SIGN-DEMIC: Here’s what all those COVID-19-related park signs have cost

While at Alki last night to cover the Moon Dancers, we noticed the newest Seattle Parks pandemic-related signage. It’s the latest in what’s been a three-month-long series of signage, from closures to social-distancing exhortations. We wondered how many signs have been made and how much the city has spent, so at week’s end, we asked. Here’s the reply from Seattle Parks spokesperson Rachel Schulkin:

Since the pandemic began, SPR has spend $87,757 on signage for over 4,000 signs.

The signs have all been made by United Reprographics, a black-owned business that the City often uses for larger printing and signage needs. These funds have come out of our Operating Budget, and may be eligible for reimbursement for federal dollars for COVID response.

35 Replies to "SIGN-DEMIC: Here's what all those COVID-19-related park signs have cost"

  • wsresident June 21, 2020 (2:46 pm)

    Did anybody notice the ones that said, “This is what 6 feet looks like” were actually only like 4.76 ft long?

  • Mj June 21, 2020 (4:06 pm)

    $22 a sign and how much for the labor to install each sign?  

  • Jonah June 21, 2020 (4:13 pm)

    City is TOTALLY DYSFUNCTINAL!!!! Friends live in Ballard. City closed off the parking lot at Golden Garden’s. Just to the east(go under the railroad tracks) there’s a large lot. It isn’t closed. On weekends it’s PACKED. Also, the street going to GG is PACKED on weekend’s. The reason? People simply walk a little farther. The park is JUST AS CROWDED. Come out of the bunker “leader’s”. Also, I walk Alki daily. The park dept. “minder’s” I see RARELY engage people not social distancing. Couple of week’s ago walked past a couple of park dept. “minder’s” They were walking side by side with their mask’s pulled down chatting away. Yesterday watched a “minder” for about 15min. He was on a bench staring at his phone. We’re paying these people to keep us social distanced??? 

  • Jort June 21, 2020 (4:14 pm)

    Maybe a follow-up question: what’s the cost savings on how many people could have contracted coronavirus and died if it weren’t for educational materials like these signs helping to create a safer environment for all outside? Or is this just another case of “CITY SPEND MONEY MAKES ME A SAD” and we have to complain about literally everything?

    • WSB June 21, 2020 (4:22 pm)

      No one complained (note that the copy does not mention reader questions/suggestions, which I mention if they’re the reason for a story), aside from the preceding commenters. I was curious, so I asked. Curiosity is my job. Thanks for your concern. – TR

    • covid doesn’t care about your confidence June 21, 2020 (11:14 pm)

      ‘is this just another case of “CITY SPEND MONEY MAKES ME A SAD” and we have to complain about literally everything?’

      Lol, thanks for the laugh, I’m glad you’re here :)

    • West Seattle Hipster June 22, 2020 (7:00 am)

      Jort taking others to task for complaining?  Oh the irony.

    • Honestly June 22, 2020 (7:17 am)

      Thank goodness everyone has been social distancing for the past few weeks and not gathering in large crowds of thousands at a time for anything.  The city has spent money on signs at the parks so OBVIOUSLY that is “helping to create a safer environment for all outside”.

  • Sam June 21, 2020 (5:42 pm)

    $87k for signs further divide us!

  • anonyme June 21, 2020 (5:42 pm)

    I wouldn’t object if the money spent actually made a difference.   Seattle doesn’t enforce ANYthing.  Rode Metro for the first time in 4 months today, and neither of the drivers was wearing a mask.  I asked one of them why not, which irritated him.  He replied that it was “too tedious”.  You know what else is tedious?  DEATH.

    • East Coast Cynic June 22, 2020 (6:38 am)

      When you see such behavior like that in the future, get the physical number of the bus and report the driver to metro customer service.

  • Jonah June 21, 2020 (6:36 pm)

    Jort. Do YOU know the “cost saving’s” we’ve gotten by these sign’s, and the salaries of all the park dept. employees walking around?? Do you have data on how it’s helped? I suggest you get in your car and drive down to Alki or out to Golden Garden’s and see what we’re actually having our tax dollars spent on. I don’t want to get Covid. Don’t want it to spread. Really don’t want my money spent on thing’s that give some people a warm feeling but in the real world don’t work. 

  • Former Print Manager June 21, 2020 (8:43 pm)

    What gets me is that these signs use three colors – white, blue and black – when it could have been easily designed to use one color – black. The more colors you silk screen, the more labor, materials and time is spent and the price goes up. It’s not the job of the printer to manage how much their client wants to spend. It’s the Parks Dept that should be designing to save money for its citizens – all while getting out the same message. Heck! If they had a preexisting budget, they could have even printed more and gotten a bigger bang for the buck if they had used one color.  

  • Chuck June 21, 2020 (9:05 pm)

    I find it amusing that the ultra-PC press release by Rachel Schulkin points out that United Reprographics is a Black Owned company. Hey, that’s great! But since I’m pretty sure the signs for CV-19 were purchased LONG before the BLM protests became a “thing,” it’s just a little self-aggrandizing and flat-out misleading, wouldn’t you say? Give me a break, Seattle Parks. And while you’re at it, please stop wasting tax payer money telling us water is wet. Wash hands. Don’t dare breathe and constantly FEAR your fellow man/woman and you’ll be just fine, just as the TV has been telling us for months now… No mention of our God-given and perfectly honed and powerful immune system, the benefits of sunlight, being out in FRESH AIR, exercise and proper diet. Why isn’t THAT info on a sign? That would actually be worth what you paid for it. Enough with the FEAR, Seattle Parks (and media). Can we please just get on with our lives already? Turn off your TV. You’re gonna be fine. 

    • WSB June 21, 2020 (10:51 pm)

      Though I didn’t ask for any details beyond who was making the signs, the fact it’s a Black-owned business is relevant in the city’s WMBE goals.

    • covid doesn’t care about your confidence June 21, 2020 (11:08 pm)


    • wetone June 22, 2020 (9:27 am)

      Hey Chuck, I caught that also and thought it was interesting… As a long time tax payer and (use to be) parks supporter I would of preferred the statement saying : sign job was awarded to …….. based on best quality/cost, as most all would do when purchasing or awarding contracts when using own $$. This city as many others  have changed,  #1 goal is support and spend with WMBE companies……….       

    • Lagartija Nick June 22, 2020 (10:18 am)

      The city has been contracting with minority owned businesses for over ten years now because, we, the citizens of this city asked them to. The fact that you and wetone are offended by this is just one in a long list of reasons that people are protesting and marching against systemic racism.

  • Duffy June 21, 2020 (9:54 pm)

    Awesome use of money.

  • Chris K June 21, 2020 (9:58 pm)

    You can’t put a price on public safety.

  • Scott June 21, 2020 (10:26 pm)

    Is this why the parks department can’t mow the grass or pick up the trash?

    • Steve June 22, 2020 (9:00 am)

      Bingo.  The parks department also seems to have spare staff to monitor the West Seattle Stadium “crowd” – which means standing around talking on their phones for the day. 

  • Canton June 21, 2020 (11:53 pm)

    50k must have been spent at green lake alone. A couple of signs every ten feet giving directions. Like FPM said, these weren’t being made with budget constraints being considered. 

    • zark00 June 22, 2020 (10:08 am)

      Yeah, that’s because of the utter and complete failure of Greenlake patrons to social distance, wear masks, or every make a passing attempt at limiting the spread of the virus.

      • Canton June 22, 2020 (10:32 pm)

        Do the signs, for instance, help you to comply? Most of them seem pass/agg way to compel people to abide. It seemed that they had it figured out without the visual lecture.

        • zark00 June 23, 2020 (8:47 am)

          Do signs informing people of the guidance on social distancing and wearing masks work?  Is that your question?  Yes, public education programs have proven time and again to be effective.  Public awareness campaigns are among the most cost effective and impactful public works projects around. Depression and suicide awareness campaigns in Japan have, literally, saved thousands of lives.  The city should be applauded for this effort.

  • Neighbor June 22, 2020 (5:36 am)

    And then you have the guy who picks up trash every morning in Lincoln Park removing them first thing in the morning and throwing them in the garbage. 

  • Chris June 22, 2020 (8:07 am)

    I know it’s not a sign, but my favorite part was seeing social distancing ambassadors in the park carrying 6 ft poles to measure distance.  I’m sure a pretty penny was spent on that as well.  And for the record, the signs are so over the top that they have gotten to the point that they are more and more likely to be ignored.  There are many better ways to manage that situation than defacing the beauty of the park with threatening signs scattered every 5 feet. 

  • anonyme June 22, 2020 (8:20 am)

    The Seattle way is to spend exorbitant amounts of money on things that don’t work, and nothing on things that do – like enforcement.  Instead, everyone just makes up their own rules.  The signs might be collectible, though.

  • YouAreNotAlone June 22, 2020 (8:27 am)

    @CHUCK  I agree!!  Thank you. @Scott yes! And how about the new graffiti at Alki?

  • Lola June 22, 2020 (8:50 am)

    WSRESIDENT,  I love the measured sign comment.  Typical of our City to do stuff like this.  I can’t believe that they closed all of the parking lots to the Parks.  Like Johna said above people just park in other area’s close to the park or use the side streets.  When they close the parking off at Lincolin Park now the people park their cars in the Ferry lane.  Or they park across the street where they have to run across stopping all traffic to do so.  Just open the lots, your sign’s promote that they can go into the parks.  Is it just easier for the Parks dept. to say they are cutting their budget for the parks so they have no one to maintain them?  Before Covid even started the parks dept. did very little to keep them clean, this is my opinion only from seeing both Alki and Lincolin Park on a daily basis.  

    • zark00 June 22, 2020 (10:17 am)

      Agree, the sheer arrogance and self centered attitude of the people of Seattle toward this virus necessitating these signs is maddening.  It’s kind of unbelievable the peoples lack of awareness, refusal to wear masks, and inability to social distance have now made things like a 6 foot pole needed.  The people of Seattle obviously don’t get it – close the parking lot?  Oh that can’t mean I should avoid crowding the park, it MUST mean I should drive there and pack a random nearby neighborhood because my selfishness requires things to be easy and convenient for ME.  Crazy how everyone is complaining about the city, who are literally reacting to your inability to do this correctly. I see mask-less people at every single store, people have commented, recently, on this site that wearing a mask is stupid, they refuse to wear one, they refuse to social distance, one guy posted we’re having house parties, aren’t you all?  He literally didn’t think anyone was following the guidance at all.  The signs, and more, are required when the people of the city prove they are incapable of doing the right things.

  • Mj June 22, 2020 (1:42 pm)

    ChrisInterestingly enough, I saw no signs or Social Distancing Ambassadors at Cal Anderson Park near the City’s SPD East Princinct when I was bike riding in the area the other day.MJ

  • TM7302 June 22, 2020 (4:13 pm)

    The city putting up signs that people ignore.  Ah the irony… 

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