Crosswalk Program

A family walks across the streetProviding a safe, convenient, and comfortable environment for pedestrians is a core value in the Transportation Department’s mission to deliver high quality and responsive services to the community. Contained in Bellevue’s Comprehensive Plan and other planning efforts such as the Vision Zero Initiative and the Pedestrian and Bicycle Implementation Initiative are policies related to improving the street network. 

Crosswalk practices

As the Transportation Department considers requests for new crosswalks or improvements to existing ones, staff recognize there are limited resources and such upgrades will take time. Improvements are made with the objective of addressing those areas systematically with the greatest need in a prioritized manner.

With the above in mind, Bellevue’s Transportation Department has established practices that aid in the evaluation and determination for pedestrian crossing improvements as well as having strategies in place for allocating resources on a priority basis. These practices are described in more detail in this Transportation Commission packet. The prioritized list of locations evolves as as projects are funded and new needs are identified.

As requests are made for street crossing improvements, they are logged into a dataset and assigned to an engineer in the Traffic Engineering Division for review. These crossings are then evaluated on their merit for improvement considering such factors as proximity to schools, classification of the roadway, travel speeds, traffic volume, opportunities to collaborate on other established projects, and pedestrian activity and circulation options amongst other considerations. There are also conditions under the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), which provide further guidance on when marked crosswalks are implemented and the type of features they contain. For instance, variations in color for marked crosswalks are not allowed and must be white.

Current Crosswalk System

Bellevue manages about 400 sites having marked crosswalks with various traffic control features (i.e., traffic signals, non-signalized, flashing beacon systems, etc). Of this total, about half (190) exclusively serve pedestrians; in other words, their sole purpose is assisting the pedestrian to safely cross the street. Contained within this 190 are about 100 school designated marked crosswalks.

The Traffic Engineering Division, in partnership with the Street Maintenance Division, maintain approximately 20 flashing crosswalk systems. Most of these systems are of the class referred to as Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs). Some older standard yellow beacon flashing systems remain in effect, having been installed from years past. The RRFB systems have been found to be highly effective as they draw greater attention by the motorist alerting them of a crossing pedestrian. The Transportation Department is actively working to upgrade these standard flashing yellow beacon sites or install additional new RRFB systems where they are warranted.

The operation of an RRFB can be seen below:

For more information

The City of Bellevue’s Vision Zero initiative plays an important role in the overall goal of safe pedestrian accommodation; this initiative is aimed at ultimately eliminating fatalities and serious injury collisions by 2030.

We welcome your thoughts.To provide comments or request a pedestrian crossing site be improved for a new marked crosswalk or to improve an existing marked crosswalk location, please contact Bellevue’s Traffic Engineering Division. The following form may be used for your request to help us better understand the needs of the site.  An engineer will be assigned to review the location and follow up with any findings. 

Contact

Chris LongTraffic Engineering Manager

Telephone

425-452-6013

Email

CLong@bellevuewa.gov
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