Day: October 12, 2023

Creative Crosswalks

Creative Crosswalks

As communities become more pedestrian-friendly, it’s not unusual to see colorful Creative Crosswalks pop up all over town. These eye-catching designs aren’t just fun to walk on — they can help remind people to check for cars before crossing the street, making streets safer and more pedestrian friendly for all users. But despite their popularity, creative crosswalks haven’t been without controversy. Some have been removed after the federal government deemed them distracting for drivers. And some have been blocked from getting started altogether due to strict guidelines that include specific specifications for white lines and paint.

But cities are increasingly looking to loosen those restrictions to allow for more community-inspired designs. The City of Seattle, for example, now has a formal program where neighborhoods can request creative crosswalks. It’s even testing them at schools to see whether they help encourage kids to get out and move around in their neighborhood.

From Dull to Delightful: Transforming Communities with Creative Crosswalks

NPR’s Brett Dahlberg spoke with the lead designer of a new crosswalk in Spartanburg, which features four different artists’ designs. The project was conceived of by the Chapman Cultural Center in partnership with the Downtown Development Partnership and OneSpartanburg.

These painted intersections can celebrate a city’s culture or history. A crosswalk leading to the Stonewall Inn in New York, for instance, is painted with rainbow colors for Pride month. And a crosswalk in Denver is designed to look like piano keys, an artistic nod to the city’s nickname as the Mile High City.