Community Crosswalks

Updated May 12, 2021

What's happening now?

SDOT crews are planning to do repair on 11 of the rainbow crosswalks in Capitol Hill as well as clean the Black Lives Matter mural starting at the end of May 2021. Check out this postcard we mailed and delivered door-to-door to neighbors. 

What are community crosswalks? 

Community crosswalks are special painted crosswalks that are a great way to represent a neighborhood. They can be used to showcase a community's unique culture and history or just liven up an intersection with artistic and colorful stripes.

Interested in getting one in your neighborhood?

Review the Community Crosswalks Guidelines below for how to get started. Next, review the guidelines and criteria of the Neighborhood Matching Fund, which provides the financial support for the project. Community input and involvement are key to a successful application to ensure the design is reflective of community values.

Example of a community sidewalk with decorated strips

Community Crosswalks Guidelines

When evaluating locations for potential special crosswalks and planning designs, please follow these guidelines.


  • The crosswalk must be at a location where there is already a marked crosswalk.
  • The crosswalk must be at a raised crosswalk, raised intersection, or location where a vehicle is already required to stop, either due to a stop sign or traffic signal.
  • To the extent possible, the crosswalk should be on the lower traffic volume, shorter width streets at intersections. This will help extend the life of markings, and limit overall square footage, and bring cost down.

Pavement condition

  • Pavement must be in good condition to help the colored material bond well.


  • The primary purpose of this program is to create a public benefit. Therefore, images that convey messages appearing to advertise, or promote a private entity (corporation, neighborhood business, chamber of commerce, or other community organization) will not be accepted. No text or logos.
  • The crosswalk design must include the two white horizontal markings with standard design and reflectivity to mark the edges of the crosswalk and ensure it meets minimum standards.
  • Images that create a driver distraction or could be confused with traffic signs or traffic pavement legends will not be accepted.
  • The design should contribute to the visual quality of the streetscape. For example, consider using a limited palette of colors and simple graphic images to avoid visual clutter. This will also keep costs down. If original artwork is being created, a lead artist/designer should be responsible for designing the images.
  • If more than one crosswalk has been identified for the intersection, artwork should have consistency of style to create a unified aesthetic at the intersection.
  • The City Traffic Engineer will review each artwork to determine their appropriateness at the intersection.


  • Costs for a typical crosswalk are $25/square foot of material, depending on length, design, and whether traffic will need to be redirected or stopped during installation.


  • Depending on the amount of vehicle traffic on the street, painted crosswalks can last 3-5 years.
  • Community groups are responsible for all costs associated with maintenance.

All special painted crosswalks need to be approved and installed by SDOT to make sure they're safe, reflective of community values, and able to be maintained.

How do I apply to the Neighborhood Matching Fund?

The Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) awards matching funds for projects initiated, planned, and implemented by community members with the goal of building stronger and healthier neighborhoods through community involvement and engagement. Every award is matched by a neighborhood's contribution of volunteerism, donated materials, in-kind professional services, or cash. Since SDOT actually installs the crosswalk, applicants should have a strong community involvement strategy.

Some ideas include:

  • Outreach activities to the neighborhood which could include flyers, social media, etc.
  • Community meetings to discuss designs and colors and select the final design.
  • Community celebration event when the crosswalks are completed.

Where can I get help with the project?

The Neighborhood Matching Fund staff advises community groups on ways to develop successful applications and projects. Community members are strongly encouraged to contact a Neighborhood Matching Fund Project Manager before applying at (206) 233-0093 or Howard Wu at Seattle Department of Transportation can discuss your preferred location and design ideas with you. You can contact him at or (206) 684-3902.


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

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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.