Safe crossings the DIY way

Written by Diana Nelson Jones on .

Some months ago, I reported that a guerilla crosswalk had been painted in Polish Hill by someone responding to a pedestrian danger. It was an example of what has been called tactical urbanism — a citizen’s action to correct a problem that the city failed to correct.
The folks in Polish Hill didn't hide their grins of pleasure over their neighbor's DIY project. 
Atlantic Cities reports in this story about the arrest of a man who painted a crosswalk in Vallejo, Calif. after getting the brush-off by the city. He was bailed out after a night in jail by an anonymous admirer and cheered when he returned to his neighborhood.
Corrections of this kind are subject to interpretation. Cities consider them illegal. But what citizens do when they take on DIY projects to change the streetscape are usually valid and should be considered by government as directives.
After all, a city does belong to its citizens in America, where we are encouraged in civics class — when we had civics in schools — that the people should lead their governments.
If more individuals took it upon themselves to do what municipal services fail to do, we would have better government.

Tactical Urbanism poster by Matt Jelly.


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