Department of Transportation Scott Kubly, Director
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Curb Bulbs

Making it easier to walk in Seattle

August 31, 2016

Curb bulbs extend the sidewalk into the street, reducing the time and distance it takes a pedestrian to cross. Curb bulbs can also prevent drivers from parking in front of crosswalks or blocking curb ramps. The visibility between drivers and pedestrians is also improved with curb bulbs because pedestrians are brought farther out into the street, making crossing locations more recognizable.

Watch this short video to learn more:

Curb bulbs role in improving safety

Preliminary data suggests that curb bulbs may reduce vehicle speeds by narrowing the street. Curb bulbs might also help reduce vehicle-turning speeds if they make the turning radius smaller. Another benefit of curb bulbs is the additional space they provide. Adding a curb bulb may mean two curb ramps can be built where previously only one was possible. At locations where an Adult Crossing Guard or a student School Patrol helps students cross the street, theres more room for them to have students wait.

The best locations for curb bulbs

In all cases, on-street parking without peak-hour restrictions is required on the side of the street with the proposed curb bulb. Curb bulbs should not extend more than six feet, so they dont interfere with the people biking. In addition, curb bulbs are typically not recommended if there is a possibility of a future parking restrictions, additional traveling lanes, or if there is a bus stop in the area. In most cases, curb bulb are a good fit in locations where there are other curb bulbs within three blocks on the same street. Click here for more information on how to apply for funding to design and install curb bulbs and other neighborhood improvements.

 

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