Did you know: Not all crosswalks are marked

How many crosswalks are there on NE 65th Street between (and including) 15th Avenue NE and 40th Avenue NE? Would you think this is a trick question if the answer is more than 50?

Every intersection is a crosswalk. Considering there are usually two corners on one side of an intersection, and considering there are 27 streets that intersect with NE 65th Street in Ravenna-Bryant, there are more than 50 crosswalks along this busy arterial road. This doesn’t include the many streets between 25th and 40th that don’t match up on the north and south sides, each with their own set of crosswalks.

Motorists must stop for pedestrians in crosswalks according to state law. Yielding the right of way means “stop”.

One of the most common complaints made by Ravenna-Bryant community members in a recent survey is that motorists do not yield to pedestrians on all of our arterial roads. This is a particular problem on NE 65th Street because so many of our children who walk alone to school are crossing it to get to and from Eckstein Middle School and Roosevelt High School.

Seattle law states, “The operator of an approaching vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the roadway within a crosswalk unmarked or marked when the pedestrian is upon or within one lane of the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning.”

As part of our mobility safety action plan, RBCA will be conducting activities to remind neighbors about the law. RBCA encourages others in our community to share information about the law and think about it when driving in the neighborhood. Ravenna and Bryant are considered “very walkable” neighborhoods where “most errands may be accomplished on foot.” The neighborhood is a safe place to live and a great place for kids to grow up. It’s everyone’s responsibility to make sure it stays that way.


Close but no cigar on your graphic.

Contrary to what your graphic says, state law does not require drivers to yield to people in crosswalks. Drivers must “stop and remain stopped” for pedestrians or bicycles in crosswalks — a huge difference if you’re a slower, vulnerable pedestrian wondering if that slow-rolling SUV is really going to stop, or if they’re planning to brush past you. Please update your graphic to accurately reflect that drivers don’t just have to slow down, they actually have to STOP for people in crosswalks.

Inga Manskopf

Thanks for better defining that motorists must stop for pedestrians.

According to state law (RCW 46.61.190), “The driver of a vehicle approaching a yield sign shall in obedience to such sign slow down to a speed reasonable for the existing conditions and if required for safety TO STOP…” The signs that SDOT sometimes places on marked crosswalks say, “State law: Yield to pedestrians.”

The primary purpose of the graphic is to remind motorists that all intersections are crosswalks. That said, I will add a caption to the graphic to note that yield = stop. If you have a better graphic that shows that all intersections are crosswalks, I’d be happy to post it.

William Wilcock

I think pretty much everybody knows the law but (1) many drivers are not paying attention and (2) most drivers do not want to stop. The law is inherently dangerous since a safe crossing relies on traffic stopping in multiple lanes and in my experience even police cars often do not stop. It would be safer is the law was scrapped and pedestrians crossing were installed across arterials with flashing lights or whatever is needed to get drivers attention (better still a red light), good lighting at night, and with some serious enforcement for those who do not stop.

Inga Manskopf

A few responses to the RBCA mobility survey indicate that there are some neighbors who do not know that every intersection is a crosswalk. During community meetings and during chats with neighbors, RBCA board members often hear that even when people are already in the street crossing the road at an unmarked crosswalk, motorists don’t always stop even when they make eye contact and some motorists yell at them to cross at the crosswalk.

In addition to raising awareness about the law, RBCA is also advocating for road design changes that are proven methods for increasing pedestrian safety. RBCA has asked SDOT to study NE 65th Street to determine what safety changes are needed. This may include flashing lights at certain crosswalks, but as of right now no changes are identified or about to be implemented.

Neighbors who are interested in advocating for changes and increasing awareness of the current law are encouraged to attend RBCA board meetings the first Tuesday of the month, 6:30 p.m., at Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center.


“… some motorists yell at them to cross at the crosswalk.”

I have been honked at because I crossed Greenwood to get to the library possibly because that intersection is not marked. Though I also had some guy yell at me to get out of the street when I was crossing a marked crosswalk when the walk light was on. I wasn’t quite sure how he expected to get from one side or the other. Did he expect me to fly?

Safety hint: never underestimate how clueless someone behind the wheel can be. Fortunately the above two examples are rare. Plus, I have noticed the pedestrian too late to stop, and that is an oops on me!