Following African-culture inspired makeovers of crosswalks by community members in the Central District and Rainier Beach, today the City of Seattle announced a new program to remake crosswalks to reflect local neighborhoods’ history.
Calling it the “Community Crosswalk Program,” SDOT and the Department of Neighborhoods are inviting local groups to submit applications for the program. According to the program page on the city of Seattle’s website, community input and involvement are among the criteria before the city approves new crosswalk design.
After the city of Seattle officially repainted the crosswalks in Capitol Hill in rainbow colors in time for Pride weekend back in June, community members took it upon themselves to repaint crosswalks in the Central District in pan-African colors to reflect the neighborhood’s African American history. Shortly after, a crosswalk located near several East African businesses and the Ethiopian Community Center on Rainier Avenue South was repainted in the colors of the Ethiopian flag.
The Seattle Department of Transportation told the Seattle Globalist after the first rogue painting that the department would work on a process to involve the community in new crosswalk design.
Now the program is official.
“This is about celebrating and enhancing community identities,” Mayor Ed Murray said in a prepared statement. “The iconic rainbow crosswalks on Capitol Hill started a broader conversation on how we can incorporate neighborhood character in the built environment across Seattle. I’m excited to see more history, culture, and community on display for residents and visitors to enjoy.”