SDOT has installed flashing school zone beacons at Bailey Gatzert and Thurgood Marshall Elementary Schools in an effort to remind drivers to slow down. The department plans to install them near Garfield High School later this year.
To remind drivers to take it slow near schools, the City of Seattle has installed new flashing school zone beacons at Dunlap, Bailey Gatzert, BF Day, and Thurgood Marshall Elementary schools and South Shore K-8 School. The beacons are accompanied by signs that designate a 20 mile per hour speed limit when children are present or when the lights are flashing. The Seattle Department of Transportation also recently made additional school walking route improvements at BF Day and at Dunlap Elementary.
“Adding flashing beacons has been shown to lower speeds through school zones and lower vehicle speeds typically result in fewer pedestrian injuries and fatalities,” according to the Seattle Department of Transportation’s (SDOT) Safe Routes to School Coordinator Brian Dougherty.
These schools were selected for upgrades based on data compiled in the City’s Pedestrian Master Plan, including street classification, speed, traffic volumes, collision rates and nearby pedestrian generators. In 2011, SDOT will install new school zone beacons at Coe and Beacon Hill Elementary schools, Mercer Middle School, and Garfield High School. This is the first time SDOT has planned to install new school zone beacons at a middle school and a high school.
SDOT now owns and operates 47 pairs of school zone beacons serving 45 public and private elementary schools. Funding for the new beacons is provided by the Bridging the Gap transportation levy, passed by Seattle voters in 2006.