Bogus street signs cause controversy in North Seattle

Road signs in a North Seattle neighborhood are causing problems for drivers and residents.

SEATTLE — Many drivers use Northeast 103rd Street to bypass Northgate Mall traffic and quickly get onto Interstate 5.

On the streets, there are signs instructing drivers to not use the roadway for thru traffic. One day, the signs were covered with plastic bags.

KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Deborah Horne spoke with a neighbor who uses the street and ignores the sign.

“We’ve got the worst Department of Transportation in the country here,” said Chralie Estes. “If I don’t use this road, I have to go down to a road that can barely fit one car, and if I don’t use this road and not that road, then I have to go three blocks up there and turn left. So in order to get to my place, I have to break the law.”

The covered street signs are not the only issue in the neighborhood.

Northeast 105th Street is a narrow two-way street, but some residents insist the roadway should just go one direction.

David Harris told KIRO 7 that a do not enter sign was put up on the roadway, which made it a one-way street.

“I saw the do not enter sign on Friday, a week ago yesterday,” said Harris. “Then about two days later, the sign was gone. It was missing, and then this new sign said one-lane road ahead. So now it’s not a one-way, only it’s a one-lane road ahead, which it’s been for forty-some years.”

KIRO 7 reached out to Rick Sheridan of the Seattle Department of Transportation, and he said only the city can change a street’s direction.

“In addition to being illegal, it also puts others at risk,” said Sheridan. “Traffic should flow in both directions there, but only one lane at a time, and that is the appropriate configuration.”

John Ready, who has lived in the neighborhood for 25 years, said the city's got it wrong. He insisted 105th Street should have a travel restriction like most of the other roads on this side of the neighborhood.

“The one-way sign was a great idea, and why they took it back down, I don’t know,” Ready said. “This is the last road, and the only road that you cut through, and it’s the wrong road. It’s a 10-foot wide road, and it’s dangerous, and it needs to be closed.”

Sheridan said anyone who has an issue about a street can call the city and have them come out to take a look. They should not take matters into their own hands, and if caught, they could be charged with a crime.

Anyone that would like to contact the Seattle Department of Transportation should call 206-684-ROAD(7623).