The New York Times got the media buzzing about something that has been making the rounds since last month when the federal government told the good people of Ames, Iowa to remove the city’s “inclusive” multi-colored crosswalks citing safety concerns.
The Ames City Council voted unanimously to ignore the request, the NYT reports.
They made the right move. In 2015, the City of Seattle installed rainbow crosswalks across Pike/Pine just in time for Pride. Installed at six intersections totaling 11 different crosswalks on E Pine and E Pike from Broadway to 11th Ave, the crosswalks are highly Instagram-able and even got a touch up this summer after some major street work in the area. Inspired by the 2015 installation of the rainbows around Pike/Pine, Community Crosswalks can now be found across the city including the “Poem Dazzle” crossings on Melrose.
Any CHS analysis of safety related to the colorful crossings will have be anecdotal. We’ve never covered a serious collision involving the crosswalks in the four-plus years they have been in place. Meanwhile, we covered more than a few serious injuries to pedestrians at crossings *near* the crosswalks that didn’t get the rainbow treatment. Yes, we’re looking at you, busy probably overly dangerous mid-block crosswalk at 10th and Pine crossing to and from Cal Anderson.
Streetsblog USA, meanwhile, points out that the the Federal Highway Administration has never produced a study to back up its criticism of anything but white markings.
Seattle officials, meanwhile, could be pushing to change the federal stance, the NYT reports. City traffic engineer Dongho Chang tells the NYT there have been fewer “collisions and conflicts” thanks to the colorful crossings.
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