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Start, Grow, or Green Your Business Stephen H. Johnson, Director
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How to Use This Guide
Abbreviations Used in This Guide
Hints for Successful Business District Improvements
Beautification Projects
Flower Planters
Holiday Lighting
Metro Bus Shelters
Public Art
Street Trees
Clean and Green Seattle Initiative
Enhancement Projects
Street Furniture
Pedestrian Lighting
Bicycle Racks
Newspaper Boxes
Only in Seattle Initiative grants
Forming a Business Improvement Area
City of Seattle Grants and Funding
Litter Cans
Sidewalk Cleaning
Spring Clean
Street Cleaning
Street Paving
Building/Fire Code Violations
Managing Parking
Public Safety
Street Light & Power Line Repair
Alley & Security Lighting
Crime Prevention
Emergency Preparedness
District Identification Signs
Traffic Controls
Use of Public Areas
City Parks
Sidewalk Cafes
Street Vendors
Additional Information

Create a Thriving Business District


If you believe there is a safety or traffic flow problem at an intersection, which might be addressed by installing additional traffic control signs, call the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) traffic engineers at 206-684-ROAD (206-684-7623). Seattle Department of Transportation staff will investigate the problem and decide on the most appropriate solution. If you wish, they will arrange to meet with you to review conditions at the intersection.

You can monitor speed limits and increase their enforcement in your community through SDOT’s Neighborhood Speed Watch Program. SDOT will loan speed-monitoring equipment such as a radar gun to the community to help document the severity of speeds. SDOT will also set up a radar display board and work with the Seattle Police Department for follow up with increased enforcement in the area.

You can also obtain traffic calming improvements such as traffic circles, chicanes, curb bulbs and speed humps through SDOT’s Neighborhood Traffic Control Program. To request a traffic improvement, call the City’s Neighborhood Traffic-Control Program at 206-684-0817.

Before SDOT will approve the change, you may be required to obtain support from residents and businesses in your area. For example, traffic circles require a petition signed by 60 percent of the households (owners or renters) and businesses (property or business owners) within one block of the proposed traffic circle. SDOT then investigates the accident rate at the intersection and decides whether a traffic circle would be appropriate. If this process fails, the neighborhood can also apply to the City’s Department of Neighborhoods for a matching grant to build a circle.

Frequently asked questions:

How can we get a stop sign at a specific location?

Call SDOT and explain the problem. Since stop signs do not solve all types of problems and sometimes cause other problems, another form of traffic control may be more appropriate. In Seattle, stop signs are used to protect arterial streets and are not used as speed control. All-way stops are generally located at the intersection of two or more arterials and must meet specific warrants for installation.

Can we get the speed limit lowered?

Yes, but only rarely. The key to controlling speeds is usually to enforce the existing speed limit, provided that it is reasonable, rather than lowering it. Most people will drive at a speed with which they are comfortable, depending on the size of road and the amount of traffic.

Who do we call to investigate speeding problems on our arterial streets?

Call SDOT’s Arterial Traffic Operation at 206-233-0033.