Walk to School!

New beacons near Olympic View Elementary

New beacons at Olympic View Elementary

Whether your walk to school is just a few blocks or uphill for miles in the pouring rain against the rotation of the earth, SDOT’s Safe Routes to School program is doing its part to make your walk more comfortable.

Thanks to the Bridging the Gap Transportation levy, all Seattle schools both public and private are now equipped with school zone signage. As a result of this effort, all drivers must pass a “School – Speed Limit 20” sign when approaching a school. The reduced speed signs are accompanied by an advanced warning sign located 300 feet before the start of the school speed zone and an “End School Zone” sign to indicate the end of the school zone. These signs improve the walking environment for students and parents by slowing cars down and raising driver awareness to the presence of children.

In addition, our Safe Routes team installed flashing beacons at four schools in 2009. The new beacons are located at Blaine K-8, Kimball Elementary, Dearborn Park Elementary and Olympic View Elementary. We now operate flashing beacons at 39 schools around the city and we’ll be adding five more in 2010. Flashing beacons are generally installed for school zones on arterial streets with high traffic volumes and speeds. The beacons provided greater emphasis for the reduced speed limit and are programmed to flash during hours when most children are walking to and from school.

Though today is the last day of school before winter break, be mindful of these reduce speed zones when classes start up again on January 4th.