August 17, 2017
Contact: Norm Mah, Public Relations Supervisor, 206.684.8114
Summer break is winding down and next month Seattle’s youth head back to school. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is launching Operation TREE-IAGE (Triage) to make sure that the city’s Safe Routes to School locations are clear of overgrown vegetation so that students have a safe and clear walking path. This important safety project will prune trees and vegetation along school routes to improve safety as part of Vision Zero so that drivers have clear visibility of traffic control signs such as STOP, CROSSING and SPEED LIMIT. Crews will be targeting areas around Seattle’s 59 public elementary schools.
- Beginning Monday August 14, through Friday August 18, 6 teams of SDOT inspectors began inspecting routes along Seattle School District elementary schools looking for areas where trees or other vegetation blocks the visibility of school zone signs, beacons, signals, and sidewalks.
- Beginning Thursday August 17th, SDOT staff began notifying adjacent property owners if their sidewalk was partially blocked by vegetation.
- On August 21 through September 1, SDOT and contractor crews will focus along these school routes to prune overgrowth before classes begin this fall to clear sidewalks for students who walk to school, and make sure all traffic control signs, signals and beacons are free of overgrowth so drivers can adjust their speeds accordingly.
All major tree pruning operations will be overseen by an ISA certified arborist (as required by City Ordinance). Most SDOT gardeners are ISA Certified Arborists and/or Certified Horticulturists. All pruning crews will include experienced Urban Forestry Gardeners to ensure the best outcomes.
SDOT will also be engaging Seattle residents to share information on tree trimming and vegetation maintenance requirements in the right-of-way. In addition, SDOT is working with Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection to educate residents of the City’s weeds and vegetation ordinance.For more information on this project please contact: 206-684-TREE (8733) Seattle.Trees@seattle.gov.