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A vibrant Seattle through transportation excellence Interim Director, Goran Sparrman







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Safe Routes to School: Annual Program

The Annual Program incorporates SDOT’s ongoing efforts to improve safety around all schools and to encourage kids to walk and bike to school. This work includes school zone signing, crosswalk installation and maintenance, changes to traffic circulation around schools, school walking route maps, and bike parking at schools.

How do I report a Safety Problem?
Safety is our number one priority at SDOT. If you notice a potential safety issue, contact SDOT so we can address the issue:


School Walking Route Maps
SDOT works with Seattle Public Schools to prepare these maps showing designated school walking routes for programs that include a K-5 component.

Plan your route to school with School Walking Route Maps

School Zone Signing
In 2008, SDOT updated school zone signs at 76 schools to reflect the latest national standards as well as SDOT’s revised guidelines on school zone establishment. An additional 25 schools are scheduled to have their school zone signs updated in 2009.

You may notice the following changes at existing school zones:

  • The advanced warning sign will be located further in advance of the start of the school zone.
  • The end of the school zone will now be indicated by an ‘End School Zone’ sign.

Fluorescent Yellow-Green School Signs
SDOT has upgraded thousands of school signs. The new signs are brighter, using the newly approved fluorescent yellow-green color, and include an arrow directed towards the crosswalk itself, calling greater attention to the locations where children will be crossing.

Definition of "When Children are Present"
The lower panel of a "School Speed Limit 20" sign reads "When Children are Present." This indicates to the motorist that the 20 mile per hour school speed limit is in force under the following conditions:

(1) School children are occupying or walking within the marked crosswalk.

(2) School children are waiting at the curb or on the shoulder of the roadway and are about to cross the roadway by way of the marked crosswalk.

(3) School children are present or walking along the roadway, either on the adjacent sidewalk or, in the absence of sidewalks, on the shoulder within the posted school speed limit zone which extends 300 feet in either direction from the marked crosswalk.

Flashing Beacons Project
The Seattle Department of Transportation has installed flashing beacons at 36 schools around the city. The flashing beacons are an effective part of a wide range of tools that SDOT and SPD use to ensure that children get to and from school safely.

The beacons are mounted in advance of the school crosswalks and flash when students are walking to and from school. The lights are intended to highlight the 20 miles per hour maximum speed "when children are present or lights are flashing."

SDOT has flashing beacons at the following schools:

  • African American Academy
  • Arbor Heights Elementary
  • Bagley Elementary
  • Beacon Hill Elementary
  • Brighton Elementary
  • Broadview-Thomson Elementary
  • Bryant Elementary
  • Concord Elementary
  • Green Lake Elementary
  • Gatzert Elementary
  • Greenwood Elementary
  • Gatewood Elementary
  • Hawthorne Elementary
  • Highland Park Elementary
  • Holy Family School
  • Lafayette Elementary
  • Leschi Elementary
  • Loyal Heights Elementary
  • Madrona Elementary
  • Minor Elementary
  • Muir Elementary
  • Northgate Elementary
  • Roxhill Elementary
  • Saint Catherine School
  • Saint George School
  • Saint John School
  • Salmon Bay Alternative School
  • Sanislo Elementary
  • Stanford Elementary
  • Stevens Elementary
  • Van Asselt Elementary
  • View Ridge Elementary
  • West Seattle Elementary
  • West Woodland Elementary
  • Whittier Elementary
  • Wing Luke Elementary

If you have any questions about the flashing beacon program, please contact Brian Dougherty at (206) 684-5124, or

If have questions or concerns regarding the operation of existing Flashing Beacons, please contact Carol Coryell at (206) 684-5067, or

Crosswalk Improvements
SDOT remarks hundreds of marked crosswalks every summer – the best time for you to call and let us know about faded crosswalks is in the spring. Contact Vern Martin at 684-5116, or email

SDOT installs new school crosswalks only in conjunction with school staff. It is important that the school be involved in determining where students are directed to cross the street. Additionally, the installation of a new marked crosswalk may result in changes that impact other elements of school circulation (for instance, parking restrictions may changes school loading zones).

Other improvements to school crosswalks might include the construction of curb bulbs or median islands. For more information, contact Brian Dougherty at 206-684-5124 or

Bike Racks
A bike rack is a necessity to enable children to bike to school. To request a bike rack at a public school, contact Gretchen Dedecker with Seattle Public Schools “Self Help Program”. SDOT will work in conjunction with Gretchen to coordinate work crews and install bike racks. Gretchen Dedecker can be reached at 206-252-0637 or via email at

Traffic Circulation Plans
Chaotic traffic near schools at morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up times can act as a barrier for pedestrians and bicyclists. SDOT Transportation Planners are available to help schools coordinate the flow traffic during these peak hours. For more information contact Brian Dougherty at 206-684-5124 or

Adult Crossing Guard Program
Seattle 's Adult Crossing Guard Program is administered by the Seattle Police Department. For information about this program, contact Donald Smith at (206) 233-7200, or

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