SEQUIM — Sequim city officials want to keep traffic moving slowly through town.
City staff announced plans Aug. 13 to purchase 19 solar powered radar speed signs to place around Sequim. They are expected to be in place by October.
City Engineer Matt Klontz said Sequim City Council members expressed an interest in traffic calming measures across the city leading to proposals from four companies ranging from about $28,500 to $62,650. Klontz estimated about $77,000 is needed for the project.
RadarSigns won the bid with an estimated $3,268 per sign that features 13-inch tall LED lettering and can be programmed to input such messages as “slow down” or “too fast,” or a smiley face.
“We don’t typically have huge speeding issues in the city,” said Sequim Police Chief Sheri Crain.
“It’s more about certain neighborhoods feeling stress from a larger number of cars. [Installing the signs] is more about traffic calming.”
So far, traffic signs are tentatively set for installation at North Sequim Avenue (southbound side), South Sequim Avenue (northbound), North Brown Road (southbound), South Third Avenue (northbound), East Silberhorn Road (eastbound) and North Priest Road (southbound)
They also tentatively will be installed on both sides of the road at North Blake Avenue, East Spruce Street, West Spruce Street, North Fifth Avenue and South Seventh Avenue.
Klontz said the city will replace the existing battery-operated signs on Seventh Avenue.
Klontz said the city will rotate the remaining signs around the city as needed.
The signs offer Wi-Fi so city staff and/or Sequim Police officers can access data on speeds. Signs do not take photos or video.
Crain said the city of Sequim last had dedicated traffic personnel in 2005-2007.
“[However,] we’re still able to be proactive while being reactive,” she said.
In 2016, Sequim Police made 2,845 traffic stops, according to its 2016 annual report, which is up from the previous three years. This includes 185 traffic tickets and 332 miscellaneous traffic citations.
The city’s Transportation Benefit District will pay for the signs and Klontz said a recent chip sealing project funded by the project went about $35,000 under budget so those funds went towards purchasing 19 signs instead of 14.
For more information, contact the city officials at 152 W. Cedar St., see www.sequimwa.gov or call 360-683-4139.
Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].