Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Update: Dangerous Crosswalks by Whole Foods Market

Complaints in March about faded crosswalks in Brighton on Washington Street between Covenant House and Whole Foods Market have led to their repainting last week. The best news? The City's painters did both crosswalks -- including the one that was so completely gone that it could easily have been missed.

On a related note: the Boston Globe ran a story Monday on the City's slow efforts to re-paint crosswalks.

In case there was any ambiguity in your mind, the City paints crosswalks in response to complaints, not according to any systematic database or regular policy on repainting:
But in Boston, officials simply wait for residents to complain. Even then, there is no guarantee the work will get done quickly; reported intersections are placed on a list that is now pages long...

[Dennis] Royer [the city's public works and transportation chief] wants to rethink the paint patterns in the city's crosswalks so that they hold up better under heavy traffic; he also wants to create a computerized system to track when crosswalks are due for restoration. Still, he acknowledged, those solutions are months, and in some cases years, away.
How about a spreadsheet with location in one column, date most recently painted in another column, and priority (e.g., near a school) in a third column? You could be fancy and include the daily traffic volume for that street from the BTD's traffic database. The spreadsheet could be filled out daily as crosswalks are repainted... and then, a couple of years from now, for example, just sort on date and... voila! You've got an ordered list of those needing repainting sooner rather than later. But maybe this method is too cheap. I'm sure the City would require sending out a contract to be bid. Maybe I'll propose a quarter million for my solution.

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