Adopting a Crossing

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Adopting a crossing involves buying, preparing, and installing the buckets and flags, as well as periodically checking the flags and replacing them as needed.  

The basic idea is to provide highly visible flags with some sort of holding container on each side of the crossing.  We’ve included instructions for our current design (see Flag Instructions and Bucket Instructions) to serve as a starting point, but feel free to modify it as desired or needed to fit your particular circumstances.  Here are some ideas and things to consider.

  • When selecting a location for installing crossing flags, it should be a legal pedestrian crossing.  In Seattle, all intersections, whether marked or unmarked, are legal crossings, and are termed “crosswalks".  Details can be found here.
  • Intersections where people need to cross high-volume roads are the best candidates. 
  • We attach the buckets to existing poles.  So, there need to be poles of some sort very close to both corners of the crossing.  These can be telephone poles, street signs, etc., but we don’t think using stop signs is a good idea.    
  • How many flags?  Using 6 flags at a time per crossing (nominally 3 per side) seems reasonable, and is what they do in Kirkland.  There is some attrition, and it varies substantially between locations.  So, we suggest starting with a set of about 15-20 flags for each crossing, giving you about 9-14 replacements.   See here for more info on flag attrition. 
  • You should check the number of flags periodically (each week or so), and replace them as necessary.  Adopting a crossing involves buying, preparing, and installing the buckets and flags, as well as periodically checking the flags and replacing them as needed. 

Another group, Pedestrian InRoads, is also installing flags, and has some good ideas related to the flags and buckets. 

We're keeping a list of crossings that are good candidates for flags (see here).  Please let us know if you'd like to adopt one of them, or if you know of another that should be on the list.