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A Beacon of Safety for Kids

SDOT recently installed five new flashing school zone beacons. The beacons put 20 mph school zone speeds up in lights to slow drivers down. “Adding flashing beacons has been shown to lower speeds through school zones,” said SDOT Safe Routes to School Coordinator Brian Dougherty. This typically means fewer accidents with kids and others walking in the neighborhood.

Data compiled in the City’s Pedestrian Master Plan identified Dunlap, Bailey Gatzert, BF Day, and Thurgood Marshall Elementary schools and South Shore K-8 School for these beacons based on factors such as traffic, collisions, and places that generate walking in school neighborhoods. This year SDOT will also install new school zone beacons at Coe and Beacon Hill Elementary schools, Mercer Middle School, and Garfield High School. Funding for the new beacons is provided by the Bridging the Gap transportation levy, passed by Seattle voters in 2006.

A beacon on 5th Ave. NE near Olympic View Elementary installed in 2009. SDOT operates beacons serving 45 schools.