Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Sometimes you just have to go guerrilla: creating needed crosswalks

Left: guerrilla crosswalk in New Haven, Connecticut.  Photo by Thomas MacMillan.

So apparently the Montgomery County Department of Transportation doesn't want to put a crosswalk desired by residents in Clarksburg, until they get around to a scheduled road improvement project. See "Montgomery County denies request from Clarksburg parents to mark crosswalk: Clarksburg Elementary School parents say there have been close calls" from the Gazette.

In other communities, including New Haven and Baltimore, fed up residents tired of waiting for a crosswalk painted their own.  Also see "Urbanist Manifesto: Grab Your Spray Paint, 'Cause City Planning's Going DIY" from Building Green.

From "Caution: Guerrilla Crosswalk Ahead" in the New Haven Independent:

Frustrated by the lack of a crosswalk on a busy Whitney Avenue stretch, street-painters took matters into their own hands—and, in the view of a lawmaker down the block, inadvertently made the street more dangerous for pedestrians.

The new DIY crosswalk appeared early Sunday morning at the corner of Audubon Street and Whitney Avenue. It’s a homespun affair, comprising a column of spray-painted rectangles connecting the north corner of Audubon with the sidewalk in front of Gourmet Heaven and Moe’s Southwest Grill, on the west side of Whitney.

Below is the crosswalk that people are concerned about.

Brian Lewis/The Gazette Several families of elementary school-age children cross Stringtown Road to their Observation Drive neighborhood and wait in the median for traffic to clear. Families would like a marked crosswalk installed instead of busing students to Clarksburg Elementary School.

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