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Textured and Colored Crosswalks

Textured and/or colored concrete is an aesthetic treatment used to make a crosswalk surface more visually attractive. Increasingly, capital projects and community based requests have included proposals for textured and colored concrete crosswalks.

There are a number of issues that must be considered in determining whether it is appropriate and feasible to install textured and colored concrete. The three most common issues are related to safety, accessibility, and cost.

Safety
Pedestrian safety can be compromised by textured and colored concrete in two ways: by reducing the visibility of the pedestrian facility itself (for instance, some colors are less visible at night than they are by day), or by inadvertently creating a slip or trip hazard on a pedestrian facility.

Accessibility
The vibrations experienced by wheelchair users on bumpy surfaces can make a pedestrian facility less accessible. Although textured surfaces can vary in severity from brick and cobblestone to stamped surfaces, any of these can still create difficulties for pedestrians whose mobility is limited.

Cost Implications
As textured and colored concrete is an aesthetic treatment, not a safety improvement, a distinction must be made regarding the potential funding source for projects that seek this application.

Also, please note that SDOT already restricts the use of textured or colored asphalt in crosswalks.

If you are interesting in requesting a textured and colored concrete crosswalks, or would like additional information, please e-mail the Pedestrian and Bicycle Program at WalkAndBike@Seattle.gov or call 206-684-7583.
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