Signals and Signs are a Big Deal

When you drive through an intersection and look at up a traffic signal, it doesn’t look that big, right? Well, they are actually quite large. The most common comment we get from people on the street is about how large a signal is when you actually see one up close.

Below, our electrician Brian Tuck, who is 6’1″, stands next to a standard 3 section signal with 12” lights.

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Tall electricians mean tall signals.

In 2009, the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, which is the federal standard, required all new signals to change from 8” lights to 12” lights, so they are more visible to drivers.

Another surprisingly large item that we install are the overhead directional signs that you see at some signaled intersections. These signs are different than the smaller, street name signs that you see on most street corners.

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See the difference between the sizes of the “N 80th St” sign on the signal pole versus the one on the corner (with Fremont Ave N)? Much bigger.

Below, Brian is standing next to a standard Street Designation Sign.

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Denny Way is bigger than you thought.

Again, these signs don’t look that big when you drive by, but up close they are as tall as Brian (6’1″). And if the street name is extra-long, the sign can be even longer – the “Martin Luther King Jr Way S” sign is 8 feet long!

For more information about signals or signs contact Brian Forsythe at brian.forsythe@seattle.gov or at 206-386-1538.