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Central Square gets a rainbow crossing just in time for Pride

Colorful crosswalk in Central Square, Cambridge

Tamas K-L enjoyed the updated crosswalk put down in Central Square.

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Yea.... Not a fan.

Support gay marriage etc etc, but public property and dollars should not be used in this manner.

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What a waste of tax money!

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colored paint costs way more than white paint.

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applications, colored paint IS more expensive than white paint. And if they just slapped down ordinary consumer grade paint, they've completely wasted their time and our money, as the crosswalk will wear away in no time.

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For sh*ts and giggles.

Let's pretend they did it DIY Homeowner style, not using the big equipment typically used (knowing this is meant for Pride Week/Month and not expected to last).

Consumer grade paint. 6 colors, 1 gallon each, $35/gallon = $210
Rollers to slap it on, assuming 2 painters, = $40
Rectangle Mylar template = $45 (assuming 10'x2' overall dims)

OK, that's approximately $300 in round numbers.

Labor: let's go with 3 people, the aforementioned 2 painters and 1 person helping to keep an eye on traffic. The assumption is this was overnight, less traffic, typically scheduling for street painting, etc. 8 hours x 3 x $60/hr (rough number based upon research for Cambridge employee salaries found here http://cambridge.wickedlocal.com/article/20160204/NEWS/160207683)
= $1,440.

So, approximately $2k? Again - DIY numbers, so we can throw a multiplier of 2.6, so a hair under $5,000. I think that's money well spent for PR and marketing, personally.

And lastly - did the City of Cambridge perform the work or did it show up? No one has noted who did the work. If it showed up and was a 'gift', that's a different windmill for you to tilt at.

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You forgot Unionized Labor which probably brings the price tag north of $50 to $100k.

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I check wage rates. Genius.

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Jesus, what a complete travesty of a city.

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at some local Allston/Brighton bar that has trivia?

(Actually if this was made by a private contractor that works overnight, 4/5 times they are non-union workers from New Hampshire.)

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And I've seen them make crosswalk markings commercially, they don't even use paint. They put down these plastic chemical strips and heat them up and they end up sticking to the ground. They can use paint but paint usually wears off in about 2 years, while the plastic strips last 2X-3X as long.

They may have also used the chemical strips for the while lines, and simply colored the other ones with regular paint.

(Am I really wasting part of my Sunday thinking and typing this?)

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Usually road markings are thermoplastic, which is essentially melted into the road surface.

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Are moving away from thermoplastic as it isn't lasting as long as advertised.

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Nt

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Eh, as someone who designs road projects around MA, CT, and RI, we still almost always specify thermoplastic. It's what MassDOT still specifies as standard.

Now, there are different brands of thermoplastic markings and different methods of applying them that have differing results. I worked on an R&D project a few years ago comparing different pavement marking treatments and we found significant variation between different brands and procedures in how long they lasted.

There are also a ton of outside variables like weather, traffic volumes (and heavy vehicle percentage), the pavement design, etc.

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I'm just noting that on my last project in a Boston-adjacent town they specifically requested no thermoplastic.

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Public money is spent in this manner all the time. St. Pats, 4th of July, Caribbean Fest, yadda, yadda, yadda.

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thinking about crossing over? maybe things are better on the other side of the street?

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http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/interpretations/3_09_24.htm

The FHWA is concerned that considerable ambiguity continues regarding how colored pavement can be used, especially between the white transverse lines of a legally marked crosswalk.

Paragraph 3 of Section 3G.01 in the MUTCD limits the use of colored pavement used as a traffic control device to the colors yellow and white. Interim Approval IA-14 permits the use of green colored pavement for marked bicycle lanes. All other colors for use on highway pavement in the right-of-way are either disallowed or are experimental as described above, unless the colored pavement is a purely aesthetic treatment and makes no discernible attempt to communicate with a roadway user.

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Okay that's just weird. Maybe in P-town or the Castro District in San Francisco but Central Square?

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You can argue about the use of funds and the effect on traffic safety, but the location is utterly appropriate. This crosswalk is right across from Cambridge city hall, where the first legal same-sex marriages in the US were performed at 12:01am on May 17, 2004.

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and should not be used to promote any group's specific agenda, no matter how worthwhile that agenda may be. What is so hard for people to understand here.

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Control traffic? You might as well try to figure out how the tides work.

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lmaoooo

wouldnt the bright colors attract more eyes to the crosswalk, making it more noticeable to drivers, thus improving the safety of traffic as a whole?

"they made a crosswalk MORE safe? not on MY watch!"

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Marriages weren't performed at 12:01 - the first licence was issued to a classmate of mine and her (still) wife at 12:01.

There was a multi-day waiting period that had to be waved by a judge to get married. The first marriage was a long-time Malden couple, around noon.

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I like it and think we should keep it. Maybe drivers will actually notice the crosswalk now.

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Congrats Somerville.

I wish SoBo had something like this.

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Hey, here's a thought....maybe it's time for you to move to Central Square & out of SOUTHIE!!

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I was a pioneer in the SoBo Revolution. There is no way I will cut and run!!

Oh by the way, I love how the LGBT community is getting larger in SoBo.

- The Original SoBo Yuppie

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Consider getting a map.

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meant Cambridge but in 2016 whats the difference?

Camberville!

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You called?

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Why is there a children's xylophone in front of Cambridge City Hall?

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While I appreciate the sentiment, I hope the city realizes this is actually illegal.

FHWA has been cracking down on things like this lately, and recently even ordered the City of Philadelphia to remove its rainbow crosswalks.

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Do you know if Boston received a variance (or whatever) for the Marathon finish line painting?

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So crosswalk regs. not applicable, I assume.

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are not considered a traffic control device. So no waiver is required.

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I'm surprised an engineer would allow this. It doesn't meet MUTCD, AASHTO, NATCO, or any of the other peer reviewed engineering standards. If someone gets hurt in that crosswalk they would have standing to sue the city of Cambridge.

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And if they were, this wouldn't be the first time their objections or advice would be disregarded by the politicians.

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The standard provides an exemption:

All other colors for use on highway pavement in the right-of-way are either disallowed... unless the colored pavement is a purely aesthetic treatment and makes no discernible attempt to communicate with a roadway user.
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to the use of colored pavement, brick pavers, and the like when they are provided between the two transverse, or perpendicular, lines of a standard crosswalk, It is NOT applicable to using colors between the lateral lines of a "ladder' or 'Continental' style crosswalk. The contrast between the white markings and the blank pavement (void areas) of those markings is a deliberate design feature of the "ladder' style crosswalk As such, providing colors in the void areas of such treatments does adversely affect the ability of drivers to discern the crosswalk, especially at night.

As others have noted, FHWA has already abundantly made this clear when other cites have attempted similar treatments.

http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/interpretations/3_09_24.htm

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FHWA has been cracking down on things like this lately, and recently even ordered the City of Philadelphia to remove its rainbow crosswalks.

FHWA doesn't have any authority over state and locally owned and funded roadways. Its authority only extends to federally funded roads (mainly Interstates and US Highways), and not even all of them. Massachusetts Ave in Cambridge is a state route, and probably a locally controlled and maintained roadway. Now Chapter 90, which sets out state highway funding and maintenance standards may apply here (and through it, the MUTCD), but I doubt MassDOT is going to even bother. It should be noted also, that the crosswalk color standards seem to apply here: the crosswalk itself is painted with white paint. It's the negative space that's painted with rainbow colors, so there may be no violation at all.

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even if they don't directly receive Federal funds for their streets and roads. From MGL Chapter 85, Section 2:

Except as hereinafter provided, any rule, regulation, order, ordinance or by-law of a city or town hereafter made or promulgated relative to or in connection with the erection or maintenance of signs, traffic control signals, traffic devices, school zones, parking meters or markings on any way within its control shall take effect without department approval provided such signs, traffic control signals, traffic devices, parking meters, school zones or markings are in conformance with the department's current manual on uniform traffic control devices(emphasis added) and the department's sample regulation for a standard municipal traffic code

It's the negative space that's painted with rainbow colors, so there may be no violation at all

Except that the "ladder' or "Continental" type crosswalk design, such as the original installation in Central Square was before it was changed, is a specified standard option allowed per the MUTCD, and does NOT include colors in the void spaces. Therefore, this crosswalk is NOT in conformance with current standards.

And no, neither FHWA nor MassDOT have MUTCD enforcement police (although the Legislature has ocassionaly considered laws that would provide for such). However, if a given project that is local jurisdiction was constructed in whole or partially with Federal funds, the city or town is bound by what is known as a Traffic Control Agreement (TCA). By signing the TCA, the municipality agrees that the signs, signals, markings and other traffic controls installed as part of the project will be maintained in accordance with the applicable standards.

Most importantly, installation of non-standard traffic controls is not only a violation of the law, but it WILL subject a city or town to liability should a crash occur (defense lawyers especially love MUTCD violations). Especially if the non-standard controls were installed not for demonstrated safety reasons, but to satisfy the PC crowd.

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And have never found Central Sq, or Cambridge in general, to be particularly inviting or friendly place in daily basis, for gays or non-gays. The city council says all the correct things, but it doesn't translate on a daily basis.

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They started issuing the first fully-durable marriage licenses to any two eligible adults who wanted them at 12:01 am on May 17.

And held a massive party to mark the occasion.

Not a "daily basis", but it was a massively joyful gesture that endures.

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Gay Shame is a movement from within the queer communities described as a radical alternative to gay mainstreaming and directly posits an alternative view of gay pride events and activities which have become increasingly commercialized with corporate sponsors and "safer" agendas to avoid offending supporters and sponsors. The Gay Shame movement has grown to embrace radical expression, counter-cultural ideologies and avant-garde arts and artists
https://www.reddit.com/r/boston/comments/4ng2ln/are_pride_parades_corpor...

Edited By David M. Halperin and Valerie Traub
Gay Shame
http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/G/bo5877479.html

David M. Halperin
How To Be Gay
http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674283992

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Delete your account.

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That is so yesterday.

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I give Don grief all the time, but in the end at worst he is annoying, which is better than most of us.

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I have occasionally been able to learn about the most obscure, interesting things from theszak, the same as I would from many friends with quirks. Plus, it wouldn't be UHub without theszak! It'd be like a Boston that had never seen a hand pained Doug Bennett sign!!

He's posted this thing about gay shame before, and while the name of the movement is initially off-putting, the goals were noble, and it was interesting to learn and hear about...the first time, lol.

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I'm not familiar with the Gay Shame movement, but the annual Boston Dyke March is non-commercial.

http://www.bostondykemarch.com

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Yes, the stripes are close to Cambridge City Hall, and Cambridge has been and continues to be supportive of LGBTQ people, more than most other places. In addition, Boston and other cities do similar things for different groups throughout the year. It's a nice gesture, and let's just accept it as that.

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"I Hate Bright Colors And Expressions Of Support For Non-Straight People" - every joyless oaf in these comments apparently

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why traffic control devices need to conform to established standards, and are willing to usurp those standards to satisfy a particular group for purely political reasons.

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Dude, just drop it. This is temporary.

I think the red white blue centerlines that aren't reflective are far more noxious as these things go. At least the reflectorized white stripes were not painted over!

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red white and blue centerlines around the Fourth of July, except for Bristol RI - who got a Congressional resolution passed that considers such markings in conformance to the MUTCD.

From Appendix A-1 of the MUTCD:

Section 353(b) STRIPES — Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a red, white, and blue center line in the Main Street of Bristol, Rhode Island, shall be deemed to comply with the requirements of Section 3B-1 of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices of the Department of Transportation.

FWIW, Wakefield gave them up some years ago in favor of stars provided at intervals along the standard centerline.

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Red white and blue down the middle of Rt. 38 and Rt. 60.

They didn't do it this year for Memorial Day, though.

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Have fun. Stay safe.

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It's better than these ugly ones at Andrew Square, looked nice for a little while until they had to dig it up. Faded fast too!

IMAGE(http://s33.postimg.org/tdvic61i7/Capture.jpg)

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And then there's Boston's lack of maintenance of the red paint in the bus lane on Essex Street. https://goo.gl/maps/UHPcajdan1J2

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This is much ado about nothing. It's also awfully picky. Have a look at Huntington Ave. near the MFA. The crosswalk at Museum Road and Huntington Ave. has been laid with a design that is far from the white stripe design. Where is the discussion about that apparently incorrect design?

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Typical Uhub.. outrage for nothing.

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Happy Pride, Kris!

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Why does the existence of one other bad crosswalk marking invalidate a complaint about this one?

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I think this is fine, they do it in other places for Italian or Irish events, but lets be real, what Central really needs is a ton of febreeze to cover the stench of urine and cops to move the throng of degenerates, homeless and drug addicts out of the areas around the T and bus stops. Because, you know, a city that doesn't believe in Columbus day because it is declasse should pay more attention to riff raff mugging and pissing on the folks who actually vote and pay taxes to the city, you incredible bunch of morons.

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