SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — The City of San Antonio’s Transportation and Capital Improvements department said it just finished a six-month pilot program on community crosswalks that could see more crossings like the rainbow-themed set seen in the intersection of Main Avenue and Evergreen Street just north of downtown.
There is currently not a so-called “Community Crosswalk Program” in the city, but the installation of the rainbow crosswalk last year sparked interest in creating such an effort.
The pilot program looked at how the rainbow crosswalk fared in that six-month span.
Overall, there were few noted issues with the crosswalk.
In the first 30 days, TCI said there were a very high number of people who performed unsafe behaviors to pose for pictures with the sidewalk. However, the department said that went away after the first month.
The department did note there was a lot of feedback from the public — both positive and negative — about the crosswalk, with some people saying they supported the message of inclusion and others stating it was a waste of money.
There have also been no reports of vandalism and a local group has been formed to maintain the crosswalk, though the department stated it can’t verify if the group has actually done any maintenance of it yet.
“The pilot revealed that symbolic, artistic displays like the Pride Crosswalk have a place in our community,” Councilman Roberto Treviño said. “If approved, the Community Crosswalk Program could add so much vibrancy and meaning to ordinary infrastructure throughout San Antonio. Thank you to ‘Guardians of the Crosswalk’ for their efforts to keep the crosswalk looking good!”
If a “Community Crosswalk Program” were to move forward, the department made several suggestions.
First, the program would require any community crosswalk to get sponsored by an individual or organization that has a connection to where the crosswalk would be installed. The sponsor would be responsible for the full cost of a themed crosswalk, though the city would pitch in some money if that crosswalk is due for replacement.
That sponsor would then be responsible for getting feedback from the community about installing the crosswalk, including getting signatures from nearby property owners plus getting a letter of support from the area’s city council member.
These crosswalks are only eligible where crosswalks are usually found: intersections, designated pedestrian crossing locations or where any existing crosswalk exists. The crosswalks will not be allowed in school zones, where they can be a distraction to drivers near school children.
Additionally, these crosswalks must fit within standard crosswalk markings and not contain any words, images, or any type of traffic control message.
The suggestions laid out are only for the city council to consider and for them to then come up with legislation if it is an avenue it wishes to pursue.
The department stated if the city council does not want to establish a “Community Crosswalk Program”, it could also use some of the infrastructure outside the travel lanes for a theme, like the sidewalks, traffic signal cabinets, banners and murals.
The department delivered the report during a transportation committee meeting Tuesday.