A message from Rebecca Rodni, Neighborhood Services Project Manager, City of Bellevue: The City does not allow “Children at Play” signing to be used in the public right-of-way (they are in violation of Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 46.61.075.) In fact, when we see these types of signs out on or next to the roadway, we send residents living near the signs an Abatement Notice requiring them to remove the signs within ten days. The Abatement Notice also outlines the reasons why these signs are a bad idea and gives suggestions on how concerned residents can work with the City in legitimate and effective ways.
If there are specific locations in your neighborhood where you see these types of signs, please let us know. We would be happy to follow-up with a field review and mail out an Abatement Notice where appropriate.
Why are these signs not allowed?
Please do not encourage children to play within or close to the travel way. We have observed unauthorized signs and/or traffic control cones being used on your street. Private signs and unauthorized orange cones are not allowed on or near public streets within the City of Bellevue for the following reasons:
• The signs do not work. Traffic studies have shown that they do not slow drivers or heighten attention to children in the area. Instead, parents and children become less cautious, which could cause accidents and near misses to increase.
• Signs and cones are confusing and distracting to motorists.
• If an unauthorized sign and cone caused a motorist to have an accident, this could lead to liability issues for those who placed the signs and/or cones in the street.
• Most accidents involving children are not caused by driver behavior but by the unsafe actions of the children. Because of this, we have found that focusing on educating children and parents is substantially more effective at preventing accidents than focusing on driver behavior.
• If children are allowed to play on a quiet neighborhood street, they may feel that it is safe for them to play on any street, even though other streets may have much more traffic traveling at higher speeds.
• “Children at Play” signs or other signs not authorized by the City are in violation of Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 46.61.075.
How you can improve traffic safety?
We realize that residents may walk or bike on your street. Please help us improve traffic safety for everyone by:
Setting a Good Example―Please model appropriate behavior for the children living in your home and neighborhood by walking, biking, and driving responsibly.
Requesting Traffic Safety Packets―Pedestrian and bicycle safety materials are given to interested residents. These materials teach children and adults the rules of the road.
Borrowing a Radar Dolly―Residents may borrow and place on their street a portable radar sign on a dolly. This unit gives motorists feedback on the speed at which they are driving, encouraging them to obey the speed limit.
Participating in a Neighborhood Speed Watch―With the Neighborhood Speed Watch Program, residents borrow and record information about vehicles traveling at or above 30 mph. From this information, we will locate the registered owners of the vehicles and send a letter to them asking for their cooperation in reducing their speed.
Starting a Neighborhood Speed Reduction Program―
Through this neighborhood-sponsored program, portable signs encouraging motorists to drive responsibly are circulated in an area for four months. Along with the signs, a Pace Car program is organized with residents setting the pace for the motorists following them by driving 25 mph.
Requesting a Neighborhood Traffic Calming (NTCP) Review―This program addresses severe speeding and cut-through traffic concerns in neighborhoods. Focus is first placed on education and enforcement measures.
Requesting Police Enforcement―If you feel extra police enforcement would benefit your community, we encourage you to request it by the Police Department at 425-452-6940.