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Engineering

SRTS Engineering efforts include construction improvements, school zones and crosswalk striping, and school zone beacons. 

 

School Zones and Flashing Beacons

A School Zone is determined by several factors, including a legal maximum distance from the designated school crossing or the school property line. The maximum distance a school zone may be is determined by Washington State law (RCW 46.61.440).

   

The City of Tacoma operates school zone flashing beacons at various public and private schools to indicate to drivers that the 20 MPH school zone speed limit is in effect. School zone beacons are installed on arterial roads only and operate during pre-determined arrival and dismissal times. Some flashing beacon locations are associated with automated traffic enforcement cameras, sometimes referred to as school zone speed cameras. These cameras are active when the school zone flashing beacons are active. 

 

City of Tacoma established a new school zone beacon policy in 2022 that extends the school zone flashing beacon times to 40 minutes each morning and afternoon when schools are in session. Learn more about these schedules and factors in the School Zone Flashing Beacons policy

 

School Infrastructure Updates

The City of Tacoma uses the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Action Plan’s school prioritization analysis to make physical improvements in order of priority and based on available funding. We are happy to announce the following schools have received funding through the Safe Routes to School Program, or through partnership with other City of Tacoma departments' efforts. 

 

School

Project Description

Estimated Start

Estimated Completion

Funding Source

Larchmont Elementary School

Green infrastructure project adding continuous sidewalks and traffic calming along A St and E B St. 

Winter 2023

 Summer 2023

Dept. of Ecology Grant 

Whitman Elementary School

Add bulbouts and pedestrian flashing beacons (RRFBs) at S. 40th and M St. Install raised crosswalks at the schools crossings on S. 39th St and S. 40th St.

Summer 2023

Fall 2023

City Council

Edison Elementary School

Improve school crossings and infill sidewalk along S. 60th St. Add bulbouts and pedestrian flashing beacons (RRFBs) at S. 60th St and Oakes. Install speed hump on S. Pine St.

Summer 2023

Fall 2023

City Council

Lincoln High School

Add raised crossing on S. 37th St. and traffic circle on S Tacoma Ave. 

Summer 2023

Fall 2023

City Council

Manitou Elementary School

Install raised crosswalk and pedestrian flashing beacons at school crossing on S. 66th St. Add protected bike lane from Tyler St. to Cheyenne St.

Summer 2023

Winter 2023-24

WSDOT SRTS Grant

Birney Elementary School

Add bulbouts and pedestrian flashing beacons (RRFBs) at S Yakima Ave  and S 76th St. 

Summer 2024

 Fall 2024

City Council

 iDEA High School

Infill missing sidewalk, construct bulbouts, and add pedestrian flashing beacons (RRFBs) at S Yakima Ave and S 68th St. 

Summer 2024

 Fall 2024

TIB Grant

Roosevelt Elementary School

Construct missing link sidewalk along school walking route on E. Roosevelt Ave.

Summer 2025

Fall 2025

City Council

 

 

The following schools have received City of Tacoma and grant funded Safe Routes to School infrastructure improvements: 

 

School

Completed Improvements

Year Completed

Funding

McCarver Elementary Pedestrian refuge island, curb ramps, and crossings along J St.   2016  City Council
Blix Elementary Bulbouts, curb ramps, and RRFBs along E 38th St; raised crossing and bulbouts along E 40th St (in partnership with Environmental Services).  2020 City Council and Department of Ecology grant
Lister Elementary Bulbouts and curb ramps, and new School Zone flashing beacons along E 44th St.  2020 City Council
Sheridan Elementary Bulbouts, curb ramps, and sidewalk infill along E. McKinley Ave. and E I St.  2018 City Council
First Creek Middle School HAWK signal installation and new school crossings along Portland Ave. E.  2020 City Council and WSDOT grant
Mary Lyon Elementary Accessible Pedestrian Signal (APS) crossing Pacific Ave. and sidewalk infill with curb ramps along S 46th St.  2021 City Council and WSDOT grant
Stanley Elementary New school crossing, bulbouts, and RRFBs at S. 15th St. and Grant. Curb ramps at S. 17th St. and S. Ridgewood Ave.  2020 City Council