Signs, Signals & Striping
Signs & Marking
To report damaged or missing signs and/or pavement markings, or to request signs and/or pavement markings, please fill out the Traffic Engineering Request Form.
After 5 pm or on weekends/holidays, missing or damaged stop signs should be reported to the Spokane Regional Traffic Management Center at 343-6401. Please provide detailed locations including street names, intersection, direction of travel (north, south, etc.), side of street and any other information helpful to determining the location.
Traffic Signal Malfunction
To report a traffic signal that is not functioning properly, please call 720-5000 Monday through Friday between 8 am and 5 pm. After 5 pm or on weekends/holidays, please call 343-6401. Please provide detailed location information, including date, time of day, street names, intersection, direction of travel (north, south, etc.), side of street, and any other information helpful to determining the location.
FAQs About Signage
"Children at Play" Signs
The City of Spokane Valley does not install "Slow, Children at Play" signs.
Traffic studies have shown that these signs do not increase driver awareness enough to reduce the potential for a pedestrian accident. Placing such a sign on the street may increase the chance of an accident because it can give parents and children a false sense of protection.
Educating children about traffic safety is the best way to reduce risk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a useful tip sheet (PDF) to help teach children about safety while walking and bicycling.
Blind Child Area / Deaf Child Area Signs
The City no longer installs these signs. As of the 2009 MUTCD, these signs are no longer MUTCD compliant. In addition, traffic studies have shown that these signs do not increase driver awareness enough to reduce the potential for a pedestrian accident. Placing such a sign on the street may increase the chance of an accident because it can give parents and children a false sense of protection.
Flashing Yellow Arrow Signals
Several new flashing yellow arrow signals have been installed for improved traffic flow and increased driver convenience. Read how they work (PDF).
HAWK Signals (High-Intensity Activated Crosswalk)
A HAWK beacon is a pedestrian-activated signal used to improve safety at crosswalks located mid-block on high-traffic roadways. The beacon uses a set of three steady or flashing lights (2 red and 1 yellow) to warn and control vehicle traffic when a pedestrian is preparing to cross. Because they only light up when pedestrians are using the crosswalk they help maintain the regular flow of traffic. Read the Hawk Signal Brochure (PDF).
MUTCD (Manual On Uniform Traffic Control Devices)
The MUTCD is a federal publication governing design and placement of all traffic controls (signs, signals, and pavement markings).
The State of Washington has adopted the 2009 MUTCD with select modifications.
- 2009 United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration MUTCD
- Washington State Department of Transportation MUTCD Modifications
Private Road Signing
The City of Spokane Valley does not furnish, install, or maintain signs for private roads including stop signs or street name signs for private roadways intersecting public roads.
Owners of private roads may install their own signs in accordance with the MUTCD (see above), and upon approval from the City Engineer when installing signs at intersections with public roads. Prior to installing signs where private roads intersect with public roads, approach permits shall be obtained.
Right-of-Way at Uncontrolled Intersections
Right-of-Way at an Uncontrolled Intersection is established by the Washington State Legislature, RCW46.61.180:
"(1) When two vehicles approach or enter an intersection from different highways at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right.
(2) The right-of-way rule declared in subsection (1) of this section is modified at arterial highways and otherwise as stated in this chapter." (see RCW 46.61.180)."
Stop or Yield signs are installed to provide safe traffic control at intersections when certain conditions are met. These factors include: type of roadways involved, accident history, traffic volumes and limited visibility. Each of these can be factors for installing either Yield or Stop signs. At intersections where the basic requirements for the above factors are not met, studies have shown that uncontrolled intersections with low traffic volumes and low speeds will experience the same or lower accident rates than controlled intersections.
Stop or Yield signs placed on a side street make the opposite street become the "through" street or the "collector street," as it is called in traffic engineering. Once established, speeds on "through" streets will increase because the driver knows that the person from the other direction is required to stop or yield at the intersection. Whereas, if neither of the approaches to an intersection is controlled, both directions of travel tend to slow down.
Federal and State regulations require the installation of all traffic control devices, including STOP signs, to follow the guidelines in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) (PDF). The MUTCD is published by the U.S. Department of Transportation and is the national standard for Traffic Control Devices.
Before installing a new Stop sign, the Spokane Valley Traffic Engineering department must conduct an engineering study of the intersection.
Stop signs may not be used to control speeding. There is no real evidence to indicate that Stop signs decrease the overall speed of traffic. Impatient drivers view the additional delay caused by unwarranted Stop signs as "lost time" to be made up by driving at higher speeds between Stop signs. Unwarranted Stop signs breed disrespect by motorists, who tend to ignore them or slow down without stopping. This can sometimes lead to tragic consequences.