Trees obstructing school zone signs to be pruned Tuesday
At the beginning of the school year, the Ballard News-Tribune received a tip that trees were still obstructing school zone signs from view near Whittier Heights Elementary.
The BNT followed up with District Coordinator Rob Mattson, who said he had initially sent in a report to the Seattle Department of Transportation on Sept. 10. He had also since received notice of a total of four spots near four different schools, all along 80th Ave NW, where trees had not properly been pruned -- a practice that is normally buckled down on right before school starts.
The spots include First Ave NW, Third Ave NW, 10th Ave NW and 27th Ave NW.
Community members, including the principal of Loyal Heights Elementary, have expressed concern for the safety of their children. Without being able to see the sign, many drivers have no way of knowing to slow down.
"I'll move away if this crap keeps going on," one disgruntled resident said in a phone call to the BNT.
BNT followed up with SDOT to find out what was being done. After crews were sent out to inspect the problem, spokeswoman Marybeth Turner gave an update:
"SDOT’s Urban Foresters have looked at these areas and I am happy to tell you that they are going to begin pruning on Tuesday, September 25," she wrote in an email. "While they will complete the work as soon as possible, they can’t tell us at this point how long it will take."
The following are the actions being taken, according to Turner:
- The crews will perform spot pruning to improve sightlines to the signage and beacons at Third Ave NW and First Ave NW.
- The sightlines at 27th Ave NW appear to be clear, with the exception of some graffiti which will be reported today.
- SDOT trees are in need of significant maintenance pruning between approximately 10th Ave NW and Mary Ave NW. This work had been scheduled for 2013, but it is being moved up. "No Parking" easels will be set in advance to shift traffic out of the work zones.