Good sight distance is critical to reducing the potential for traffic collisions. Safe driving requires enough clear sight distance on a road for a driver to be able to see in order to react in a way that is predictable to other roadway users. When sight distance is clear, drivers can avoid potential collisions with objects in the road or with other vehicles entering the flow of traffic from a side street or driveway.
Sight distance problems frequently occur in neighborhoods where homeowners plant and fail to maintain tall shrubs or build fences that block a driver's view. Drivers need unobstructed horizontal and vertical views within what is called the sight distance triangle to be able to see oncoming traffic from any direction.
What is a sight distance triangle?
These are areas defined by a driver's line of sight and the location of a visual barrier that is a potential safety hazard.
Signs, fences, hedges, shrubs, natural vegetation, trees, and other inanimate objects greater than 18 inches in width are not permitted within the sight distance triangle.
Utility poles, traffic control devices, trees, an other inanimate objects 18 inches or less in width are permitted when spaced at an adequate distance as to not significantly obstruct the sight distance triangle.
Section 21.52.040 of Redmond's Zoning Code includes the City's requirements for keeping sight distance clear.
What is my responsibility as a homeowner for keeping sight distance clear?
Homeowners are responsible for maintaining sight distance up to the back of the sidewalk on their property. If you live on a corner and a sight distance problem is evident on your property, the City will notify you by mail to take care of the problem by a specific date. If the problem is not resolved within that time frame, the City may impose a fine that could accrue on a daily basis until the work is complete.
Report a problem
A sight clearance problem that presents an immediate traffic safety hazard, such as a stop, yield, or speed limit sign blocked from view by overgrown vegetation, has to be resolved within 24 hours and should be reported immediately. Call 425.556.2800 or Report a Problem.
Parked cars that block sight distance should be reported to the Police Department at their non-emergency number. Call 425.556.2500.
If you aren't sure who you need to talk to, call Redmond's Code Enforcement Office at 425.556.2465.