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School Zone Signage

Nine additional school-area flashing beacons are planned for installation by the end of 2013:

  • Assumption – St. Bridget School on NE 65th Street
  • Boren School on Delridge Way SW
  • Denny Middle School on SW Thistle St
  • Gatewood Elementary on California Ave SW
  • Hawthorne Elementary on 38th Ave S
  • McDonald Elementary on Latona Ave NE
  • Montlake Elementary on 24th Ave E
  • Rainier View Elementary on Beacon Ave S
  • Whitman Middle School on 15th Ave NW

For questions or comments about beacons planned for installation, please contact

Since 2007, SDOT has installed or improved school zone signage at more than 150 eligible schools in Seattle. Schools are eligible for school speed zone signs if they have a K-12 program approved by the Washington State Board of Education and they enroll more than 20 students.

Signs are generally placed in compliance with national standards, Seattle Municipal Code and SDOTs guidelines on school zone placement. School speed zones consist of the following:

  • An advanced warning sign located 300 feet before the start of the school speed zone.
  • A speed zone sign (“20mph When Children Present”) 300 feet in advance of the school property boundary or marked school crosswalk.  “When Children Present” is legally defined by any of 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.
  • An “End School Zone” sign indicating the end of the school speed zone.

SDOT has also installed or upgraded thousands of school crosswalk signs. These signs use a bright fluorescent yellow-green color, and include a downward facing arrow pointed towards the crosswalk, calling greater attention to locations where children will be crossing.

School Speed Zone Flashing Beacons

SDOT operates more than 60 sets of school zone flashing beacons around the city. The flashing beacons are mounted along with school speed zone signs that read “20 miles per hour when children are present or lights are flashing." Locations are selected based on traffic volume, vehicle types, speed, collisions, roadway conditions, and number of students walking to school.

When the light is flashing, the speed limit is 20 MPH - even if children are not present.

The beacons are programmed to flash during hours when most children are walking to and from school. To see the current schedule at each beacon location, click here. Beacon schedules vary day-to-day based on weather, early school dismissals, and school holidays.

This interactive map allows you to zoom in and pan around the city to take a look at where the flashing beacons are located. Additional information displayed on the map includes school locations and school walking route boundaries. If you would like to see the walking route map for a school, click on the walking route boundary and download the attachment from the popup box.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the operation of existing beacons, contact or (206) 684-7583.


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