Earlier this month the Salt Lake City Greek Festival happened near my house. That meant a lot of extra pedestrians in an area with very long blocks and very wide streets.
To make the area more pedestrian friendly, the festival (or the city? or both?) set up a temporary, mid-block crosswalk on 300 West:
This was a great solution that I saw a number of people using. From it, we can also glean a few lessons:
1. We don’t have to wait for permanent solutions to current problems. This crosswalk took five minutes to create and cost only whatever the city or festival employee makes in five minutes.
2. Crosswalks don’t have to be just paint on the ground. Looking at this example, I’m now wondering why all crosswalks don’t have protective cones, posts or other barriers to raise visibility and offer some amount of protect.
3. While it would be nice to have a permanent crosswalk here, this shows that infrastructure can and should be changed so that it’s responsive to needs.
4. Most importantly, big blocks and big streets really do hurt street life and pedestrian compatibility. Festival organizers obviously knew that if they didn’t have a way to get across this street the festival would suffer. Significantly, they also knew that without a crosswalk, there was no way to traverse this street. That’s a problem all the time that was made more apparent by the festival.