Division of
Engineering & Roads

1026 W. Broadway Ave.
Spokane, WA 99260-0170
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Traffic - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Have a question you think should be on this page?  E-mail us at:  RFInfo@spokanecounty.org  (Attn: Traffic FAQ) and your suggestion will be reviewed.

Question: Can I get a stop sign installed to slow down traffic in my neighborhood?
Response: Installing stop signs to slow traffic has not been effective. Additionally, installing a stop sign for the sole purpose of slowing traffic is not allowed by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, this manual is the standard by which all public roads are signed.
Question: When I see the red lights flashing on a school bus, when do I need to stop?
Response: You are on a two-lane roadway (one lane in each direction) or you are on a multiple lane roadway (three or more lanes) and you are traveling in the same direction as the bus. See the following for more information  RCW 46.61
Question: Why do some roads have painted stripes and others do not?
Response: Paved arterials with a few exceptions are striped; local access roads are typically not striped. The exception is when the pavement width of the arterial is to narrow, typically 20 feet or narrower. For the Arterial road map please select this link  Arterial Road Map
Question: I was told if I flash my headlights while approaching a traffic signal it will change to a green light. Is this true?
Response: No, what is changing the signal to green is a traffic detector that detects vehicles approaching the signal.
Question: I have a deaf/blind child, how do I get a deaf/blind warning sign for the road in front of my house?
Response: Print/complete this form:  Request for Deaf/Blind Child Warning Sign.  Mail the completed form to Spokane County. You can also call 509/477-3600 or e-mail your request to:  RFInfo@spokanecounyt.org  A request form with instructions will be mailed to you.
Question: When I drive through a 20 mph school zone, what does "WHEN CHILDREN ARE PRESENT" mean?
Response: On school days the 20 mph school speed limit is enforced under the following conditions:
  1. School children are occupying or walking within the marked crosswalk.

  2. School children are waiting at the curb or on the shoulder of the roadway and are about to cross the roadway by way of the marked crosswalk.

  3. School children are present or walking along the roadway, either on the adjacent sidewalk or, in the absence of sidewalks, on the shoulder within the posted school speed limit zone extending 300 feet, or other distance established by regulation, in either direction from the marked crosswalk.(ref. WAC 468-95-350 and Spokane County Code Section 46.61.4160)

Question: How do I get a "SCHOOL BUS STOP AHEAD" sign?
Response: "SCHOOL BUS STOP AHEAD" signs are only placed where there is inadequate sight distance for approaching traffic to see a stopped bus. Only requests received from a school are evaluated by Spokane County. Please contact your local school district.
Question: How are speed limits established?
Response: Response: Spokane County has what are considered blanket speed limits. Paved roads in the rural areas are 45 mph and all gravel roads are 35 mph. In the urban area local access roads are 25 mph and all arterials are 35 mph. However, there are exceptions; the exceptions are listed in the Spokane County Code. The Spokane County Code can be accessed at:  County Code  to see Chapter 46.61 "RULES OF THE ROAD".
Question: How can I get a speed limit raised/lowered?
Response: Speed limits can only be changed through the code revision process. This entails; an engineering study performed by Spokane County to determine the appropriate speed limit and a public hearing in front of the Spokane County Commissioners. At the public hearing concerned citizens can speak for/against the revision to the speed limit and then after public input the Commissioners vote on the code revision.
Question: What is Spokane County's policy regarding "CHILDREN AT PLAY" signs?
Response: The "CHILDREN AT PLAY" warning sign is not approved for use on public roads in the State of Washington. An informational sign "CHILDREN IN AREA, PLEASE DRIVE CAREFULLY" (click for image) has been allowed for use on private property adjacent to County roads in Spokane County. It is the maximum size allowed by the Spokane County Zoning Code. The public right of way is typically 25 to 30 feet on each side of the road centerline. For sign requests or assistance determining the right of way width call 509/477-3600 or e-mail request to:  RFInfo@spokanecounty.org
Question: I noticed what I believe is an unsafe area along a road that could use some guardrail, how is this requested?
Response: Call 509/477-3600 or e-mail requests to:  RFInfo@spokanecounty.org  The request will be reviewed and you will be contacted with the results.
Question: I live on a private road, (typically with a "Lane" designation). Who maintains the signs?
Response: Spokane County does not maintain private road signs. Usually the road and signs are maintained by a homeowners association. To have the signs maintained, please call a local sign company.