- Departments & Divisions
- Street Operations
It is important to the City to have clear, well-maintained and well-lit roads to ensure that traffic flows as smoothly and safely as possible. In order to accomplish that, the City must manage and monitor several factors.
The City manages these street operations:
- Pothole & pavement repair
- Signs and markings
- Street lighting
- Street sweeping
- Snow & ice response
- Right of Way Herbicide Program
The City monitors:
- Sight Distance Triangles - Public and Residential areas
City Street Operations:
Potholes start in cold temperatures when groundwater freezes and expands. Once the ground thaws out, it returns to a normal level, but the pavement pushed up during the ground freeze remains raised. This causes a gap between the pavement and the ground. Vehicles riding over these gaps cause the road surface to crack and fall into that hollow space. To report a pothole, please use the Report an Issue link and include the exact location.
Signs and road markings are essential tools for traffic flow control and public safety. However, the City recognizes that improper or overuse of these tools could have the converse effect. The City of Redmond follows national traffic engineering guidelines outlined in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).
Examples of requested signs
The City of Redmond does not install STOP signs for the purpose of controlling traffic speed. STOP signs are used at locations where a failure to assign right-of-way could result in an accident, for example at an intersection where sight distance and accident history is a problem.
The consequences of placing a STOP sign in an unwarranted location may exceed the benefit. When placed in an inappropriate location they can:
- breed disrespect for STOP signs in general
- cause fast stops and accelerations
- give pedestrians and cross-street drivers a false sense of security
- antagonize otherwise reasonable drivers
Children At Play signs
A "Children at Play" sign is usually requested in the hope that it will reduce vehicular speeds and raise awareness for drivers that there are children in the neighborhood. Traffic studies have shown that "Children at Play" signs do not increase driver awareness to the point of reducing pedestrian collisions.
Please note that "Children at Play" signs installed by residents on public streets will be removed by the City of Redmond.
Nearly 4,000 streetlights illuminate highways and city streets in Redmond. Some streetlights in Redmond are owned and maintained by the City, while others are owned and maintained by Puget Sound Energy.
All City and PSE owned lights on arterials and major residential streets are surveyed by Traffic Operations Safety and Engineering Division (TOSE) staff annually during nighttime surveys to identify and repair streetlight outages.
|PSE-owned light poles have a white tag with 4 letters followed by 4 numbers.||City-owned light poles have a yellow-green tag with 4 numbers.|
LED Streetlight Conversion
In January 2018 City crews with the help of McKinstry and Northwest Edison began converting City owned streetlights from High Pressure Sodium (HPS) to Light Emitting Diode (LED).
The conversion to LED resulted in 50 percent lower energy consumption, four times the bulb life vs. high pressure sodium lights, and a much more uniform light distribution pattern. Typically, an HPS system is over-designed to compensate for light level reduction to 70% of its original brightness over 4 years. An LED fixture will reduce to a light level of 95% in about 10 years. Longer bulb life also translates to extended maintenance intervals.
Staff also use a control system that will dim the lights to target light levels. The control system can also provide reports of light failures to alert crews for response.
LED Streetlight Retrofit Info
- Council staff report and approval December 2016/January 2017
- Applied for DOC Energy Efficiency Grant in March 2017
- Project Statistics: Retrofitted over 1,750 city owned street lights with LEDs. Includes system controls
- Annual outcome benefits: $139,985 utility savings; $19,287 material savings; 1,505,212 annual kWh savings; 2,376,835 lbs. CO2 emissions reduction
- Estimated project cost: $2,076,400. Potential DOC grant of $350,000; PSE rebate of $251,025; $400,000 15/16 energy efficiency program budget; finance the balance
- Project completed February 2020 with Warranty Period projected to end February 2021
Street sweeping is an effective method of removing both the large and microscopic pollutants that collect on city streets and serves as one of our Best Management Practices (BMP) to control and improve water quality.
The City of Redmond conducts regular street sweeping to provide two main benefits:
- The removal of paper, leaves and other visible debris that collects in gutters can prevent localized flooding during heavy rains
- Removes metal particles and other hazardous waste products left by passing vehicles
Residential sweeping is performed on a quarterly basis, and arterial and bike lane sweeping occurs every two weeks throughout the city. It is also provided after heavy wind events, and extra sweeping is performed during fall leaf season.
Reasons street sweeping was not completed:
- Obstructions on street such as cars, bicycles, toys and refuse containers
- Low-hanging trees and shrubs - homeowners trim/prune vegetation to no less than 10' above the street level
The City currently does not have the tools to set a consist street sweeping schedule, because there are too many factors that can cause delays to a schedule such as:
- Weather - heavy rainfall, wind storm, snow and ice
- Parked cars on both sides of the street
- Garbage collection schedules and garbage cans placed in the street throughout neighborhoods
- Overhanging tree limbs that prohibit our crews from getting to the curb to clean a street - sometimes overhanging tree limbs prohibit our equipment from accessing a street
The City of Redmond Public Works Department, Streets Division, maintains streets within the City. As part of that program, the division conducts snow and ice response to mitigate the conditions during a snow and ice event.
While the program is designed to provide a safe roadway system, it will not eliminate the impacts or effects of a snow and ice event. If at all possible, stay at home during a major snow event.
The City of Redmond utilizes:
- Three 5-yard truck with Plow/Material Spreader
- One 5-yard truck Plow/900 Gallon Liquid Anti-icing Applicator Trucks
- One 5-yard truck 900 Gallon Liquid Anti-icing Applicator Trucks
- One 1-Ton 400 Gallon Liquid Anti-icing Applicator Truck/Material Spreader Truck/Plow
- Two 9000 Gallon CCB Tanks
- One 140-Ton Salt Shed
For more information, visit our Snow & Ice Response page.
- Maintaining Redmond’s streets helps ensure that the investments made into our roadway infrastructure are preserved. A Pavement Condition Index (PCI) rating of at least 70 or better for all streets combined is an indicator of good roadway maintenance. Redmond is currently at a 71 PCI (a preferred level of service), the rating has been declining steadily since about 2003 as infrastructure built in past decades ages.
The primary reason for the decline is the high cost and frequent maintenance needed for Redmond’s arterial streets. There are 219 lanes miles of arterial streets and 128 lane miles of local streets (each local street has two lanes and arterial streets have multiple lanes.) Compared to either Bellevue or Kirkland, Redmond spends considerably less per lane mile of arterial than either of those jurisdictions, despite having a disproportionately higher number of arterial streets. This is an important distinction for Redmond since the cost to fully maintain an arterial lane mile is about four times as expensive as a local street lane mile.
Crack Sealing Program
What is Crack Sealing?
Crack sealing is a proven pavement preservation technique that can extend the expected life of a roadway by up to 8 years. Crack sealing prevents water from seeping into cracks in the pavement where it can freeze, expand, and damage the pavement. Crack sealing helps reduce structural deterioration, minimize pothole formation, and can prevent pavement distresses. It helps maintain streets in good condition, postponing the day we need to repave or rebuild them.
Why Crack Seal?
Asphalt crack sealing is a cost-effective way to maintain the roadway surface because it helps to prevent larger maintenance projects down the road. Pavement that continues to deteriorate requires repair and replacement methods that can cost 3-4 times more than crack sealing. Approximately 70% of Redmond’s roadways currently fall within the Pavement Condition Index (PCI) range for crack sealing (70-85).
Crack seal candidate (PCI 70) Reconstruction required (PCI 40)
When Do We Crack Seal?
Crack sealing is recommended during dry conditions when pavement temperatures are neither too hot nor too cool – generally fall and spring.
How Are Streets Selected for Crack Sealing?
Street Maintenance and Traffic Operations staff select roads based on several criteria including:
- Residential roads not scheduled for future overlay projects.
- Pavement Condition Rating (PCI) between 70-85.
- Distribution throughout the city.
The impacts of crack sealing are minor compared to a repaving project, but there are some impacts.
- Parking restrictions: The work area covers from curb to curb, so parking will be restricted on both sides of the street during the day(s) of the crack sealing from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. “No Parking” signs will be installed prior to the start of work. The parking restrictions are typically removed as soon as crews complete the maintenance work.
- Schedule: Weather permitting, crews plan to start the crack sealing operation in early September and late April. “No Parking” signs will be installed prior to the start of work, and informational flyers will be distributed, which provides a good indication of the timing of the upcoming work. Work will be scheduled around normal garbage and recycle collections days. If you need more information regarding the schedule, please contact us.
- Lane Closures: There will be no full street closure during the operation. Redmond crews will keep one lane open in each direction. Lane closures may last approximately 3 to 4 hours. Traffic flaggers will be present during maintenance work. Sidewalks will always remain open.
- Access to driveways and alleys: Access to driveways may be disrupted for a few minutes during the day of the work, but Redmond crews will work to minimize any delays and will aid as needed.
Area 1 - Education Hill Area 2 - Willows/Rose Hill
Area 3 - Overlake Area 4 - Idylwood
Area 5 - Idylwood
Right of Way Herbicide Program
Why the Program is Necessary
The Streets Maintenance Division uses herbicide applications because it is the most efficient and effective means of controlling vegetation in the targeted areas. Targeted areas are comprised of guard rails and rockeries that make mechanical removal using hand tools extremely labor intensive. These areas also have minimal pedestrian traffic. Applying herbicide to these areas saves an estimated 400 hours of staff time compared to mechanical removal while also reducing staff exposure to fast-moving traffic, steep slopes, and other safety hazards.
How Risks Will Be Mitigated
Herbicide is applied in accordance with the City’s Integrated Pest Management Plan and all applicable state and local regulations. All applications are performed under the supervision of City staff with current Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) certifications. Numerous measures are taken to avoid negative impacts to people, animals, and the environment.
Risks are mitigated by:
- Using specialized equipment to minimize staff contact and precisely target locations (2 ft along guard rail bases)
- Avoiding areas at high risk of contact – residences, parks, sensitive persons, creeks, streams, etc.
- Streams and wetlands will be protected by a 50 ft buffer zone on each side where no herbicides will be used
- Avoiding all locations that convey or treat stormwater runoff, such as ditches and bioswales (program and targeted locations were reviewed by Environmental Utilities and Services Division staff)
- Performing operations at night when fewer people are active, and pollinators are dormant
- Performing operations when wind remains under 5 MPH and rain is not forecast for at least 24 hours
- Posting signage at locations where herbicide was applied
The City is also exploring design changes so that new guardrails are easier to maintain without herbicides, by improving weed suppression and using alternative control methods.
Where Herbicide Will Be Applied
Areas targeted for herbicide application consist of 4.3 miles of guardrail in 83 locations across the City and selected rockeries. There will also be spot applications to patches of class A and B noxious weeds (species requiring management by King County Integrated Pest Management).
Signs will be posted identifying areas where herbicide is being applied.
See the map below for more information on herbicide application locations.