Kirkland's Experience with In-Pavement Flashing Lights at Crosswalks

Source: City of Kirkland

Located in the Puget Sound region, Kirkland Washington is a suburb of Seattle and has a population of approximately 50,000. The Kirkland City Council recognizes pedestrian safety and walkability as key components in the livability of the City, and pedestrianism has been a theme of the City for some time. The In-Pavement Flashing Lights Crosswalk Warning System ("Flashing Crosswalk") is a series of flashing light units installed just below the pavement surface along the crosswalk lines and facing traffic. Its purpose is to warn drivers of the presence of a pedestrian about to cross or already in the crosswalk at uncontrolled intersections. In an effort to increase pedestrian safety, the first two flashing crosswalks installed outside of California were installed in fall of 1997, at mid-block locations in Kirkland

This paper describes Kirkland's experience with flashing crosswalks, including how the system works and how it is installed, effectiveness, response from the public and application criteria. In general, the flashing crosswalks are considered to be a success both in terms of their effectiveness in causing vehicles to respond to pedestrians and in terms of their public support. In fact, at the time of this writing, Kirkland is receiving bids for an additional 14 systems.

Back to Search Results