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$300K+ to be spent on crosswalks...what do you think?

by fredo
on 6/5/2008 @ 10:32am
The city of Tacoma expects to spend in excess of $300K to improve the crosswalks at 2 intersections, 1 in Fern Hill (intersection unknown), 1 in Proctor (26th and Proctor). The improvements will be stamped concrete crosswalks for beautification and upgraded wheelchair ramps. What do you think? A judicious expenditure of excess funds or a needless extravagence at a time of budgetary shortfalls?

by izenmania on 6/5/2008 @ 10:54am
Hm... both?

Improving crosswalks in some manner: good.

Spending that much when they could paint it (not QUITE as pretty) and the couple dozen other crosswalks in downtown that are dangerously faded: bad.

Yeah, the new crosswalk will be pretty. Will it actually improve walkability or business? Doubtful. There are an awful lot of places where a little work would go a long way toward fixing an intersection up. This seems like am awful lot of work for minimal gain.

by Twisty on 6/5/2008 @ 11:59am
"Excess funds"? Really? That's funny, we were just told a few days ago that that money for street improvements is dreadfully short.

From the TNT:
"It many cases, there's only so much traffic engineers can do, said Chris Larson, an assistant manager of the city's engineering division.

“We take the issue very seriously and analyze the data every year,” he said. “We've got 326 signals. That's a lot of intersections to keep up with.”

Public Works has a budget of about $80,000 per year for new equipment and fixes. But modifications are costly. For instance, putting a traffic signal at an intersection that doesn't have one can cost up to $400,000.
It's also a matter of trying to help existing infrastructure keep up with population growth."

by fredo on 8/21/2008 @ 10:21am
Here's an interesting sidenote to the Proctor crosswalk discussion and perhaps to the Fern Hill crosswalk as well.

If streetcars are re-introduced along Transit Routes (#11 in the Proctor neighborhood) at some point in the future, all these improvements are going to have to come out. Also, the city is installing bulb-out curbs along these routes. Won't these "improvements" also need to be removed to accomodate the streetcars?