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9th Street Crosswalk Now Visible, Shouldn’t Get Blocked Again

December 7, 2013 Accessibility, Downtown, Featured, Planning & Design, Walkability 3 Comments

Not every crosswalk point in the city is marked with paint. Ninth Street at St. Charles St was such an example, a well-used point that was unmarked. Hotel guests cross here to reach the parking garage.  But unmarked crossing points can inadvertently get blocked by motorists.

November 4th a VW Golf is parked blocking the ramp to cross 9th at St. Charles St.
November 4th a VW Golf is parked blocking the ramp to cross 9th at St. Charles St.
As seen from the opposite corner
As seen from the opposite corner

The lane where the Golf is parked is has been marked as no parking for a long time, not sure why. On the morning of December 4th I met with traffic commissioner Steve Runde to discuss allowing parking on 9th, mentioning a crosswalk designation would be nice.  The following morning it was already done!

By December 5th the crosswalk had been painted.
By December 5th the crosswalk had been painted.

Should the crosswalk get blocked now it’ll be easier to get parking enforcement to issue a ticket. Once the parking meters get installed on 9th I’ll do another post.

Thanks to Steve Runde for listening and responding!

— Steve Patterson

  • imran

    That painted cross-walk goes very well with all the classic architecture. Why don’t we have these in more places?

    • JZ71

      Paint costs money and requires labor to both install and to maintain. The Streets Dept. has limted funds to spend on everything – snow removal, pothole filling, street repaving, new curb ramps, street signals and, yes, painted crosswalks. In the greater scheme of things, painted crosswalks are a low priority unles there’s a proven safety issue.

      • Yep — it often comes down to dollars and cents. But some would definitely argue (me, for example) that a well-maintained crosswalk — whether that be a signaled intersection, painted surface or both — significantly increases safety for both pedestrians and drivers.

        For the latter, those visual cues encourage a more cautious, focused approach. And for the former, it encourages crossing at designated points, rather than mid-block.

        For heavily-traveled/walked sections, I think painted crosswalks should be the standard, for the points I mentioned above. I also believe any signaled intersection five or more lanes wide (counting parking lanes and medians) should require countdown timers. These efforts create a visual mandate which helps encourage safe, shared use of the public way.

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