City to evaluate use of pedestrian crossing flags

Posted on 07/13/2017
Crossing Flag

Pilot project underway at two crosswalks in Old Bellevue

City staff will evaluate the use of pedestrian crossing flags with a pilot project at two crosswalks on Main Street in Old Bellevue, starting Thursday, July 13. While other cities have tried this low-tech approach as a way to enhance pedestrian safety, it’s the first time the brightly-colored flags will be available in Bellevue.

The intended purpose of the flags is to improve safety for all roadway users at marked crosswalks. Over the course of one year, traffic engineers will evaluate the flags’ effectiveness in preventing pedestrian-vehicle incidents since few transportation studies have examined their use. If the system is found to be effective, other crosswalk locations in the city may be considered for the flags. 

Crossing flags are easy to use (video). First, grab a high-visibility flag from a bucket located near the crosswalk. Next, stand at the curb, hold the flag up, and wait for traffic to stop. Once vehicles have stopped, you should look both ways and walk across the street, using caution, while holding the flag out. When you reach the other side, place the flag in the holder.

Members of the public interested in helping with the pilot project can do so by:

  • Reporting when flags are missing from their buckets by calling 425-452-6856 or emailing Senior Transportation Engineer Kurt Latt at

  • Giving feedback on use of the flags by emailing

  • Redistributing the flags evenly if one side of the street has more flags than the other.

More information about pedestrian crossing flags is available on the project web page.  

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