When Kyle told us last week about the removal of the unauthorized speed-camera signs in Arbor Heights, he observed that ideally SDOT would have installed one of the new lower-speed-limit signs while there. It’s been more than a month since the announcement that all arterials would go to 25 mph – with our part of the city among the first to get new signage – so we asked SDOT for an update. The reply:
We are underway with necessary preparation work to enable us to install the new speed limit signs. We installed new speed limit signs on Rainier Ave S in December, and expect to drastically ramp up installations in February. We are prioritizing reducing speeds in Southeast Seattle first, and will then move on to West Seattle and the Central District. It will take us several months to complete this work in these neighborhoods, and up to a year and half to complete sign installations citywide.
Over the past month, our maintenance crews and planners have been working to prepare for this project. We have begun manufacturing the new signs and have also been working to determine the most effective locations for new signs on arterial roads in South and West Seattle. This requires planners to analyze crash data and scout out every arterial road to determine where signs will be most visible based on the landscape ahead of issuing work orders.
In addition to reducing speed limits, we also plan to greatly increase the number of speed limit signs in order to increase awareness of the change. Today, many arterial roads have speed limit signs roughly 1 – 1.5 miles apart. Increasing the frequently of signs makes them more visible and improves their effectiveness, so we are planning to place new signs approximately every 0.25 miles citywide. This will be a very large project, requiring us to manufacture and install about 2,500 – 3,000 new signs throughout Seattle.
P.S. We have another SDOT-project followup on the way, tonight or tomorrow: What’s left to do on the Avalon/35th/Alaska project, and how long it’ll take; we went downtown for a snow-delayed interview with project leaders.