Rainbow Crosswalk Pilot Program Could Lead to “Artistic” Crosswalks in Other Parts of City

(Photo by Sam Sanchez)

The rainbow crosswalk that was installed last June at the corner of Evergreen and North Main may serve as a model for “artistic” crosswalks in other parts of the city under a proposed Community Crosswalks Program, according to the Department of Transportation & Capital Improvements (TCI).

The rainbow crosswalk was originally installed as part of six-month pilot program. In a February 19 briefing to the City Council Transportation Committee, TCI offered data collected during the months following the installation of the rainbow crosswalk.

“The pilot revealed that symbolic, artistic displays like the Pride Crosswalk have a place in our community,” Councilman Roberto C. Treviño said in a statement. “If approved, the Community Crosswalk Program could add so much vibrancy and meaning to ordinary infrastructure throughout San Antonio.”

The plan to create the rainbow crosswalk originated in the summer of 2017 when Councilman Treviño submitted a Council Consideration Request which the City’s Council’s Governance Committee approved as a pilot program.

The cost to install the rainbow crosswalk was $32,501.04. The city of covered the initial cost of $12,668.80, which is the cost of a non-decorative crosswalk. The LGBT community raised an additional $19,832.24 to reimburse the city for the additional cost to install the rainbow stripes.

The City Council requested TCI develop guidelines for future community-based crosswalks based on their study of the rainbow crosswalk. TCI submitted the following:

• Community Crosswalk Program Sponsor
Community Crosswalks may be sponsored by individuals or organizations that have a connection with the community where the proposed crosswalk is to be located. The program sponsor will be responsible for funding all or a portion of the proposed crosswalk and on-going maintenance of the Community Crosswalk. If the crosswalk is scheduled and budgeted for replacement, the City’s share can be used towards the total cost.

• Community Outreach and Support
The program sponsor will be responsible to conduct outreach and obtain consensus from the community regarding the Community Crosswalk project including signatures of support from adjacent property owners as well as a letter of support from the City Councilmember(s) representing the district(s) in which the Community Crosswalk is located. The message cannot be inconsistent with the values of the broader community as determined by the City Council.

• Locations Eligible for Crosswalk Consideration
Community Crosswalk location shall be considered only at an intersection, designated pedestrian crossing, or existing crosswalk where the crosswalk is controlled by a stop sign, traffic signal, or pedestrian hybrid beacon. It is recommended that the pavement be in good condition, allowing the materials to bond well and prolong the life of the crosswalk. Designated school crosswalks are not eligible for the Community Crosswalk Program. The decorative element could detract the driver’s attention away from the school children.

• Community Crosswalk Designs
The decorative element of the proposed design shall be incorporated within the standard white crosswalk markings and shall not attempt to communicate through words or images or any type of traffic control message.

TCI recommends the creation of the Community Crosswalk Program and is working with the City Council Transportation Committee to develop the final guidelines.

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