Friday, July 26, 2013

Rogue Crosswalks - It's Been Done Before

I was going through some oddball websites looking at things at random and realized I had heard of this before.

At one point I was sitting in a meeting with a number of local officials discussing something very important but very dry - Crosswalks.  You see, the law states that if there is an intersection, and a reasonable person expects a crosswalk to be there, it is there.

Now, sure that's a gross oversimplification, but basically that's the germ of the idea.   I went into greater detail about this before, and at that meeting I quoted all those dry statistics to the Chief of Police and the City Manager as well as the rest of the board.   While there was a lot of handwringing about the state of walking in Wilton Manors, nobody had a really good suggestion.

I made the comment that we should just get a bunch of people together at 230 in the morning before anyone was awake, after the bars close, and just go out and paint crosswalks where there legally should be one.

Predictably people said You Just Can't Do That, and It Has To Be Done To Code and some other vaguely confusing and slightly imposing comments about breaking the law and so on.

Not that anyone took up the banner and painted any new crosswalks in the city, it still looks the same as it ever was here.  This is the city that took many meetings to make sure that the crosswalks in the heart of town were just the right shade of rust red to match some arbitrary standard of beauty from someone long gone.  Never mind that in the Florida Sun, anything painted any color will eventually fade.   You can expect that.

On the other hand, I was greatly amused today to find out that someone had done exactly that - repaint some worn out crosswalks... In Tacoma Washington.

To paraphrase the movie Saving Grace - It's good to know that they are keeping up the tradition of total contempt for the letter of the law.  Great movie, I highly recommend it.  I'm overdue for a rewatch.

Well meaning people going out in the wee hours repainting things is an amusing concept, although it could easily render things much worse than they actually are.   Personally I'm more in favor of moving things like low hanging umbrellas in front of bars that take up the entirety of a sidewalk as well as trimming overgrown branches from trees when they're needed.

Not that I'd carry a pair of angle cutters with me on a dog walk, mind you, but that is an amusing thought.

So put away the bucket of paint.  You might annoy someone with that even if it does draw attention in Tacoma.   I'm just amused that it happened before even if it didn't happen here.

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