy report. This was the City’s first comprehensive transportation master planning effort, and its policy recommendations guide Olympia to becoming a more multimodal city. The report was developed by a consultant, working with a citizen advisory group and staff. Mobility strategy policy recommendations are incorporated into this Plan.

Sidewalk Program

The City of Olympia Sidewalk Program (2003) was the City’s first comprehensive sidewalk planning effort. Led by the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, the team inventoried missing sidewalks and prioritized segments for construction. The program focuses on building sidewalks on at least one side of all major streets. The criteria the team used to prioritize construction projects was based on street conditions and proximity to destinations for walkers. Appendix C includes maps illustrating missing sidewalk segments on major streets.

Bicycle Master Plan

The Bicycle Master Plan (2009) recommends ways to increase the number of people who bike for regular transportation, and increase their safety. It recommends that the City develop bike lanes and other street improvements, and encourage bicycling through educational outreach. The plan was developed in collaboration with the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee and was accepted by Council in 2009. Appendix D includes a list of planned bike lane projects and a map illustrating the planned bicycle network consistent with the Bicycle Master Plan.

Concurrency Report

The Washington State Growth Management Act requires that the City prohibit any development that causes the level of service on a street to fall below adopted standards, unless it can make improvements or develop strategies that will lessen their impact. The City’s Concurrency Report describes improvements needed with development in the next six years. Some of these projects are listed and shown in maps in Appendix B and shown on the Transportation Corridors Map in Appendix H.

Appendix B: Transportation 2030 Street Capacity and Connectivity Project List and Maps

Projects are identified to achieve the Regional Transportation Plan and Olympia Comprehensive Plan goals and policies related to street capacity (level of service standards) and street connectivity. The following project list includes street capacity and street connectivity needs on arterials and major collector streets.

The Transportation 2030 maps illustrate planned street capacity improvements as well as the street connections planned on arterials, major collectors and neighborhood collectors.

View Transportation 2030 Northeast map

View Transportation 2030 Southeast map

View Transportation 2030 Westside and Downtown map

Street Widening Projects

•    Fones Road: widening to three to five lanes and roundabout (at Home Depot south access)

•    Black Lake Boulevard: widening to two to three lanes (City Limits to 21st Avenue)

•    Boulevard Road: widening to three lanes (roundabouts are listed with Intersection Projects)

•    Harrison Avenue from Kaiser Road to Evergreen Parkway widening to four to five lanes

•    Plum Street: widen Plum between 5th, 4th and State Avenues, add left turn lanes

Street Connections

•    Hoffman Road connection to Log Cabin Road extension

•    Yauger Way Extension to Top Foods

•    Kaiser Road connection to Black Lake Boulevard

•    12th/15th Avenue connection from Lilly Road to Sleater-Kinney Road

•    12th Avenue connection to Ensign Road

•    Ensign Road connection to Pacific Avenue

•    Log Cabin Road extension, Boulevard Road to Hoffman Road Phase 1: median

•    Log Cabin Road extension, Hoffman Road to East City Limits Phase 2: widening/median

Intersection Projects

•    Cooper Point Road and Caton Way: signal or roundabout

•    Yauger Way (US 101 Off Ramp) and Capital Mall Drive: signal or roundabout

•    Henderson Boulevard and Carlyon Avenue: signal or roundabout

•    Legion and Adams: signal or roundabout

•    8th and Jefferson: signal or roundabout

•    Boulevard Road/Pacific Avenue/Martin Way "Y" roundabout

•    Lilly Road and Ensign Road: left-turn lanes

•    Lilly Road and 15th Avenue connector: signal or roundabout

•    Sleater-Kinney Road and 15th Avenue connector: signal or roundabout

•    Boulevard Road and Log Cabin Road: complete roundabout (east leg only)

•    Boulevard Road and Morse-Merryman Road: roundabout

•    North Street and Cain Road: signal or roundabout

•    North Street and Henderson Boulevard: add turn lanes

•    Henderson Boulevard and Eskridge Boulevard: roundabout

•    Wiggins Road and 37th Avenue: roundabout

•    Black Lake Boulevard and Cooper Point Road at Top Foods: turn lane

•    Sleater-Kinney Road and Martin Way: turn lane

•    East Bay Drive and Olympia Avenue: traffic signal

•    Division Street and Harrison Avenue: turn lane

•    Lilly Road and Martin Way: turn lane

•    22nd Avenue and Cain Road/Wilson Street: turn lanes or signal

•    Cooper Point Road and Harrison Avenue: turn lane

•    Deschutes Parkway and Lakeridge Drive: traffic signal

•    Cooper Point/Auto Mall Drive and Evergreen Park Drive: turn lane

•    Cooper Point Road and Capital Mall Drive: turn lane

•    Black Lake Boulevard and Capital Mall Drive: turn lane

•    Pacific Avenue and Ensign Road: traffic signal

Other Projects

•    All Arterials: transit signal priority and high-occupancy vehicle improvements

•    West Olympia Access to US 101: Interchange Justification Report

•    West Olympia Access to US 101: Phase I Kaiser Road on and off ramps

•    West Olympia Access to US 101: Phase 2 Yauger Way off ramp (beyond 2030 planning horizon)

Appendix C: Sidewalk Network

The City of Olympia Sidewalk Program (2003) inventoried missing sidewalks on arterials, major collectors and neighborhood collectors. The missing segments were prioritized for construction based on a scoring system that considered street conditions and pedestrian destinations. Please see the Sidewalk Program report for more background.

The Sidewalk Program focus is to provide a sidewalk on at least one side of all major streets. On streets where sidewalks are missing on both sides, each side is a separate project in this program. These Sidewalk Program projects are added to the 6-year Capital Facilities Plan. Timing of construction is based on funding. Priorities may be adjusted when projects can be combined with other planned construction.

The three sidewalk network maps illustrate missing segments of sidewalk on major streets (as of 2011) based on the Sidewalk Program (2003) inventory. Please see the Sidewalk Program report for the list of projects.

View Northeast Olympia Sidewalk Network on Major Streets map

View Southeast Olympia Sidewalk Network on Major Streets map

View West Olympia Sidewalk Network on Major Streets map

Appendix D: Bike Network Map and List

The bike lane projects in the Bicycle Master Plan (2009) represent the vision for the network, and are likely to go beyond the 20-year planning timeframe. These projects will be coordinated with the City’s roadway resurfacing or reconstruction projects. Priorities may be adjusted for construction efficiencies. Some projects may be completed as frontage improvements built by private development in accordance with City street standards.

The Bicycle Network Map illustrates the existing network and future network explansion. This network includes bike lanes, as well as signed and marked routes.

Bicycle Network Map

This list of bike lane projects represents, at a rough planning-level estimate, $99,390,700 in 2011 dollars.


•    San Francisco Avenue, NE, from East Bay Drive to Bethel Street

•    Mottman Road, SW, from Mottman Court to South Puget Sound Community College

•    14th/Walnut Road, NW, from Kaiser Road to Division Street

•    Herman Road, SE, from Wiggins Road to the Chehalis Western Trail

•    Cooper Point Road, NW, from 14th Avenue to 20th Avenue

•    Fones Road, SE, from Pacific Avenue to 18th Avenue

•    Pine Avenue, NE, from Puget Street to east City limits

•    Elliott /20th Avenue, NW, from Crestline Boulevard to Road 65

•    Legion Way, SW, from Water Street to Capitol Blvd (eastbound only to avoid parking removal)

•    Bethel Street, NE, from San Francisco Avenue to 26th Avenue

•    Martin Way and Pacific Avenue "Y"

•    Crestline Boulevard/Raft Avenue/Schneider Hill, NW, from West Bay Drive to Elliott Avenue

•    West Bay Drive, NW, from Olympic Way to Schneider Hill Road

•    Henderson Boulevard, SE, from Union Street to I-5

•    Morse-Merryman Road, SE, from Sugarloaf Street to Wiggins Road

•    4th Avenue, W, from Black Lake Boulevard to Perry Street

•    4th Avenue, W, from Black Lake Boulevard to Kenyon Street

•    5th Avenue, SE, across the Capitol Lake dam (both directions)

•    Cooper Point Road from 20th Avenue to 28th Avenue


•    Kenyon Street, NW, from Capital Mall access road to Harrison Avenue

•    Hoffman Road, SE, from 26th Avenue to Morse-Merryman Road

•    Kaiser Road, NW, from Harrison Avenue to Walnut Road

•    26th Avenue, NE, from Gull Harbor Road to Chehalis Western Trail

•    McPhee Road, NW, from Capital Mall Drive to Harrison Avenue

•    Wiggins Road, SE, 27th Avenue from Hoffman Road to Wiggins Road to Yelm Highway

•    Decatur Street, SW, from 9th Avenue to Caton Way

•    Lakeridge Drive, SW, from Deschutes Parkway to Evergreen Park Drive

•    Fern Street, SW, from 9th Avenue to end

•    Road 65, NW, from 20th Avenue to 14th Avenue

•    Ames Road, NE, from Gull Harbor Road to East Bay Drive

•    Ensign Road, NE, from Lilly Road to Chehalis Western Trail

•    Pine Avenue/12th Avenue, NE, from Puget Street to South Bay Road

•    Sleater-Kinney Road/15th Avenue to 18th Avenue, SE

•    Miller Avenue, NE, from Bethel Street to Friendly Grove Road

•    Union Avenue, SE, from Capitol Way to Eastside Street

•    Lilly Road, NE, from Winwood Place to Urban Growth Boundary

•    7th Avenue, NW, from Kaiser Road to McPhee Road

•    Friendly Grove Road, NE, from Miller Avenue to Urban Growth Boundary

•    Gull Harbor Road, NE, from Urban Growth Boundary to City limits

•    Wheeler Avenue, SE, from Eastside Street to Boulevard (convert one-sided path)

Appendix E: Highways of Statewide Significance (Thurston County)

•    State Route 5, 276.62 miles, Oregon to Canada

•    State Route 8, 20.67 miles, US 12/Elma to US 101/Olympia (entire route)

•    State Route 12, 324.51 miles, US 101/Aberdeen to Idaho (entire route)

•    State Route 101, 336.66 miles, SR 4 to I-5/Olympia (0.01 miles of physical gap not included)

Appendix F: Transportation Facilities and Services of Statewide Significance

•    The Interstate Highway System: See Highways of Statewide Significance

•    Interregional State Principal Arterials: See Highways of Statewide Significance

•    Intercity Passenger Rail Services:

o    Olympia to Seattle, with stops in Tacoma and Tukwila (5 trips per day)

o    Olympia to Portland, with stops in Centralia, Kelso and Vancouver (5 trips per day)

•    Intercity High-speed Ground Transportation: none

•    Major Passenger Intermodal Facilities: none

•    Ferry Terminals: none

•    Intercity Bus Depot: Olympia Greyhound Station

•    Olympia Transit Center (Intercity Transit, Mason Transit and Grays Harbor Transit)

•    Park and Ride Facilities: Martin Way (Lacey)

•    Park and Ride Facilities: Mud Bay (Thurston County)

•    Park and Ride Facilities: Hawks Prairie (Lacey)

•    Park and Ride Facilities: Centennial Station (Thurston County)

•    Rail Facilities: Centennial Station (Thurston County)

•    The Freight Railroad System: none

•    Switching and Terminal Companies: none

•    The Columbia/Snake Navigable River System: none

•    Marine Port Facilities and Services: Port of Olympia

•    High Capacity Transportation System serving regions as defined in RCW 81.104.015: none

Appendix G: Facilities of Statewide Significance

The following Facilities of Statewide Significance are located in the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Olympic Region, in Olympia:

•    State Route 5, from Mile Post 104.56 to 108.13, Limited Access Fully Controlled, Urban Interstate, National Highway System

•    State Route 101, from Mile Post 364.91 5 to 366.91, Limited Access Fully Controlled, Urban Principal Arterial, National Highway System, State Scenic and Recreational Highway

Appendix H: Transportation Corridor Map

This map illustrates the locations of bus corridors, urban corridors and strategy corridors in Olympia.

View Transportation Corridor Map

Appendix I: Traffic Forecast Maps

These maps show current traffic volumes on Olympia’s street system, as well as forecasted 2030 traffic volumes. These volumes were generated from a traffic model used for transportation planning in the Thurston County region. The volume data is based on the State of Washington Office of Financial Management projected population and employment forecasts for the Thurston County region.

View 2009 PM Peak Traffic Volume by Street Segment and Lane Direction (Downtown)

View 2009 PM Peak Traffic Volume by Street Segment and Lane Direction (Eastside)

View 2009 PM Peak Traffic Volume by Street Segment and Lane Direction (Southeast)

View 2009 PM Peak Traffic Volume by Street Segment and Lane Direction (Westside)

View 2030 Projected PM Peak Traffic Volume by Street Segment and Lane Direction (Downtown)

View 2030 Projected PM Peak Traffic Volume by Street Segment and Lane Direction (Eastside)

View 2030 Projected PM Peak Traffic Volume by Street Segment and Lane Direction (Southeast)

View 2030 Projected PM Peak Traffic Volume by Street Segment and Lane Direction (Westside)

For More Information

•    The City of Olympia Transportation Mobility Strategy provides policy guidance for achieving a multimodal transportation system

•    The City of Olympia Engineering Design and Development Standards implements comprehensive plan goals and policies. These technical standards govern all new construction and modification of transportation and utilities infrastructure

•    The Thurston Regional Transportation Plan describes how the region will work together to resolve regional problems and establish regional priorities

•    The Washington State Growth Management Act guides communities to develop comprehensive plans and development regulations that guide growth for the 20-year horizon

•    The City of Olympia Sidewalk Program (2003) is a list of prioritized sidewalk projects on Olympia’s major streets

•    The City of Olympia Bicycle Master Plan (2009) includes recommendations for bicycle facilities development and education and encouragement activities

•    The Commute Trip Reduction Law calls on large employers in urban areas of the state to reduce drive-alone commute trips made by employees

•    The Thurston Regional Trails Plan defines off-street trail network priorities and issues throughout Thurston County.