Working for a safe, affordable, vibrant, innovative, and interconnected city.
Learn More
Seattle.gov Home Page
Seattle.gov This Department
Link to Transportation Home Page Link to Transportation Home Page Link to Transportation About Us Page Link to Transportation Contact Us Page
Delivering a first-rate transportation system for Seattle Scott Kubly, Director

Services 

Projects 

Planning 

Resources 

Events

News

Site Index


Pedestrian Home
Reference
Policies Online
Common Pedestrian Needs
Pedestrian Law
Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board
Walk, Bike, Ride Options

Pedestrian Program - Pedestrian Law



RCW 46.04.160

Crosswalk.

"Crosswalk" means the portion of the roadway between the intersection area and a prolongation or connection of the farthest sidewalk line or in the event there are no sidewalks then between the intersection area and a line ten feet therefrom, except as modified by a marked crosswalk.

WAC 132E-16-040

Pedestrians -- Right of way.

(1) Stopping for pedestrian. The operator of an approaching vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the roadway within a crosswalk unmarked or marked when the pedestrian is upon or within one lane of the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning.

(2) Pedestrian sudden movements. No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to stop.

(3) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply under the conditions stated in subsection (6) of this section.

(4) Overtaking vehicles stopped for pedestrian. Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.

(5) Yield right of way. Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than in a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

(6) Curb ramps. Where curb ramps exist at or adjacent to intersections or at marked crosswalks in other locations, disabled persons may enter the roadway from the curb ramps and cross the roadway within or as closely as practicable to the crosswalk. All other pedestrian rights and duties as defined elsewhere in this code remain applicable.

WAC 504-14-940

Pedestrians.

(1) When traffic control signals are in place at intersections, pedestrians shall be subject to them.

(2) When traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation at pedestrian crossings, a vehicle must yield the right of way, by slowing down or stopping, when the pedestrian in the crossing is upon the same half of the roadway as the vehicle, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.

(3) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.

(4) Pedestrians who are between adjacent intersections at which traffic control signals are in operation must not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.

RCW 46.61.235

Crosswalks.

(1) The operator of an approaching vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian or bicycle to cross the roadway within an unmarked or marked crosswalk when the pedestrian or bicycle is upon or within one lane of the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning. For purposes of this section "half of the roadway" means all traffic lanes carrying traffic in one direction of travel, and includes the entire width of a one-way roadway.

(2) No pedestrian or bicycle shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk, run, or otherwise move into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to stop.

(3) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply under the conditions stated in RCW 46.61.240(2).

(4) Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian or bicycle to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.

RCW 46.61.240

Crossing at other than crosswalks.

(1) Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

(2) Where curb ramps exist at or adjacent to intersections or at marked crosswalks in other locations, disabled persons may enter the roadway from the curb ramps and cross the roadway within or as closely as practicable to the crosswalk. All other pedestrian rights and duties as defined elsewhere in this chapter remain applicable.

(3) Any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

(4) Between adjacent intersections at which traffic-control signals are in operation pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.

(5) No pedestrian shall cross a roadway intersection diagonally unless authorized by official traffic-control devices; and, when authorized to cross diagonally, pedestrians shall cross only in accordance with the official traffic-control devices pertaining to such crossing movements.

(6) No pedestrian shall cross a roadway at an unmarked crosswalk where an official sign prohibits such crossing.

RCW 46.61.261

Sidewalks, crosswalks -- Pedestrians, bicycles.

The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way to any pedestrian or bicycle on a sidewalk. The rider of a bicycle shall yield the right of way to a pedestrian on a sidewalk or crosswalk.

SMC 11.40.160

Crossing intersection diagonally.

No pedestrian shall cross a roadway intersection diagonally unless authorized by official traffic-control devices; and, when authorized to cross diagonally, pedestrians shall cross only in accordance with the official traffic-control devices pertaining to such crossing movements. (RCW 46.61.240(4))
(Ord. 108200 Section 2(11.40.160), 1979.)

SMC 11.40.180

Standard of care for drivers of motor vehicles

-- Blind pedestrians carrying white cane or using guide dog.

The driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian who is carrying a cane predominantly white in color (with or without a red tip) or using a guide dog shall take all necessary precautions to avoid injury to such pedestrian. No driver of any vehicle shall drive into or upon any crosswalk while there is on such crosswalk any pedestrian who is crossing or attempting to cross the roadway and who is indicating his/her intention to cross or of continuing on by carrying, holding up, or waving a white cane or by using a guide dog. The failure of any such pedestrian so to signal shall not deprive him of the right-of-way accorded him. (RCW 70.84.040)
(Ord. 108200 Section 2(11.40.180), 1979.)

SMC 11.40.220

Walking on sidewalk.

Where there are sidewalks provided, no pedestrian shall move along and upon an adjacent roadway. Where sidewalks are provided but wheelchair access is not available, disabled persons may move along and upon an adjacent roadway until they reach an access point in the sidewalk.
(Ord. 115323 Section 4, 1990: Ord. 108200 Section 2(11.40.220), 1979.)

SMC 11.40.240

Walking in roadway.

Where sidewalks are not provided any pedestrian moving along and upon a street shall, when practicable, move only on the left side of the roadway or its shoulder facing traffic which may approach from the opposite direction and upon meeting an oncoming vehicle shall move clear of the roadway.
(Ord. 115323 Section 5, 1990: Ord. 108200 Section 2(11.40.240), 1979.)

SMC 11.40.250

Playing in streets.

No person upon roller skates, or riding in or by means of any coaster, skateboard, toy vehicle or similar device, shall go upon the roadway of any arterial street or transit coach route, except while crossing such street at a crosswalk; or engage in any sport, amusement or exercise or play in the roadway of any street.
(Ord. 108200 Section 2(11.40.250), 1979.)

SMC 11.40.255

Use of skateboards or roller-skates on sidewalkor public path.

Every person using a skateboard or roller-skates upon any sidewalk or public path shall use the same in a careful and prudent manner and at a rate of speed no greater than is reasonable and proper under the conditions existing at the point of operation, taking into account the amount and character of pedestrian traffic, grade and width of sidewalk or public path, and condition of surface, and shall obey all traffic-control devices. Every person using a skateboard or rollerskates upon a sidewalk or public path shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian thereon.
(Ord. 113546 Section 1, 1987.)

Severability: The provisions of the ordinance codified in Section 11.40.255 are declared to be separate and severable. The invalidity of any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section or portion of said ordinance, or the invalidity of the application thereof to any person or circumstances shall not affect the validity of the remainder of the ordinance, or the validity of its application to other persons or circumstances.
(Ord. 113546 Section 2, 1987.)

SMC 11.40.420

Pedestrian right-of-way.

The City Council may by ordinance designate streets upon which pedestrians will be granted right-of-way over vehicles using that street.
(Ord. 108200 Section 2(11.40.420), 1979.)

SMC 11.58.310

Regard for pedestrians.

Notwithstanding the provisions of Chapters 11.40 and 11.44, every operator of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or person riding a bicycle upon any roadway and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary, and shall exercise all proper precautions upon observing any child or any obviously confused or incapacitated person upon a roadway. (RCW 46.61.245)
(Ord. 108200 Section 2(11.58.310), 1979.)

SMC 15.48.010

Snow and ice removal

It is the responsibility of the owner or occupant of private property to remove snow and ice on the sidewalks abutting his or her property in a timely manner and, if practical, prevent its becoming or remaining in an icy, ridged, uneven or humped condition or in a condition which is potentially hazardous to users of the public sidewalks.
(Ord. 117569 Section 121, 1995; Ord. 90047 Section 39, 1961.

RCW 70.84.040

Precautions for drivers of motor vehicles approaching pedestrian who is using a white cane, dog guide, or service animal.

The driver of a vehicle approaching a totally or partially blind pedestrian who is carrying a cane predominantly white in color (with or without a red tip), a totally or partially blind or hearing impaired pedestrian using a dog guide, or an otherwise physically disabled person using a service animal shall take all necessary precautions to avoid injury to such pedestrian. Any driver who fails to take such precaution shall be liable in damages for any injury caused such pedestrian. It shall be unlawful for the operator of any vehicle to drive into or upon any crosswalk while there is on such crosswalk, such pedestrian, crossing or attempting to cross the roadway, if such pedestrian is using a white cane, using a dog guide, or using a service animal. The failure of any such pedestrian so to signal shall not deprive him of the right of way accorded him by other laws.

School signage

WAC 392-151-030

Controlled crossings.

"School patrol controlled" crosswalks are defined as any crosswalk which is attended by a student or adult guard, and which is not controlled by a traffic signal or stop sign. School patrol controlled crossings shall not be operated unless proper traffic control devices are in place as depicted in Washington state department of transportation, Sign Fabrication Manual and Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, as now or hereafter amended. As a minimum, these shall consist of:

(1) School crossing warning signs S1-1 and S2-1

(2) Marked crosswalks

(3) School speed limit sign

"School patrol assisted" crosswalks are defined as any crosswalk which is attended by a student or adult crossing guard and controlled by a stop sign, traffic signal or law enforcement officer. When crossings are controlled by stop signs, the S2-1 may be omitted. When crossings are controlled by a traffic signal or by a stop sign, the use of the school speed limit sign may be necessary following an engineering study.

Contact shall be made by school authorities with the governmental agency having jurisdiction over the street or highway in question in order to secure the necessary signs. The state department of transportation shall be contacted concerning all state highways outside of incorporated towns and cities and on those state highways within the incorporated limits of towns and cities with a population of 22,500 or less. On state highways within the incorporated limits of cities with a population of 22,500 or more, the city public works department shall be contacted.

The county highway department shall be contacted regarding all county roads. On city and town streets, which are not state highways, within the incorporated limits of cities and towns, the city or town street or public works department shall be contacted.

When school officials and/or the safety advisory committee determines that vehicular traffic volumes are such that adequate safe gaps in the traffic flow do not occur in reasonable frequent intervals to allow safe crossings by students, this condition, as well as any other related traffic issues, shall be evaluated cooperatively with the traffic engineering authorities having jurisdiction in order that necessary studies can be conducted for the purpose of developing possible alternative measures.

Where conditions are such that a patrol member cannot be seen at least as far away as the safe stopping distance for the legal speed at the location, one of the following procedures shall be carried out:

(1) Select a safer location for the crossing at which the patrol is to serve.

(2) Cooperatively evaluate the condition with traffic authorities having jurisdiction for the purpose of developing possible alternative measures.

WAC 392-151-035

School crossing warning and speed limit signs.

Note: The department of transportation defines when children are present as:

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

2. School children are occupying or 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 three hundred feet in either direction from the marked crosswalk.

WAC 468-95-060

When children are present.

The following supplemental paragraph is hereby added to section 7B-12, "School Speed Limit Signs (S4-1, S4-2, S4-3, S4-4)," of the MUTCD:

The supplemental or lower panel of a "School Speed Limit 20" sign which reads "When Children are Present" shall indicate 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.

Parking Infractions

Crosswalks - illegal and impoundable whether marked or not 11.72.080. It is also illegal to park within 20 feet of a crosswalk 11.72.090.

Sidewalks - illegal and impoundable to park on or across (paved or unpaved) 11.73.310-.320

Driveways - illegal and impoundable (if driveway is usable). It is also illegal to park within 5 feet 11.72.110.

Planting Strips - illegal (impoundable if a traffic hazard) 11.73.360

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Site Index | News | FAQs | E-Mail Alerts