Tree and Brush Trimming for Sight Distance

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 between 2 and 8 feet above the surface of the intersecting streets.

Sight Distance

*In the above graphic, A equals 20 feet and B equals 65’ for streets with a speed limit of 25 mph and under; B equals 100’ for streets with a speed limit of 30 mph or greater.

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 keeping sight triangles clear of obstructions on their property and out to the curb on the adjacent street. In 2016, the Washington State Supreme Court confirmed that cities must address these obstructions to keep the roadways in a reasonably safe condition. View the Supreme Court Case here (unanimous decision made).

If you live on a corner and you are not maintaining the sight distance triangle as required, 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 timeframe, the City may impose a fine that could accrue on a daily basis until the work is complete.

If you recently cleared your sight distance triangle, please report this to the City using this form.

Questions? We're just a call away at 425-249-0186.

Report Completion of Sight Triangle Work

If you are a homeowner and would like to report completion of requested work, please fill out the below form and submit photos.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Use the City’s new request management system to report non-emergency issues, make requests, and find answers to common questions.

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