site banner
Seattle Clock Walk
Downtown walk map, City map, About, Clock home, About Rob
For Seattleite horological pedestrians

About > Clock Law  
Here's the law as it's written today. It didn't come about all at once. The law slowly transformed over the last century as the number of clocks increased, owners got creative with using them for advertising, and the city's needs for street space changed.

SMC 15.12.040 Street clocks.

A. No clock shall be constructed, erected or maintained in or upon any public place within one hundred (100) feet of any other clock on the same side of such place, nor within eight (8) feet of any utility pole or fire hydrant, nor so that any portion thereof extends beyond the curb line.

B. No clock shall be more than fifteen (15) feet nor less than twelve and one-half (12 1/2) feet in height from the sidewalk to the center of the clock face. Each dial or the time on a digital clock shall be illuminated from within only, by electric light of not less than ninety (90) candlepower to each dial or number on a digital clock. The clock shall be kept lighted during the hours of the day in which the municipal streetlights are lit.

C. No clock shall be erected which has a base greater than twenty-eight (28) inches nor less than sixteen (16) inches in any dimension, nor which has a dial greater than three (3) feet nor less than two(2) feet in diameter.

D. No more than two (2) lines of advertising matter shall appear upon the dial, nor anything other than the name and address of the owner, occupant or lessee upon the post or base of any clock.

E. No cloth, drapery, sign or other thing shall be added, attached or suspended from the head of any clock.

F. No person shall permit a street clock of which he/she is the owner, to incorrectly record the time unless all dials thereof are covered. The cover of such a clock shall not have advertising matter thereon. Any clock not showing correct time or which has been covered for more than fourteen (14) days shall be removed upon order of the Director of Transportation.