First bilingual street name sign unveiled in International District

SEATTLE - The first bilingual street name sign has been unveiled at the corner of Sixth Avenue South and South King Street Saturday.

"These signs will help us celebrate the ongoing diversity of the Chinatown-International District, as well as help people navigate the neighborhood," Mayor Mike McGinn said in a press release.

Throughout the summer, thirty intersections will see name signs in English and Chinese, or English and Japanese.

"We are thrilled to be the first district to introduce translated street signs to Seattle," says Don Blakeney, the Executive Director of the Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Area.

Each sign will be18 inches in height and vary between 36, 42, and 48 inches in length. The lettering will be white on a brown background for translated signs.

Funding for the project came from a Small and Simple Matching Fund Grant, as well as the voter approved Bridging the Gap ballot measure. Old existing signs already scheduled for upgrading were included in the Bridging the Gap ballot measure.

The Small and Simple Matching Fund Grant, through the Department of Neighborhoods, provided $20,000. The Seattle Department of Transportation's Street Name Sign Program contributed $6,000.

According to the press release, the CIDBIA worked with over 100 neighborhood stakeholders, fifteen family associations, local ethnic media, the University of Washington and translators from the Seattle Municipal Court to translate the existing street names into traditional Chinese and Japanese.