Eyes on the Street: The Quickly Fading Market Street Safety Zones

CTSZ_2.jpgPhotos: Matthew Roth

Remember the beautiful new Calm the Safety Zone trial that we raved about in late November, with a liberal application of "frappuccino" colored paint to the pavement on Market Street? Yeah, well, now not so much.

In only a month and a half, vehicular traffic on Market Street (greatly reduced, mind you, by the Better Market Street traffic diversions) has left its telltale mark on the paint. What Livable City’s Tom Radulovich originally dubbed "baby-poo brown" now looks especially charred.

Radulovich critiqued the project for innovating a color for a traffic control device that isn’t already in place elsewhere, such as green or blue. "If you encounter a stretch of baby poo as a driver, what does that mean to you? Does this signal pedestrians or bicycles, or is this just s stretch of ratty brown pavement? If you don’t encounter this color anywhere else, this doesn’t mean anything to you."


Clearly the issue is with the brown paint, because the white stencils of "10 MPH" and the bicycle sharrow are doing well. The granules that were laid down with the paint have mostly come off, though some remain in the margins.

The response from MTA Spokesperson Judson True: he’s looking into the matter.

(On a side note, this makes me cringe thinking about all the street grime that gets washed into our sanitation system and some of that into the Bay.)


My perspective might be warped from looking through my Portland Goggles again, but shouldn’t innovative street markings be done with treatments that stand out and endure? Maybe like this striking bike box?

And news flash, these are still green two years later.


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