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San Diego seeks public's input in 'creative crosswalks' project hitting streets

Posted at 6:28 PM, Jan 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-30 21:34:39-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego is giving a better look at the city’s plans to add creative crosswalks around town.

Council member Chris Ward is steering the effort to get "creative crosswalks" installed in various neighborhoods around the city.

Ward says it’s been approved through administrative regulations but federal government rules on crosswalks lines are making the process interesting.

"From this point forward, council members should start talking to their communities about the opportunities for creative crosswalks," Ward said. "We’ve had some problems with our city engineer, their interpretation of standards, what is permitted are not permitted under the code."

RELATED: Money being raised to paint Hillcrest crosswalks in rainbow colors

Early estimates show each crosswalk could cost anywhere from $12,000 to $60,000 dollars. Supporters believe the crosswalks will be privately funded and maintained.

"Whoever is interested in this it offers something beyond the traditional black and white continental crosswalks. Communities can basically self elect to the start the process through their council member," Ward says.

Angie Schmitt, a writer for the transportation website Streetsblog, has followed the creative crosswalk phenomenon for years.

"There’s been a couple occasions where highway officials have sort of made us think about it, but there’s actually not any real research that shows whether they’re beneficial or harmful in anyway," Schmitt says. "It helps the area feel more like a place and less like a racetrack."

Back in the neighborhood that started San Diego’s conversation, they say it’s all about making it more of a place.

"Making neighborhoods beautiful in places that people want to be it’s always something we should strive for," Benjamin Nichols, executive director for the Hillcrest Business Association, said. "We have a lot of challenges we are facing in Hillcrest and we’re working on them all and beautifying the neighborhood is a big part of that."