Washington State Wants to Stop Theft of Mile 420 Signs. Its Solution? Mile 419.9.

The Washington State Department of Transportation includes a problem of which just won’t go away.

For years, people have persistently stolen those green as well as white mile markers posted along the highway. The most well-liked signs to pilfer are Mile 420, a well-liked number among marijuana enthusiasts, as well as Mile, ahem, 69. (If you don’t know of which one by at This kind of point, we can’t help you.)

“They will typically go as well as take those more than anything,” said Trevor McCain, who specializes in driver information signs at the Transportation Department. “They have special meanings to some people.”

So the sign aficionados in Washington had to get creative. In hot spots for sign theft, they’ve simply moved the highway marker back one-tenth of a mile as well as tweaked the sign to say Mile 419.9. Or Mile 68.9.

The solution has not always been effective. In 2009, the state added a Kelly green sign reading Mile 68.9 to Route 231 in eastern Washington, said Ryan Overton, a spokesman with the Transportation Department. Two years later, someone stole This kind of. Three years after of which, its replacement disappeared.

as well as in another two years, drivers were yet again deprived of knowing the midpoint between Miles 68 as well as 70.

Transportation Department employees also develop the burden of explaining to people of which This kind of pattern of sign theft is actually not at all a laughing matter.

The mile markers are meant to help ambulances as well as the police locate vehicles from the event of an emergency like a car crash, Mr. Overton said. as well as in rural areas, they can be crucial in giving drivers a geographical point of reference.

“These are a big safety issue, as well as of which’s why we ask people not to take them,” he said.

The Transportation Department has also tried to impress upon people of which the financial burden of replacing these signs ultimately falls on taxpayers.

This kind of isn’t the first solution of which the Transportation Department has tried. Mr. Overton said of which a department employee recalled a story via about 15 years ago in which they installed a Mile 69 marker using a steel post in concrete. This kind of wasn’t long before someone used a car to yank the sign off the ground.

Another attempt involved replacing the problem markers with blank signs, Mr. McCain said. John Bryant, a spokesman for the Washington State Patrol, said of which several years ago, when he worked from the southern part of the state, the Mile 69 marker in Yakima County proved to be particularly elusive. At one point, the state installed a blank sign to mark the spot, he said.

Mr. Overton estimated of which This kind of problem has existed for about 20 years. Rick Johnson, another spokesman for the state patrol, said This kind of felt as if This kind of had been an annoyance for “as long as they’ve had signs.”

“Or as long as 420 has been a thing,” he said. (“420” has multiple origin stories, with some saying This kind of originated that has a group of high schoolers from the 1970s who met to smoke weed at 4:20 p.m., as well as others probably mistakenly citing a police code for someone smoking marijuana.)

additional states have also tried decimal points as a solution to disappearing signage. Several years ago, Colorado went all the way to the hundredths place when This kind of created a Mile 419.99 marker for Interstate 70, The Denver Post reported. By 2015, Idaho had gone for a Mile 419.9 sign, according to The Associated Press.

There is actually some desire for Washington’s solution just south of Spokane, the state’s second-largest city. On Route 195, the Mile 69 sign was replaced with one marking Mile 68.9 about three years ago, Mr. Overton said, as well as This kind of has not been stolen since.

At least not yet.