Noticed these around town? A guide to street colors

SDOT strives to make the roads safe for all travelers. To achieve this goal, SDOT is using roadway markings such as painted identifiers to encourage safer and more predictable travel.

These colorful street markings are meant to draw attention and promote visibility for all who use the roads, regardless of mode of transportation.

Roadway colors you may come across around the city:

Red bus lanes


These visible red “bus only” lanes are meant to provide additional cues to alert drivers that these are meant specifically for ‘transit use only’ and improve driver compliance for these bus lane restrictions. The goal of these lanes is to help make transit flow more smoothly, to help those who take transit get to where they’re going.

Green and white bike facilities

Green1 Green2

Green bike lanes and bike boxes designate a space where bicyclists can travel with general traffic in a more predictable, visible, and safer manner. The green pavement also indicates spaces in which bicycles and other traffic may cross paths. It alerts drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians to be extra aware of each other. To learn more about bike facilities, please visit

Multicolored crosswalks


Multicolored crosswalks, like the rainbow crosswalks on Capitol Hill, are previously marked crosswalks that have been painted with unique colors and are meant to highlight a community’s culture and history or liven up an intersection crosswalk with a colorful design. This is a great way for our neighborhood communities to celebrate themselves in a creative and visual manner. For more about current crosswalks and how to request one, please visit:

Beige curb bulbs


Beige painted curb bulbs are meant to extend an existing curb and shorten the crossing distance in an intersection. The light color helps increase pedestrian visibility in locations including busy streets near schools where kids are traveling to and from.

For more information other ways we are making the roads safer for everyone, please visit our Vision Zero homepage at Please travel safely and be aware of others!

Happy Blue Friday, Today is PARK(ing) Day!!

Ready to play a game of mini-golf in the street? What about making Swedish flower crowns? It’s all happening today for PARK(ing) Day!

Seattle businesses and community groups will be installing over 50 temporary pop-up parks in on-street parking spaces today between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. These parks will feature all types of games and activities and are part of an international event that seeks to raise awareness about the importance of walkable, livable, and healthy cities.

PARKing Day is Here!!

PARKing Day is Here!!

Check out the map of pop-up parks on our website to plan your park visits! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter throughout the day (@seattledot and @parkingdaySEA) and use #SEAParkingDay for your own photos!

Thoughtful Thursday: Why is the sidewalk bumpy?

In your travels around the city, you may have noticed these at the bottom of curb ramps and other locations.



What are these bright yellow bumps? What purpose do they serve?

This textured surface, known as a detectable warning surface, consists of bumpy domes that physically alert blind or visually impaired pedestrians that they are about to enter the street. Detectable warning surfaces are well-recognized underfoot and with a cane, and also act as a secondary confirmation for pedestrians of their whereabouts when coupled with the sound of surging traffic, grade changes on sidewalks, and other methods to assist with wayfinding.



Detectable warning surfaces also visually contrast from adjacent surfaces to provide another layer of detectability for pedestrians with low vision. While the federal standards do not specify a color that must be used, the most widely used color in Washington is yellow, as it provides a high level of visibility.


Detectable Warning Surface at Transit Platform

In addition to curb ramps, street intersections, and medians, detectable warnings also pop up in some other specific locations, such as rail and transit platforms and at rail crossings, like in Pioneer Square Tunnel Station.

For more information, you can contact SDOT’s ADA Coordinator, Michael Shaw at

Pop-up Parks Coming to a Street near You this Friday 9/18!

Friday, September 18, is the annual PARK(ing) Day event, and local businesses and community groups will be installing temporary pop-up parks in neighborhoods throughout Seattle.

PARK(ing) Day!

PARK(ing) Day happens once a year, on the third Friday in September, and is an opportunity for any Seattleite to temporarily turn on-street parking spaces into public space. Seattle’s PARK(ing) Day is part of an international event that raises awareness about the importance of creating a walkable, livable, and healthy city and helps people re-think how streets can be used.

Because we know you probably have to go to work or school on Friday, we’ve extended the hours of this year’s event to 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. so that everyone will be able to check out the creative ways their friends and neighbors are transforming their streets. There will be art installations, games, pop-up protected bike lanes, an outer space-themed lemonade stand, and just about anything else you can imagine!

Check out the new map of all the parks on our website and start planning your park-hopping now. We’ll be live-tweeting the event, so be sure to follow @seattledot and @parkingdaySEA on Friday and use #SEAParkingDay for your own photos!

Signal Box Artwork helps keep Seattle safe and vibrant

Signal Box artwork by Melanie Cook.

Signal Box artwork by Melanie Cook.

In 1924, Seattle’s first automated traffic signal was installed at 4th Ave S and Jackson Street. Now, 91 years later, the city has more than 975 signalized intersections, each one with its own signal control box situated nearby. Usually somewhat non-descript in appearance, these boxes quietly help traffic flow smoothly through the city – but recently, some Seattle communities have turned these helpful boxes into beautiful works of art through the Traffic Signal Control Box Artwork Program. A partnership between SDOT and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, this program lets these boxes become canvases for area artists, and mini-exhibitions that residents and visitors can enjoy for many years.

Additionally, designs can help highlight distinct aspects of Seattle neighborhoods, and can help discourage graffiti.

In addition to commissioned paintings, art can include:

  • Photos
  • Maps of your neighborhood
  • Vinyl wraps of different designs


Art can incorporate a variety of themes, but all designs need to be OK’d by the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture before they can be installed. A word to the wise: be sure your design doesn’t include any symbols that may mimic traffic signs – artwork should not prompt any traffic confusion or reduce driver or cyclist visibility. Keep arrows, yellow diamonds and red hexagons out of any designs!

Signal box artwork by Tamera Weikel.

Signal box artwork by Tamera Weikel.

Interested in resurfacing some of your neighborhood’s traffic boxes with some new pieces of art? Visit Street Use’s pages on Traffic Signal Control Box Artwork here to learn more about installation guidelines, art proposals, and the street use permit application process.



New One-Stop Website for Newsstand Maintenance and Construction Launches

There is a new one-stop website portal for the community and contractors to connect with newsstand owners. SDOT has partnered with multiple newspaper publishers and distributors to launch a newsstand maintenance and construction use reporting site. will help community members report newsstand maintenance needs directly to a newsstand owner, it will also help to coordinate and track temporary construction relocation requests.

Community members can report newsbox concerns and connect contractors with newsbox owners. This collaborative effort between SDOT with area publishers will help keep sidewalks more accessible.

The site was created after many months of discussions regarding the condition of Seattle’s newsstands. Until now there was no centralized way to report damaged or abandoned newsstands, or to request temporary relocation of newsstands during construction activity. The website includes locating map software and is available in more than 90 languages.

Newsstands ( sticker on left)

Newsstands ( sticker on left newsbox image)

Another idea from the partnership is decals now being placed on newsstands citywide to raise awareness of the communication opportunity.


Construction is coming to Greenwood – Community Open House Tonight!



Join Us
We are excited to share the latest news about the Greenwood Ave N Transit and Sidewalk Project at our September 14 open house event. We will provide a project updates, review what to expect during construction, and answer questions from the community.

Construction begins in early October
Construction is set to begin in early October and continue through April 2016, weather permitting.
The project includes transit and sidewalk improvements on Greenwood Ave N between N 90th St and N 105th St.


Project goals
• Improve safety for people who walk, drive, and bike
• Create a more visually appealing corridor
• Improve sidewalk access and crosswalks at intersections
• Improve safety and comfort for transit riders
• Increase predictable travel patterns for all road users

Construction impacts
• During construction, the community can expect:
• Parking restrictions
• Bicyclists merge with vehicles
• Limited use of center turn lane
• Minor detours for people who walk along Greenwood Ave N
• Limited access to adjacent properties (including driveway closures) with advanced notification
• Restricted access to/from side streets

Project details

Map of plans: click to enhance

Map of plans: click to enhance

The project includes new sidewalks, planting strips, curbs, and crosswalk markings. The project will also upgrade bus stops, closing some stops and relocating others to improve bus stop spacing through the corridor. Four new “bus islands” will keep buses in the travel lane and reduce conflicts between buses, bicycles, cars, and pedestrians. The bus islands will feature shelters, pedestrian lighting and bike racks.
This work is funded by the Bridging the Gap Levy, a Neighborhood Street Fund Grant, and a State Transportation Improvement Board Grant. The total estimated cost for this project is $3.5 million.
To learn more, visit the project webpage and sign up for email updates. We look forward to the open house tonight and hope to see you there!

New Community Crosswalk Program, Celebrate Your Neighborhood!

The city is announcing the Community Crosswalks program, a new way for community members to acquire neighborhood oriented crosswalks.

SDOT and Seattle Department of Neighborhoods are jointly working on this program to allow interested community members to showcase their neighborhood’s unique culture and history or just liven up an intersection crosswalk with a colorful design. This is a great way for the city to celebrate our neighborhood communities in a creative and visual manner.

This is about celebrating and enhancing community identities,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “The iconic rainbow crosswalks on Capitol Hill started a broader conversation on how we can incorporate neighborhood character in the built environment across Seattle. I’m excited to see more history, culture, and community on display for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

Spurred by the popularity of Capitol Hill’s rainbow crosswalks, which were installed in June, residents can now use the existing Neighborhood Matching Fund to request such crosswalks. This will allow unique crosswalks to be approved and installed through an established process, ensuring that they are safe, reflective of community values and can be maintained.

Capitol Hill Rainbow Crosswalk

Capitol Hill Rainbow Crosswalks

To be eligible for an installation by SDOT, applicants will need to adhere to City guidelines for crosswalk locations and designs. Crosswalks must be sited where vehicles already stop for a traffic signal or stop sign, the design should consist only of horizontal or vertical bars, and the pavement underneath must be in good condition.

“We are pleased that other Seattle neighborhoods are being inspired by Capitol Hill’s rainbow crosswalks,” said SDOT Director Scott Kubly. “Through this joint SDOT/DON effort, we can transform other crossing points into tangible signs of community pride.”

Crosswalks typically cost about $25 per square foot, depending on the complexity of the design and installation, and can be expected to last approximately 3-5 years based on the amount of vehicular traffic at the location. More information about the program can be found here: Crosswalks installed or modified outside of this process will be reviewed by SDOT and removed/repainted if determined to be unsafe.

The Neighborhood Matching Fund provides matching dollars for neighborhood improvement, organizing, or projects that are developed and implemented by community members. More information about the longstanding program can be found here:

SDOT and AARP Seattle Partner to Achieve Vision Zero

SDOT and AARP Seattle are launching a new public service campaign that highlights safety tips for people driving and walking. The campaign is part of Seattle’s Vision Zero plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030.


Video, online, and radio announcements will run throughout September on KOMO 4 TV, Univision Seattle, KOMO News Radio, KVI Talk Radio and The campaign’s timing coincides with the historic trend of collisions increasing during the darker and wetter months of fall and winter.

Seattle is aggressively working to reduce serious and fatal collisions on our streets through Vision Zero. Partnering with AARP on this campaign allows the city to reach drivers and our most vulnerable residents to enhance the safety of our roads.

While Seattle is consistently recognized as one of the safest cities in the country, more than 10,000 traffic collisions occur each year. In 2014, there were 3,449 injury collisions reported to the Seattle Police Department. 15 people died due to those crashes in 2014, including five who were walking or riding a bike.

Education is a key component to help keep our most vulnerable populations (people young and old, walking and biking) safe and achieve Vision Zero in Seattle – a term that comes from the belief that death and injury on city streets are preventable. This is the second year that SDOT and AARP have teamed up on traffic safety. The public service announcements are being made possible with a grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission and funding from AARP.

People over age 50 are particularly vulnerable on Seattle’s streets, representing 70 percent of pedestrian fatalities in the last three years. As a partner in Vision Zero, AARP Seattle is working with the City to help raise safety awareness and prevent collisions.

The City of Seattle is committed to ending traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030. Earlier this year, Seattle launched Vision Zero to design smarter streets, enforce existing laws, and educate the public on safe travel behavior. For more information, visit

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse.

Lake City Way NE

Lake City Way N

Central District Streets Will Transform into Parkways this Saturday, Sept. 12!

HSummer Parkways 2ey there, if you’re looking for something fun to do Saturday while the summer sunshine is expected warm things up to 80?  The city would like to invite the you to join Seattle Summer Parkways, hosted by the Seattle Department of Transportation this Saturday 9/12 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Central District.

More than 40 blocks of streets will be transformed into open-street “parkways” where people can bike, play, walk and run. A three-mile route, totaling 46 blocks, will be closed to through traffic from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. but open to local traffic. Residents can still park and access the streets.

CD Map

This free, all-ages celebration will create an expansive, temporary open space where thousands of friends, families, and visitors can participate in dozens of community-based activities, from skateboard demos, to puppeteers, to art activities to food truck dining. In addition to participating in the activities, residents are encouraged to explore the open spaces by biking, running and walking along the route.

Activities will take place in four neighborhood parks: Pratt Park, Judkins Park, Garfield Playfields and Powell Barnett Park (please see attached map). Events include food trucks, buskers, live music, Zumba classes, Zorba Ball, Skate Like a Girl demos, bike polo and more.


In partnership with Seattle Summer Parkways, Bike Works will raffle off 10 free bicycles at Garfield Playground. Bicycles will be available for all-ages; winners must be present to win. For more information, visit and follow Seattle Parkways on Facebook and Twitter @SeattleParkways #SeattleSummerParkways.



Summer Parkways 1