Exit133 is about Tacoma

The City Responds to Guerrilla Crosswalks

​Over the last few weeks we’ve seen the emergence of citizen public works projects in the form of crosswalks, bike lanes, bike boxes, and other pedestrian accommodations. We first saw it at the corner of Sixth and St. Helens. The paint was ground away along with a layer of asphalt. In the last few days, the intersection at Division and Tacoma Avenue has been completely ... reworked. The city has now responded:

Crosswalks may seem no more than simple stripes, but determining where they go takes more consideration than citizens may think.  A recent rash of unofficial crosswalk markings have City of Tacoma staff asking residents to find better ways to channel their desire for pedestrian enhancements.


“We understand and empathize with our citizens’ desire for more pedestrian facilities, but this form of vandalism is not acceptable and can quickly become a significant resource drain and safety hazard. The City will pursue legal action against those engaged in this kind of illegal activity,” said City Manager T.C. Broadnax.

Crosswalk markings create visual emphasis for drivers and guide pedestrians to the best crossing locations. Therefore, poorly located crosswalks lead to safety concerns and the City will continue to act swiftly to remove unofficial markings.

Before creating any new crosswalk, City staff use standards from the Federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices to help determine when conditions are favorable. Considerations include: pedestrian and traffic volumes, street width, traffic speed, sight distance, collision history, traffic control devices and ADA accessibility. 

Are you going to put away your paintbrushes now? 


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Comments

Published Author RR AndersonRegistered

STRIKE HARD AND OFTEN!

June 7, 2013 at 2:46 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Published Author RR AndersonRegistered

June 11, 2013 at 10:40 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Published Author RR AndersonRegistered

every crosswalk ground away by the city just makes the crosswalk look like a real crosswalk!

June 7, 2013 at 2:59 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Dustin

These DIY crosswalk makers just need to get better about their craft. They need to make their crosswalks look like every other crosswalk so the city isn’t even sure if it’s real or not.

June 7, 2013 at 3:08 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Joel

maybe the city manager should learn the law? all corners are crosswalks for pedestrians and card have to stop of there is a pedestrian at them.

a crosswalk is not defined by stripes on the road, it is emphasized by them.

same with bike lanes. bikes are entitled to the entire lane but are suggested to stay to the side of the lane with cars giving a 3 foot clearance.

June 7, 2013 at 3:16 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Jane

maybe the city manager should learn the law? all corners are crosswalks for pedestrians and card have to stop of there is a pedestrian at them.

a crosswalk is not defined by stripes on the road, it is emphasized by them.

same with bike lanes. bikes are entitled to the entire lane but are suggested to stay to the side of the lane with cars giving a 3 foot clearance.

Thank you so much for posting this! This bit of law needs to be more fully understood. The guerilla crosswalks I’ve seen have been where it is already legal for pedestrians to cross, and where, traditionally, cars will not stop.

As a transit rider and walker, I cannot remember the number of times I’ve stood at corners waiting for traffic to understand they need to stop for me or the number of times I’ve almost been hit when in a marked crosswalk, with a walk light in my favor.

I applaud the work of those painting the stripes.

June 8, 2013 at 9:12 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Mike Belle

To be fair, crosswalks that are not at intersections are in fact defined by their stripes.

June 11, 2013 at 8:17 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Chris

There’s got to be a better way than grinding down the surface of the street.  You’re only going to antagonize residents this way.  Figure out a solution that’s more innovative.

Maybe help to crowdfunding of the bike lanes and crosswalks?  I’m not sure.  But this is using city resources to destroy city infrastructure.  It’s nuts.

June 7, 2013 at 3:41 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


JesseRegistered

To me, this is a serious cry for the city to recognize that the downtown core needs to be built out more so for people than cars.  I think the city “gets it” more and more as time and council members turn over.

June 7, 2013 at 3:45 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


jimmy

Cut the gargantuan city police funding and put it toward building a resilient, regenerative city that people will actually want to thrive towards instead of run from.

June 7, 2013 at 4:50 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


jimmy

I ride that route daily and now after grinding the ground the city has caused a huge danger for myself and other cyclist. Thanks City of Tacoma, you goons. At least pave that shit and make it safe, after you say that these new crosswalks cause danger. Thats some muffuggin’ hypocrisy. damn, city yooz crazy.

June 7, 2013 at 4:59 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


NameSid

We can spend 10k on a F#$$G totem pole, but not on properly surfacing roads, WTF.

June 7, 2013 at 5:24 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Patricia

I’m sure he knows that law, Joel.  Drivers are supposed to yield/stop for pedestrians who step off the curb signalling they intend to cross.  So it’s a crosswalk whether the paint is there or not.  As the article said, the Federal MUTCD has standards for where MARKED crosswalks or even signal controlled crosswalks are located.  Guerrilla traffic markings of any kind just add confusion and, if an accident should occur at one of these intersections, who would you hold liable?  Certainly the driver but then who?  The City?  The artist who painted it?  The pedestrian who thought that would keep them safe?

The bottom line is that we want people - whether walking, biking or driving - to be safe.  The conversation to have is, “How do we make Tacoma a safer place in which to get around?”  Installing one’s own traffic control devices is not the answer.

June 7, 2013 at 5:54 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


jimmy

People shouldn’t drive like fucking animals and pull their heads out of their arse. Driving is the main cause for cardiovascular disease, the biggest killer in the US. Drivers are murderers.

June 8, 2013 at 12:04 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Zan

I actually saw pedestrians who normally dart across the street at any locations going to and using the crosswalks. And the cars slowed down for them. This city needs to put pedestrians ahead of cars. We need crosswalks!

June 7, 2013 at 6:47 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


NameJoseph

And I saw a car that didn’t expect to find a crosswalk near Wright Park nearly hit a woman who thought she was crossing at a real crosswalk. That woman was my wife. I would rather my valuable tax dollars go to fixing potholes than remedying these things painted by kids who think they are being cool rebels but who have no clue. I am in a wheelchair, by the way, and you cannot simply go around painting crosswalks where ee you feel like it. You are compromising my safety. This self absorption is really irritating. I challenge these crosswalk painters to show their faces and make a valid, informed presentation at an upcoming Disabilities Commission meeting.

June 7, 2013 at 7:23 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


jimmy

Take safe routes if you think there may be danger in these. If you are dumb enough to get in a dangerous situation then that is called natural selection.

June 8, 2013 at 12:08 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


NameJoseph

No. Natural selection is some motorist wiping you out because you lack a true awareness of your surroundings. You, my friend, are in Pierce County. I hope you have a good helmet.

June 9, 2013 at 5:40 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Mia

There are already crosswalks all around Wright Park. They are just not painted. But they are there, with wheelchair cuts and all. Cars need to slow down for those too, not just the “painted” ones they can see from 500 feet away. Drivers can see side streets and intersections. Where those exist they should expect to find a crosswalk. City streets are not freeways. Drivers should expect pedestrians at all times and slow down!

By that same token, as a pedestrian it’s your ass. You need to look both ways, even in a crosswalk. Just like they taught you in preschool.

June 9, 2013 at 11:02 am / Reply / Quote and reply


NameJoseph

Looking both ways will get you nowhere when a car is buzzing over your body way above the speed limit.

June 9, 2013 at 5:42 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Mia

Point being, of there is a car coming don’t step in front of it. You can see them coming even if they are going 20 miles over the speed limit. If they are not stopping, don’t chance it.

June 11, 2013 at 12:05 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


DownTown Resident

Pedestrians have the right of way in WA with or without crosswalks.  Bicycles are welcome in the current lanes or on the shoulder where the streets are big enough.  As slow and frustrating as the City can be with putting in crosswalks and bike lanes it really doesn’t help to put in your own.  It forcing the city to waste money on removing vandalism that is not only vandalism but also a safety hazard.  Not every city was built with pedestrians and bicycles in mind.  It may take a long time before our streets are perfectly suited for the growing number of people and their modes of transportation.  Until then people walking, on bikes, or in cars should travel with with their eyes open to the various forms of transportation and grant eachother courtesy.  Perhaps someday Tacoma will have the money to fix potholes, add bike lanes and crosswalks but forcing the city to waste money on vandalism removal is not the answer.

June 7, 2013 at 8:27 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


fred davieRegistered

Clearly, everyone in town should make up some large traffic stencils with whatever message amuses them and go around town spray painting their stenciled message on any street or sidewalk they desire. This is a town where such stupidity is not only tolerated, it’s actually encouraged.

June 7, 2013 at 8:51 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Andy

Are these the same guys who paint bombed writes park? looks like the same paint colors to me.

June 7, 2013 at 9:04 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Published Author RR AndersonRegistered

Fred, only stencil areas of road in need of grinding

June 7, 2013 at 9:23 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Sid

We are way behind in identifying what the people that live here NOW need.  Our police and other government offices don’t seem to quite get that Tacoma is changing fast and these changes are coming from individuals moving here from bigger cities, even criminals.  It is embarrassing watching our policing tactics against seasoned street criminals, it is also embarrassing listening to our police explain why our 911 system does not always relay calls to them because we don’t have our own 911 system.  It is embarrassing to read about how so much effort is being placed on deciding what to do with a totem pole that tribes don’t even want, but we cannot put that money and effort into better policing, or other educational matters.  It is embarrassing that our city officials would allow the RAP house where criminal offenders are placed on an early release program be built less than 100 yards away from Lincoln High School and no one in the city knows who approved this.  It is embarrassing that our police stations are operated by untrained volunteers and not employees, this is the mentality of people that live in the country where crime is very low.  Articles like this remind me of how A&*S backwards we are here and how far we need to go.

June 8, 2013 at 8:49 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Stefan

My main issue with these is how completely terrible they look. There is one at Tacoma and S 7th, and it looks like it was done by a 3-year-old.

June 8, 2013 at 10:06 am / Reply / Quote and reply


jimmy

Nice job on deleting comments. So much for free speech you goon.

June 8, 2013 at 12:00 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


DerekRegistered

The rules are as they always have been. You used four different usernames from fake email addresses. That’s not how we have a conversations around here. The comments would’ve stayed if you used the same name. Pick one.

June 8, 2013 at 12:30 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


jimmy

Its called anonymous scrutiny. My points were still valid. This is supposed to be an open discussion even if it goes against your personal bias standards. Put them back up. You are censoring the discussion to fit your own agenda.

June 8, 2013 at 3:00 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


DerekRegistered

We have a long history of people using pseudonyms and anonymity. That’s fine. Your comments were valid. You also have absolutely no idea what my agenda is. We do not tolerate multiple personalities. And if we ask you about it and your email isn’t valid, we pull all of them. We’ve done that for more than eight years and have only had to do it it a couple times. Everybody has always stuck around. If you want them to all come from Jimmy, we’ll put them back that way. We tried to ask, but your emails didn’t work. Is it Jimmy, then?

June 8, 2013 at 3:10 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


jimmy

Please put them up for the sake of constructive critism. Thank you.

June 8, 2013 at 3:19 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


DerekRegistered

Done. If there are any missing, let me know.

June 8, 2013 at 3:38 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


NameJoseph

If you want constructive criticism, I invite you to make an informed, educated presentation at an upcoming Council Meeting or a Disabilities Commission Meeting. I doubt you, or any of your cowardly cohorts will though.

June 9, 2013 at 5:45 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


fred davieRegistered

If you want constructive criticism, I invite you to make an informed, educated presentation at an upcoming Council Meeting or a Disabilities Commission Meeting. I doubt you, or any of your cowardly cohorts will though.

I think it’s OK to use Exit133 for constructive criticism. Not everybody has the ability to take time off work to appear at council meetings.  And as a side note, any elected city council member worth his salt will follow all the local blogs and take notes so he/she knows what people in the Tacoma e-community think.

June 11, 2013 at 8:49 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Sid

Derek,  why are you defending your position?  This is your site brother and you run it as you see fit, I am thankful that this place exists so I can vent my differences with city government and applaud their good efforts.  Thank you.

June 8, 2013 at 5:08 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Sam

Secret guerilla street improvement society? Sign me up.

June 9, 2013 at 1:02 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Published Author RR AndersonRegistered

June 11, 2013 at 10:39 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Published Author RR AndersonRegistered

I JUST PAINTED AN ILLEGAL CROSSWALK for TACOMIC TUESDAY! 

http://comics.feedtacoma.com/tacomic/tacomic-occupy-vigilante-renegade-rogue-crosswalks/

June 11, 2013 at 10:40 am / Reply / Quote and reply


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