Washington state ditches 'Mile 420' and 'Mile 69' signs after repeated thefts

Source: Washington Examiner | January 12, 2019 | Vaishnavee Sharma

Washington state’s Department of Transportation is replacing mile markers “69” and “420” after repeated thefts of the signs, according to a report.

Mile markers featuring the two numbers on the state’s various highway routes have been moved back one-tenth of a mile — to become Mile 68.9 and Mile 419.9. But the solution has not always deterred theft, according to the New York Times. In 2011, a kelly-green sign marking Mile 68.9 on the state’s Route 231 was stolen — just two years after it was first installed. Replacements were also stolen in 2014 and 2016.

While the department has been facing an increasing number of thefts of metal materials placed on state highways, thieves “will typically go and take those more than anything,” Trevor McCain, a Transportation Department official told the Times of the two signs.

“They have special meanings to some people,” McCain said. The number “69” alludes to a sexual act and “420” serves as popular shorthand for smoking marijuana.

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