KFnet in T-Town

May. 9, 2013 at 7:58am

Guerrilla Safety, Triangle District Style

Photo by @ksymer

Safety first! And, heck, if the City won't do it just get 'er done yourself. That's the attitude of many who love their Tacoma neighborhood as much as the residents and businesses of the Triangle District do. It's appears someone (let's just say it was that devious Goddess of Commerce dame) has taken to a little guerrilla painting of bike safety sharrows (above) and an impressively lengthy set of crosswalk hashes (below) at the funky intersection of Baker and St. Helens.

Photo by @lizkaster

Though these markings on the street may not be sanctioned, it's a powerful statement in a passionate neighborhood towards making it safer for anyone on foot or biking -- both ingredients that help make for a vibrant, more livable downtown Tacoma. Or anywhere for that matter.

Bravo and thanks Ms. Goddess! I, for one, look forward to other improvements you have up that bronze dress of yours!

comments [41]  |  posted under diy, neighborhood, safety, tacoma


by thriceallamerican on 5/9/2013 @ 11:10am
Pretty cool. Sort of law-bendy, but not destructive, so scoff at the law now and apologize later!
Also, what manner of animal is that riding the bicycle in the sharrow picture?

by Erik on 5/9/2013 @ 1:05pm
Nice.  It is a long scary intersection for pedestrians to walk across as cars come from all different directions and can loop from one area to the next.

by JesseHillFan on 5/9/2013 @ 7:46pm
Great Job.Myself sometimes I resort to actions as well.I noticed that on my route Buddleia Davidii (Butterfly Bush) plants are halfway blocking a sidewalk while riding today.I will have to go and trim them when I ride again.However in several decades from now all roads will become non motorist roads mostly(except for the very wealthy whom will be able to afford to purchase insanely expensive fuel or insanely expensive electric cars (which will be far costlier in the future than now)).

by KevinFreitas on 5/11/2013 @ 11:04am
A super interesting take on the benefits of bike lanes: boingboing.net/2013/05/10/bike-lanes-led...

by NineInchNachos on 5/15/2013 @ 2:40pm
update: crosswalks have been erased (via street grinders)

super ugly now.

by NineInchNachos on 5/15/2013 @ 2:52pm

by KevinFreitas on 5/15/2013 @ 2:54pm
Wow, that's harsh. My hope is they're clearing/cleaning it so the City can paint on their own permanent crosswalk. Is the sharrow still there?

by Erik on 5/15/2013 @ 2:54pm
They really gouged out the sidewalk. Looks like 1/4 to 1/2 of asphalt ground out to remove some paint.  I have seen a lot of paint removed, but never like this. Seems like there are some cheaper less damaging options out there.

by NineInchNachos on 5/15/2013 @ 2:58pm
fill the grooves with paint!

by Jake on 5/15/2013 @ 4:35pm
King5 was trying to get info/interviews for a story. I forwarded the reporters info to some folks. Not sure if they got back to him.

by thriceallamerican on 5/15/2013 @ 4:38pm
Dammit I never saw the cat-riding-a-bike sharrow paint in person! Curse you, CoT traffic department!!!!

by thriceallamerican on 5/15/2013 @ 4:38pm
(Or was it a dog?)

by NineInchNachos on 5/15/2013 @ 9:07pm
every crosswalk the city grinds away, 2 more will arise to take its place


by JesseHillFan on 5/15/2013 @ 9:21pm
If you really want to create KAOS paint "Bicycles and Pedestrians Only -No Motor Vehicles Allowed" on ordinary streets or make a fake "Bicycles and Pedestrians Only Street-No Motor Vehicles Allowed " sign to also to post under STOP signs.

by panachronic on 5/15/2013 @ 9:54pm
That's a rotten place to cross the street.  Erasing that phony crosswalk probably saved somebody's life.

by NineInchNachos on 5/16/2013 @ 9:42am
EXIT 133 www.exit133.com/articles/view/guerrilla-...

by Mofo from the Hood on 5/16/2013 @ 10:23am
Shocking, isn't it?... Individuals working for the City of Tacoma are operating with a sense of propriety.

by Erik on 5/17/2013 @ 11:27pm

It appeared in the dead of night and then disappeared nearly as suddenly about two weeks later, after city workers grinded it out of the pavement and mostly out of sight.

But the symbolism of what residents and neighbors are calling the “rogue crosswalk” remains strong in Tacoma’s Triangle District, where lingering concerns over traffic and roadway safety have intensified in recent weeks.

Some business owners and residents in the burgeoning neighborhood just north of City Hall said the unauthorized crosswalk — which unidentified parties painted on the west side of St. Helens Avenue between Sixth Avenue and Baker Street — illustrates a growing frustration with the city.

“We have a lot of cars just blowing through here, and we’re concerned,” said Morgan Alexander, owner of the nearby Amocat Café. “We actually asked the city to take some action. But they really haven’t done anything.”


by Jake on 5/18/2013 @ 12:52pm
Did anyone notice in the King5 video, Kris mentions cars rolling through the intersection as a car rolls through the intersection behind her.

by KevinFreitas on 5/31/2013 @ 4:25pm
Watch out Goddess of Commerce! They could be coming for you!

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by JesseHillFan on 5/31/2013 @ 5:24pm
Harsh a felony charge (felony vandalism) for painting a sidewalk in California.


by Jesse on 5/31/2013 @ 8:28pm
Gorgeous new infrastructure in Gig Harbor at Wollochett Drive.  There are crosswalks where there's hardly any people, sidewalks on both sides of the street, smooth roads, and buried utilities - all on a rural road.  Downtown Tacoma, however, has missing sidewalks that fall off into cliffs (or none at all), no crosswalks where there's actually lots of people, roads so bumpy, about 30 different types of street lighting, and overhead utilities that would have been buried in practically any other downtown of its size in a first world nation.  Gotta love Tacoma!!

by KevinFreitas on 6/5/2013 @ 9:16am
Just in from Morgan Alexander via Facebook. He spotted a new rogue crosswalk painted across 6th Ave. near the Hob Nob and Wright Park lions! Can someone grab a pic to share?

by KevinFreitas on 6/5/2013 @ 9:34am
Here are some photos local artist Jeremy Gregory snapped of some rogue crosswalks painted at the (seriously not fun to walk across) intersection of Division and Tacoma Ave. in the Stadium District:

by KevinFreitas on 6/5/2013 @ 9:59am
Jeremy noted, though they look like chalk, they appeared to be painted on.

by KevinFreitas on 6/7/2013 @ 4:01pm
The City responds, pointy stick style:


by fredo on 6/7/2013 @ 5:16pm
RE: the guerilla style bicycle lanes:  

 "The study (University of Buffalo) found there was little to no change (in accident frequency) between bikers riding in the middle of traffic or having their own lane."

It turns out the liberal effort to force bike lanes on the motoring public as a safety precaution is nothing more than an elaborate urban myth/hoax 

by tacoma_1 on 6/7/2013 @ 10:43pm
The Buffalo study showed that excessive motor vehicle speed was the most detrimental to the severity of injuries to the cyclist. It didn't address how bike lanes prevent many accidents from occuring in the first place.

They simply pointed out that if  cars and trucks slowed down, more cyclists would survive and or be less gravely injured when a motorist runs them over.

It's just common sense really. It doesn't matter where in the road a pedestrian or cyclist gets hit by a car, it matters how hard they get hit.  Anything that slows traffic down (bike lanes, xwalks, etc.) makes the streets safer for everyone. 

by fredo on 6/8/2013 @ 2:20pm
  " Anything that slows traffic down (bike lanes, xwalks, etc.) makes the streets safer for everyone" tacoma1

How are the bike lanes "slowing traffic down?" If anything, traffic moves FASTER when the bikes are in their lane and the cars are in theirs. It's just common sense really.

by tacoma_1 on 6/8/2013 @ 2:48pm
Bike lanes narrow the roadway visually for the motorist. Visual friction is a common traffic calming technique.

Btw fredo, does it ever get boring being wrong about everything?

by fredo on 6/8/2013 @ 3:17pm

  You said anything that slows traffic down makes the streets safer. So a bicyclist riding his bike at 10MPH in a 35MPH lane will slow traffic down. That makes the street safer. You said so.  

by tacoma_1 on 6/8/2013 @ 3:57pm
Let me fast forward thru this mind numbing rabbit hole of yours:t1: did notF: did toot1: did notF: did toot1: did notF: did tooYou were wrong about what the Buffalo study showed, and you are wrong about bike lanes. Odds are you will be wrong on your next post too. 

by fredo on 6/8/2013 @ 4:24pm
 " Anything that slows traffic down (bike lanes, xwalks, etc.) makes the streets safer for everyone" Tacoma 1

Hahaha, if you rode  a donkey to work everyday that would make the streets safer. Well, duh.

by NineInchNachos on 6/8/2013 @ 5:39pm
welcome back Fredo!!!! 

by tacoma_1 on 6/8/2013 @ 6:12pm
A jogger got struck by a car in West Seattle today. Has life threatening injuries.  Safer streets isn't about politics, at least it shouldn't be. It should be about protecting human life. 

by fredo on 6/8/2013 @ 6:32pm

likely cause=insufficient visual friction

by tacoma_1 on 6/8/2013 @ 6:48pm
You are an a__hole.  Someone is in the hospital and you are making jokes about it. Not funny. 

by fredo on 6/8/2013 @ 6:57pm

  You should take a course in manners tacoma1. It's not nice to use vulgarity on Kevin's website.  Not funny.

by tacoma_1 on 6/8/2013 @ 7:04pm
And in your mind it's polite to make a joke about someone who is gravely injured?  Despicable may be a more accurate term for you. Both apply though.

by fredo on 6/8/2013 @ 7:31pm

  Who made a joke? I explained the probable cause for the accident. You, on the other hand, are vulgarity spewing potty mouth. 

by JesseHillFan on 6/8/2013 @ 10:24pm
Nice to see Fredo here debating whether I agree with him or not.It's been a while.
From a physics energy standpoint under the classical mechanics formula it takes 9 times as much energy to brake at 60 mph as compared to 20 mph.
Even though the street signal lights of L.A. are finally synchronized the average speed across the city is around 15 mph even though the speed limit is 35 mph.
In other words most of the time people are wasting lots of energy just braking for multiple stops at traffic lights and wasting lots of energy to speed up to 35 mph.
I watch the King 5 traffic news along I-5 and other highways and many times the average speed varies along certain corridors to between 25 mph to 40 mph 
during commuting hours with gridlocks at various points.

It would make far more sense energy wise as well as for safety to mandate that motor vehicles be mechanically limited to a maximum speed of 20 mph.
By doing this passenger cars would only need say 8 to 10 horsepower motors saving lots of weight.
It's crazy to have motor passenger vehicles with 250 horsepower motors and weighing 2 to 4 tons.
Instead a energy saving/far safer but slower travel passenger vehicle need only weigh say 400 to 800 pounds yet could still climb up steep hills and carry 6 passengers.
By mandating 20 mph and much lighter vehicles direct deaths,maimings and injuries would drastically fall.
Also criminals would have a difficult time escaping from the police (with current vehicles) in a 20 mph vehicle.
In addition drivers having a medical incident where the vehicle would normally destroy a building would only cause minor damage.
At 20 mph and 400 pounds mass the kinetic energy of the crash would be 1/90th the kinetic energy of  a 4000 pound mass at 60 mph.
At 20 mph the commute from Tacoma to Seattle would take more time though say around 2 hours (no big deal anyway as traffic is often gridlocked).
Lower speeds mean less braking distance needed so one could have far more vehicles on a given area of road.
This would also combat and greatly reduce gridlock traffic problems.
Just think 9 times as much road space safely wasted for braking at 60 mph as compared to 20 mph.
The single occupancy ELF Velomobile that I'm obsessed with I think weighs around 100 pounds or so.

Detroit automakers as well as nearly all of the automakers have been obsessed with the mass stupidity of producing heavier vehicles
with larger engines capable of high speeds (which they can't legally use anyways).
Automakers are in their deluded world of wasted energy,placing lives and property needlessly in peril,requires expensive infrastructure,
highly destructive to the environment and requiring expensive wars (and lives lost) to seize resources that are fed back into the continuing loop of unwise and foolish waste.

Mandating a maximum 20 mph and lighter vehicles would mean that pedestrians would be a lot safer especially in crosswalks and cyclists would be less of a nuisance to me first obsessed jockeying into position motorists.


Although I have another home on the web I thought it might be nice to lead by example a bit and put this blog system up to the test myself.

So far, so good... Funny how I build web tools for other people that are far better than the one's I have setup over on KFnet.


Hey Clear Channel, Clean Up Your Crap!

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