A new sign may be coming to a corner near you!

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Starting this week, and over the next couple of months, some 2,000 old and faded stop and yield signs will be replaced throughout the city.  The signs are being funded by a $1 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration and $100,000 in SDOT maintenance funds.  The majority of those being replaced will be stop signs, although some existing yield signs in residential neighborhoods will  be replaced or will be replaced with stop signs where they are expected to provide greater safety.

The selection of which signs to be replaced is based on age of the signs.  The reflectivity of the sign and the paint, itself, fades and consequently needs to be replaced after a certain number years. SDOT has a database of all of the signs in the City with the dates when they were installed.  We have used this database to identify the signs that are the oldest and should be replaced.

Signs will be replaced in every neighborhood of the City, although they will be particularly concentrated in Southeast Seattle, Queen Anne, Magnolia, Fremont, and Eastlake, where the number of faded signs is greatest.  A map showing the locations of the signs to be replaced (as well as whether they are stop or yield signs) can be found on the project website.  The map allows you to zoom in so you can see if you’ll be getting a new sign on a nearby street corner.

When you see the new signs you’ll notice some changes which are designed to increase the visible warning or visual cue for drivers.  Not only more reflective, the new stop and yield signs will be mounted on steel poles, instead of wood poles, which will have reflective strips so as to catch drivers’ attention from all angles. In addition, the back of the stop signs will also be red instead of the old silver color.

A private contractor will be installing the signs and it will be no easy feat. There will be two crews working with two fully equipped trucks which will serve as mobile construction operations – each truck will transport the workers, the new signs, and store the old signs being removed, plus they will be fully equipped with tools and even water so concrete can be mixed at each sign site.  At every location the old signs will be removed and the new signs will be assembled; the concrete will be mixed for the foundation into which the signs will be mounted.  Considering the time required for installing a sign along with travel time between sites, the crews will have to work at warp speed!  The entire 2,000 signs are to be installed before the end of this year.

If you believe a stop or yield sign should be replaced, please understand that the sign locations for this project have been finalized. Sign requests for additional locations should be sent to: walkandbike@seattle.gov