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The following words and phrases, wherever used in this title, shall have the meaning as in this section ascribed to them, unless where used the context thereof shall clearly indicate to the contrary or unless otherwise defined in the chapter of which they are a part:
(1) "Active transportation" includes forms of pedestrian mobility including walking or running, the use of a mobility assistive device such as a wheelchair, bicycling and cycling irrespective of the number of wheels, and the use of small personal devices such as foot scooters or skateboards. Active transportation includes both traditional and electric-assisted bicycles and other devices. Planning for active transportation must consider and address accommodation pursuant to the Americans with disabilities act and the distinct needs of each form of active transportation;
(2) "Alley." A highway within the ordinary meaning of alley not designated for general travel and primarily used as a means of access to the rear of residences and business establishments;
(3) "Arterial highway." Every highway, as herein defined, or portion thereof designated as such by proper authority;
(4) "Business district." The territory contiguous to and including a highway, as herein defined, when within any 600 feet along such highway there are buildings in use for business or industrial purposes including, but not limited to, hotels, banks, or office buildings, railroad stations, and public buildings which occupy at least 300 feet of frontage on one side or 300 feet collectively on both sides of the highway;
(5) "Center line." The line, marked or unmarked parallel to and equidistant from the sides of a two-way traffic roadway of a highway except where otherwise indicated by painted lines or markers;
(6) "Center of intersection." The point of intersection of the center lines of the roadways of intersecting highways;
(7) "City street." Every highway as herein defined, or part thereof located within the limits of incorporated cities and towns, except alleys;
(8) "Combination of vehicles." Every combination of motor vehicle and motor vehicle, motor vehicle and trailer, or motor vehicle and semitrailer;
(9) "Commercial vehicle." Any vehicle the principal use of which is the transportation of commodities, merchandise, produce, freight, animals, or passengers for hire;
(10) "Complete streets" means an approach to planning, designing, building, operating, and maintaining streets that enable safe access along and across the street for all people, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders of all ages and abilities. It incorporates principles of a safe system approach;
(11) "County road." Every highway as herein defined, or part thereof, outside the limits of incorporated cities and towns and which has not been designated as a state highway, or branch thereof;
(12) "Crosswalk." The portion of the roadway between the intersection area and a prolongation or connection of the farthest sidewalk line or in the event there are no sidewalks then between the intersection area and a line ten feet therefrom, except as modified by a marked crosswalk;
(13) "Highway." Every way, lane, road, street, boulevard, and every way or place in the state of Washington open as a matter of right to public vehicular travel both inside and outside the limits of incorporated cities and towns;
(14) "Intersection area." (a) The area embraced within the prolongation or connection of the lateral curb lines, or, if none, then the lateral boundary lines of the roadways of two or more highways which join one another at, or approximately at, right angles, or the area within which vehicles traveling upon different highways joining at any other angle may come in conflict;
(b) Where a highway includes two roadways 30 feet or more apart, then every crossing of each roadway of such divided highway by an intersecting highway shall be regarded as a separate intersection. In the event such intersecting highway also includes two roadways 30 feet or more apart, then every crossing of two roadways of such highways shall be regarded as a separate intersection;
(c) The junction of an alley with a street or highway shall not constitute an intersection;
(15) "Intersection control area." The intersection area as herein defined, together with such modification of the adjacent roadway area as results from the arc or curb corners and together with any marked or unmarked crosswalks adjacent to the intersection;
(16) "Laned highway." A highway the roadway of which is divided into clearly marked lanes for vehicular traffic;
(17) "Local authorities." Every county, municipal, or other local public board or body having authority to adopt local police regulations under the Constitution and laws of this state;
(18) "Marked crosswalk." Any portion of a roadway distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other markings on the surface thereof;
(19) "Metal tire." Every tire, the bearing surface of which in contact with the highway is wholly or partly of metal or other hard, nonresilient material;
(20) "Motor truck." Any motor vehicle, as herein defined, designed or used for the transportation of commodities, merchandise, produce, freight, or animals;
(21) "Motor vehicle." Every vehicle, as herein defined, which is in itself a self-propelled unit;
(22) "Multiple lane highway." Any highway the roadway of which is of sufficient width to reasonably accommodate two or more separate lanes of vehicular traffic in the same direction, each lane of which shall be not less than the maximum legal vehicle width, and whether or not such lanes are marked;
(23) "Operator." Every person who drives or is in actual physical control of a vehicle as herein defined;
(24) "Peace officer." Any officer authorized by law to execute criminal process or to make arrests for the violation of the statutes generally or of any particular statute or statutes relative to the highways of this state;
(25) "Pedestrian." Any person afoot or who is using a wheelchair, power wheelchair as defined in RCW 46.04.415, or a means of conveyance propelled by human power other than a bicycle;
(26) "Person." Every natural person, firm, copartnership, corporation, association, or organization;
(27) "Personal wireless service." Any federally licensed personal wireless service;
(28) "Personal wireless service facilities." Unstaffed facilities that are used for the transmission or reception, or both, of personal wireless services including, but not necessarily limited to, antenna arrays, transmission cables, equipment shelters, and support structures;
(29) "Pneumatic tires." Every tire of rubber or other resilient material designed to be inflated with compressed air to support the load thereon;
(30) "Population center" includes incorporated cities and towns, including their urban growth areas, and census-designated places;
(31) "Private road or driveway." Every way or place in private ownership and used for travel of vehicles by the owner or those having express or implied permission from the owner, but not by other persons;
(32) "Railroad." A carrier of persons or property upon vehicles, other than streetcars, operated upon stationary rails, the route of which is principally outside incorporated cities and towns;
(33) "Railroad sign or signal." Any sign, signal, or device erected by authority of a public body or official or by a railroad and intended to give notice of the presence of railroad tracks or the approach of a railroad train;
(34) "Residence district." The territory contiguous to and including the highway, as herein defined, not comprising a business district, as herein defined, when the property on such highway for a continuous distance of 300 feet or more on either side thereof is in the main improved with residences or residences and buildings in use for business;
(35) "Roadway." The paved, improved, or proper driving portion of a highway designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel;
(36) "Safe system approach" means an internationally recognized holistic and proactive approach to road safety intended to systematically reduce fatal and serious injury crash potential; as described by the federal highway administration, the approach is based on the following elements: Safe roads, safe speeds, safe vehicles, safe road users, and postcrash care. The safe system approach is incorporated through policies and practices of state agencies and local governments with appropriate jurisdiction;
(37) "Safety zone." The area or space officially set apart within a roadway for the exclusive use of pedestrians and which is protected or is marked or indicated by painted marks, signs, buttons, standards, or otherwise so as to be plainly discernible;
(38) "Shared-use path," also known as a "multiuse path," means a facility designed for active transportation use and physically separated from motorized vehicular traffic within the highway right-of-way or on an exclusive right-of-way with minimal crossflow by motor vehicles. Shared-use paths are primarily used by pedestrians and people using bicycles or micromobility devices, including those who use nonmotorized or motorized wheeled mobility or assistive devices. With appropriate design considerations, equestrians may also be accommodated by a shared-use path facility;
(39) "Sidewalk." That property between the curb lines or the lateral lines of a roadway, as herein defined, and the adjacent property, set aside and intended for the use of pedestrians or such portion of private property parallel and in proximity to a highway and dedicated to use by pedestrians;
(40) "Solid tire." Every tire of rubber or other resilient material which does not depend upon inflation with compressed air for the support of the load thereon;
(41) "State highway." Every highway as herein defined, or part thereof, which has been designated as a state highway, or branch thereof, by legislative enactment;
(42) "Streetcar." A vehicle other than a train, as herein defined, for the transporting of persons or property and operated upon stationary rails principally within incorporated cities and towns;
(43) "Structurally deficient." A state bridge that is classified as in poor condition under the state bridge condition rating system and is reported by the state to the national bridge inventory as having a deck, superstructure, or substructure rating of four or below. Structurally deficient bridges are characterized by deteriorated conditions of significant bridge elements and potentially reduced load carrying capacity. Bridges deemed structurally deficient typically require significant maintenance and repair to remain in service, and require major rehabilitation or replacement to address the underlying deficiency;
(44) "Traffic." Pedestrians, ridden or herded animals, vehicles, streetcars, and other conveyances either singly or together while using any highways for purposes of travel;
(45) "Traffic control signal." Any traffic device, as herein defined, whether manually, electrically, or mechanically operated, by which traffic alternately is directed to stop or proceed or otherwise controlled;
(46) "Traffic devices." All signs, signals, markings, and devices not inconsistent with this title placed or erected by authority of a public body or official having jurisdiction, for the purpose of regulating, warning, or guiding traffic;
(47) "Train." A vehicle propelled by steam, electricity, or other motive power with or without cars coupled thereto, operated upon stationary rails, except streetcars;
(48) "Vehicle." Every device capable of being moved upon a highway and in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, excepting power wheelchairs, as defined in RCW 46.04.415, or devices moved by human or animal power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.
Words and phrases used herein in the past, present, or future tense shall include the past, present, and future tenses; words and phrases used herein in the masculine, feminine, or neuter gender shall include the masculine, feminine, and neuter genders; and words and phrases used herein in the singular or plural shall include the singular and plural; unless the context thereof shall indicate to the contrary.


Reviser's note: The definitions in this section have been alphabetized pursuant to RCW 1.08.015(2)(k).
Intent2023 c 431: See note following RCW 46.17.015.
Effective dateFindingsIntent2015 3rd sp.s. c 10: See notes following RCW 43.21C.480.
Severability1975 c 62: See note following RCW 36.75.010.
Aeronautics, definitions relating to: RCW 47.68.020.
Canal, defined: RCW 47.72.060.
Department, commission, secretaryDefined: RCW 47.01.021.
Ferry workers, marine employees, definitions relating to: RCW 47.64.011.
Junkyards, definitions relating to: RCW 47.41.020.
Limited access facilities, definitions relating to: RCW 47.52.010.
Signs and scenic vistas, definitions relating to: RCW 47.42.020.
Toll bridges, roads, definitions relating to: RCW 47.56.010.
Urban arterials, definitions relating to: RCW 47.26.040, 47.26.090, 47.26.100, 47.26.110.
Urban public transportation systemsDefined: RCW 47.04.082.
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