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Guerrila crosswalk painted on East Burnside

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

This mystery crosswalk on E. Burnside at NE 8th seems to be working.
(Photo: Doug Klotz)

A guerrilla crosswalk has been installed on East Burnside at NE 8th (map). Reader Doug Klotz spotted the painted crossing on Saturday (12/26) and a passerby told him it was done Christmas night.

“Sometimes people get frustrated with the City and take things into their own hands.”
— Rob Burchfield, City Traffic Engineer

Klotz also happens to be Vice-Chair of the City of Portland’s Pedestrian Advisory Committee. In that capacity, Klotz said this type of guerrilla action “shows the public perceives the need for a safer crossing there, to the extent that someone was motivated to execute this involved action… perhaps to make a point about the need.”

When told about the crosswalk this morning, Portland City Traffic Engineer Rob Burchfield told us he understands that “sometimes people get frustrated with the City and take things into their own hands.” Burchfield said the City’s response to this “unauthorized installation of a traffic control device” depends on the situation and context of what they feel the impact will be.

“If someone put up an unauthorized stop sign, we’d go take it down, but with pavement markings, they’re typically using materials that won’t last very long so it’s maybe something we say, give it a week and it will be gone. If not, we’ll send out a crew to blast it off.”

It’s not clear yet whether or not the folks responsible for this unauthorized installation are aware of the changes coming to the intersection as part of the East Burnside/Couch Couplet project. That project — which is already under construction and scheduled for completion in October 2010 — will bring a curb extension and new traffic signals to this and every other intersection along Burnside from NE 3rd to NE 12th.