On Saturday Mayor Mike McGinn and Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Area (CIDBIA) board member Tuck Eng unveiled the first of several bilingual street name signs at the 2013 Dragon Fest, the Chinatown-International District’s summer festival. The first sign, located at the corner of Sixth Avenue South and South King Street, is being installed as part of a neighborhood wide program in Seattle’s historic Chinatown and Japantown. Over the summer, translated street name signs in English and Chinese, or English and Japanese will be added to over thirty intersections through a partnership between the CIDBIA and the City of Seattle.
“These signs will help us celebrate the ongoing diversity of the Chinatown-International District, as well as help people navigate the neighborhood,” said Mayor Mike McGinn.
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. Neighborhood stakeholders identified translated street name signs as a way to recognize the historic significance and culture of the neighborhood. With the installation of the bilingual street name signs, the project provides a historic reminder of the populations that built the community. It also aids in preserving the CID’s identity and supports wayfinding.
“Not only is the [street sign installation] a wonderful reflection of the neighborhood’s rich cultural history, but a reflection of the international hub that Seattle has become.” says Executive Director of the CIDBIA, Don Blakeney.
Read the full press release here.