Sequim "trying" mid-street planters

Peninsula News Network


Sequim, WA - Sequim officials are promising that several new concrete planters that appeared this week in the medians of Washington Street are only there on a trial basis.

The new planters, which measure about five feet in length, were placed adjacent to three of the mid-block cross-walks in the heart of town this week, with two planters flanking each crossing. The planters are part of the improvements suggested as part of the city’s “Streetscape” plans to make downtown more pedestrian friendly.

But local fire department officials are worried the planters have made Washington less than friendly for emergency vehicles. That’s because the planters have drastically cut clearance and taken about two blocks of turn lane out of action for emergency vehicles. Frequently, fire trucks, medic rigs and police cars have to use that turn lane when they are running “code”, with lights and sirens, to get around traffic.

When coupled with the narrow roundabout at the west end of Washington, and another in the works for Sequim Avenue, the planters are increasing firefighters concerns that they are losing valuable minutes of response time to reach emergencies from the fire station on 5th Avenue.

But officials at city hall say they will be watching closely to see if the planters cause problems, and promising they will be removed if that happens.


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