Q. Is it illegal to start crossing the street after the red hand or DON'T WALK symbol has begun flashing? A. Yes, indeedy. Stepping off the curb...

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Q.
Is it illegal to start crossing the street after the red hand or DON’T WALK symbol has begun flashing?

A.
Yes, indeedy. Stepping off the curb after DON’T WALK flashes defeats the whole purpose of having pedestrian signals for safety, says Bellevue police Officer Michael Chiu. Most are timed to give the average person adequate time to cross the street so long as they begin walking when it says to.

Turns out, it’s also illegal to cross a street without making a beeline from corner to corner within the crosswalk. Chiu suggests that pedestrians in cities with special crosswalks — the ones with flags to carry or buttons to activate flashing lights embedded in the pavement — take the time to use the devices to make themselves more visible.

Q.
What’s the deal with that strange crosswalk at Northeast Sixth Street and 108th Avenue Northeast in Bellevue, near the transit center? When am I supposed to cross?

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A.
What you’re seeing is called an all-walk crosswalk, similar to some in downtown Seattle and in parts of Europe, and probably familiar to those of you who’ve traveled to Pasadena for a Rose Bowl or two.

Here’s how it’s supposed to work: All pedestrians cross the street, even diagonally if they wish, while cars and buses stay put at the light. Then, pedestrians stay put at the corners while cars and buses cross the intersection and make their turns.


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Sue Stewart, a transit safety officer with King County Metro, says the goal is to boost pedestrian safety by having them cross the intersection “at one grand moment.”

Bellevue’s all-walk crosswalk is unique, however. Since the intersection forms a T, pedestrians traveling north-south on the east side of 108th Avenue Northeast actually have two chances to cross the street: Once during the all-walk phase, then again when north-south traffic gets a green light. Buses heading in or out of the transit center must yield to pedestrians during this phase, Stewart said.

Early warning

Bellevue:
Possible nighttime closures of up to three eastbound Interstate 90 lanes in the Eastgate area over the weekend would allow crews to restripe the highway and make space for construction of a new on-off ramp for buses.

Carnation:
The Tolt Bridge west of Carnation will be closed for repairs through 6 p.m. Sunday. Suggested detours are Highways 202 or 203.

Snoqualmie:
The Meadowbrook Bridge on Meadowbrook Way near Snoqualmie will be closed for construction through October. Suggested detours are Highway 202 or Reinig Road/428th Avenue Southeast.

Karen Gaudette: 206-515-5618 or kgaudette@seattletimes.com