Mile signs continually purloined are Mile 420, a beloved number among marijuana buffs, and Mile 69, for ‘maturer’ reasons … thereby, Washington State’s changing up.
The Washington State Department of Transportation has an issue that just won’t evaporate.
“They will typically go and take those (’69’ and ‘420’) more than anything,” Trevor McCain states, who is a driver information sign specialist at Washington’s Transportation Department. “They have special meanings to some people.”
Therefore, the sign connoisseurs in Washington had to get imaginative. In spots where sign theft is great, they’ve shifted simply the highway marker back one-tenth of a mile and adapted the signs to say Mile 68.9 and/or Mile 419.9.
In 2009 however, Washington added a Kelly green sign in eastern Washington reading Mile 68.9 to Route 231, explained Ryan Overton, a Transportation Department spokesman. Two years later, someone pilfered it. Three years after that, its successor vanished.
And in an additional two years, motorists were yet again disadvantaged of realizing the midpoint between Miles 68 and 70. “These are a big safety issue, and that’s why we ask people not to take them,” Overton added.
The mile markers are designed to assist ambulances and help law enforcement to pinpoint vehicles in the event of an emergency (e.g. a car crash). And in rural areas, they can be vital in providing drivers with a geographical point of reference. Overton estimated that this dilemma has existed for roughly 20 years. “Or, as long as 420 has been a thing!”
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