Traffic Control Manual

Traffic control manual The Seattle Traffic Control Manual for In-Street work is available below in PDF format as a complete document or by subject area. You may also visit us in the Seattle Municipal Tower downtown, at 700 Fifth Avenue, to view the manual at either the Permit Counters.  The manual was last updated in 2012 with input from all users of the streets, including contractors, utilities, agencies, vendors, and the community at large. Important changes of note are:

  • Sign code change to reflect Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices convention
  • Added language for curb space use
  • Rewrite of pedestrian section to improve traffic control for blind pedestrians
  • Rewrite of bicycle access section to improve safety
  • Web version to include CAD sketch options
  • Changes to reflect Street Car and Pay stations within the City
  • Added generic sketches

Traffic Control Manual




Introduction and SDOT Director's Note

  1. General Information
    1. Purpose and Intent
    2. Responsibility
    3. Glossary
  2. General Requirements
    1. General
    2. Planning
    3. Time of Work
    4. Work Area
    5. Placing Signs and Equipment
    6. Short Duration and Mobile Work
    7. Speed Control
    8. Parking Control
    9. Existing Traffic Control Devices
    10. Maintenance of Traffic Control Devices
  3. Procedure for Obtaining Permission to Work in City Streets
  4. Materials and Personnel for Traffic Control
    1. Channelizing Devices
      1. General Application
      2. Vehicular Barricades
        1. General Requirements
        2. Type I and Type II Barricades
      3. Vertical Barricades
      4. Cones
      5. Tubbular Guide Posts
      6. Drums
      7. Others
    2. Channelizing Device Placement
    3. High Level Warning Device
    4. Illumination and Light Device
    5. Pavement Markings
    6. Flagger
      1. Qualifications
      2. Equipment
      3. General
      4. Stations
      5. Control Procedures and Signals
  5. Types and Methods of Signing
    1. General Requirements
    2. Regulatory Signs
    3. Warning Signs
    4. Guide Signs
    5. Special Signs
  6. Pedestrian Access, Control and Protection
  7. Bicycle Access
  8. Detours and Street Closures
    1. Permission and Notification
    2. Detour Requirements
    3. Requirements withing Streets Closed to through Traffic
  9. Emergency Work
  10. Enforcement
  11. Barricading and Signing Illustrations

    Channelization and Warning Devices Figure
    Regulatory Signs Figure
    Guide Signs
    Pedestrian Control
    Full Roadway Closure Typical Detour Plan
    Symbols and Legends
    Lane closure on a Two Lane Road with Low Traffic Volumes
    Work Area on Right Side of Street (Minor Arterials)
    Right Lane Closure (4 lane 2-way street)
    Left Lane Closure (4 lane 2-way street)
    Work Area in Center of Street
    Center Lane Closure (one-way street)
    Multiple Lane Closure (one-way street)
    Traffic Shift Over Centerline
    Two-Way Left Turn Lane Closure
    Work Area in Center of Intersection
    Work Area Beyond Intersection (curb lane)
    Work Area Beyond Intersection (center lane)
    Work Area Beyond Intersection (center lane - left turn provided)
    One Lane Closure (2 lane 2-way street - horizontal curve)
    Survey Crew (Intersection - arterial street)


Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

Newsletter Updates


Sign up for the latest updates from Transportation

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.