Today is Mayor Jenny Durkan‘s 100th day in office. (And she’ll be back in West Seattle tonight.) Her office sent a long list of what she’s done in those first 100 days – and one section of the list caught our eye, touting hundreds of new street signs:
Maintaining and Preserving Our Roads, and Responding to Winter Weather: Under Mayor Durkan’s first 100 days, the City has made important strides in maintaining and preserving our City’s roadway infrastructure. In the last 100 days, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) filled 7,200 potholes, installed 128 new crosswalks, 360 new directional signs (like speed limit signs), and replaced 62 street signs. In addition, SDOT teams worked approximately 32 shifts over 16 days to respond to the threat of snow and ice from late December to early March.
Though a breakdown wasn’t provided, anecdotally we’ve seen a fair number of new “no parking” signs around the area, mostly the kind meant to warn you from parking too close to a corner or driveway. A few of them have also removed parking spaces.
With the intent of a story about the signage – even before today’s mayoral list – we asked SDOT recently about the sign additions, and spokesperson Karen Westing shared the explanation from the Transportation Operations team:
Projects that install parking restrictions can generally be grouped into three categories:
-projects where parking restrictions are part of a larger operational change
-projects signing the existing legal restrictions
-projects that restrict otherwise legal parking to reduce collision risk or improve roadway function
Seven signs – including the ones in our photos – placed recently here in Upper Fauntleroy, SDOT says, were “examples of the second and third types,” as were signs placed in a north Morgan Junction neighborhood that was the original reason for our inquiry. In that neighborhood, near 41st/Graham, she told us, “we restricted two parking spaces to improve sight lines between drivers on Graham coming over the crest of the hill and pedestrians crossing the street.”
Westing says the signs are installed in batches “because our layout and maintenance/installation crews group nearby projects to avoid unnecessary travel-time.” And she says they often are the result of “constituent correspondence” – such as complaints – that result in a review by SDOT engineering staff. Side note: While researching this, we realized that the little flags we had seen placed in planting strips, marking utility lines, seemed to be the precursors to sign installation, so if you see them, new signage might be on the way.