Street Name Signs Project Delivered!
Last Updated: 8/25/2016
SDOT has replaced Street Name signs throughout Seattle
The nine-year project to replace all street name signs in Seattle is nearly complete!. We've replaced Street Name signs throughout Seattle with funding from the voter-approved Bridging the Gap levy. New federal standards meant we had to update signs to a new larger style.
To meet this goal, we replaced signs at between 1,000 and 1,700 intersections per year. Each year, we changed out these signs, responded to resident requests and questions about street name signs, and special projects like honorary and bilingual street name signs.
The Street Name Sign Replacement Program is now closed, but we'll still be providing related services: sign maintenance and updates, honorary and bilingual street name signs, and street name changes.
How can you buy an old street name sign?
Damaged Street Name sign?
Damaged Street Name signs can be reported by calling the 24-hour SDOT Dispatch line at (206) 386-1206.
Bilingual Street Name Signs
Translated street names may be included on street name signs at the request of community groups and only within culturally relevant boundaries approved by SDOT and Department of Neighborhoods. When included on street name sign blades, translated street names will appear in white lettering on brown background below the current legal name in white lettering on green background. Bilingual sign blades are to be otherwise treated and maintained to SDOT standards. The translation language must be appropriate to the neighborhood history and demographic, and the translation language must be approved by SDOT and Department of Neighborhoods.
In 2013 we installed bilingual street name signs in the International District's Chinatown and Japantown. The community proposed the project and provided funding through a Department of Neighborhoods Neighborhood Matching Fund grant. The project had the full support and help of the community, with many hours of volunteer effort. The Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Area (CIDBIA) worked with the community to coordinate the translation process, using local professional translators and community input. There are no direct translations for some of the street names and they chose to translate those street names to words and phrases meaningful to the community, and that phonetically sound like the street name in English.
This year we have installed bilingual street name signs in the Little Saigon neighborhood. The community and Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda) proposed the project as part of the Little Saigon Placemaking project. It was completed in conjunction with SDOT, Office of Economic Development (OED) and Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD). The signs are English and Vietnamese, and in the standard bilingual street name sign style. The project had the full support of the community, and they volunteered to translate the English street names into Vietnamese. The translations selected maintain continuity with street name signs in Vietnam and in Little Saigon communities across the US.
Brown Street Name Signs
Federal regulations allow for only a few alternate colors on street name signs, including brown. Brown is a sign color that normally designates cultural or recreational interest signs. In Seattle, brown street name signs are used for: honorary street name signs, Parks Department roads, and Olmsted boulevards. On these roads, street name signs for the cross streets are being replaced using the standard green style. If you have further questions about the brown Street Name signs on Parks Department roads or Olmsted boulevards, you can speak with Seattle Parks and Recreation Department at 206-684-7241, or view their website http://www.seattle.gov/PARKS/
How to Read a Street Name Sign
A Pedestrian symbol indicates a pedestrian facility.
A Bicycle symbol indicates a bicycle facility.
An Arrow symbol indicates that the street named on the sign is located where the arrow is pointing, and not on the other side.
Block numbers are the numbers located in the upper corner of a street name sign, and are a system of numbers used to distinguish addresses along a street. For example, a building located at 1234 Market Street is on the 1000 block of Market Street. If you're facing a street name sign, the block number you see indicates the addresses on the street in front of you (not the street named on the sign). Throughout the city the block numbers get larger as one travels away from the city center.
The city of Seattle is split up into sectors of NW, N, NE, W, central, E, SW, S. These sectors are shown on the street name signs before or after the name of the street. With a few exceptions, Avenues run north to south and Streets run west to east. The adjacent maps show the sectors by Avenue and Street. It can be seen on the maps that the sectors are different for Avenues and Streets, which helps to determine in which neighborhood an address is located.