Pedestrian Crossings

Updated February 15, 2022

What's Happening Now?

Hardened Centerlines

In September 2021, hardened centerlines were installed at four intersections along Rainier Ave S. These are small rubber barriers next to crosswalks that require people driving to make slower, more square left-hand turns. This small change has been proven to significantly slow down vehicle speeds at crosswalks and improve safety for people in the crosswalk. Learn more here.

Driver Education Campaigns

Washington State Law requires that drivers stop for pedestrians to cross at all intersections, even if they are not marked.  Despite broad awareness of this law, we continue to observe low rates of driver compliance.  Pedestrian Master Plan staff and Vision Zero staff teamed up and were successfully awarded a grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission to educate drivers about two important and complimentary initiatives - 1) that all intersections are legal crossings, even when they are not marked, and drivers are required by law to stop 2) that slower 25mph speeds on arterials save lives. 

Stay tuned, this campaign will be rolling out in 2022 and 2023!  

Background

Funding from the 9-year Levy to Move Seattle was allocated for projects identified in the Pedestrian Master Plan. One category includes improving crossings of arterials at high priority locations.  Over the course of the levy, SDOT has committed to improve at least 16 intersections per year. 

Improved crossings include a wide array of treatments such as marking a legal crosswalk, installing a pedestrian refuge island, installing a rectangular rapid flashing beacon, constructing concrete curb bulbs, or providing pedestrians a head start at intersections using "leading pedestrian intervals."  To see a more complete list, view SDOT's Engineering Toolkit.  

Watch this short video to learn more about the benefits of curb bulbs:

Intersections are identified for improvements using a variety of criteria including the rank in the Pedestrian Investment Network (a composite index of access to public schools and the frequent transit network), high priority locations for safety and equity, a strong desire to cross, as well as opportunities to leverage other pubic investments to stretch our limited public resources farther. 

To learn more about which intersections are planned for improvements or have recently been improved, see the Pedestrian Master Plan Implementation Plans which are updated annually.  

Other Resources

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