Revere residents may soon be seeing red, green, blue – or even a mural of legendary Patriot, Paul Revere within the citys crosswalks.
Council President Jessica Giannino and Vice President Joanne McKenna co-sponsored a motion that Mayor Brian Arrigo ask the DPW to investigate the feasibility of using a more visible paint color for crosswalks.
Kathleen Heiser of the Beachmont Improvement Committee said her committee is collaborating with the Beautification Committee on the proposal.
“We’ve noticed that when you pull up to a stop sign area, often times you don’t know the crosswalks are there,” said Heiser. “My thought was that if you saw color there in the crosswalk, even from a half a block away, you would know there’s something to alert you, so you would slow down. It would be traffic-calming technique as well as a safety issue.”
Ron Champoux of the Beautification Committee called the crosswalk proposal “a great idea.”
McKenna said she conferred with DPW Superintendent Paul Argenzio and he indicated that red might not be the best color for the crosswalks.
“The color would matter when it gets dark,” said McKenna. “We need to research a color that’s going to be bright enough to see in the dark hours of the night.”
Carol Haney of the Beautification Committee suggested that the color be “lime green that they have for all of the pedestrian signs, because that would show up.”
Councillor-at-Large Dan Rizzo said most colors would work “as long it’s in the best interest of public safety.” Rizzo added that he would like to see the DPW spruce up the sidewalks “maybe three times a year.” He cited paint coming off sidewalks located on Central Avenue.
Councillor Anthony Zambuto said the paint must be specific for crosswalks. “It has to be the safety paint that is not slick,” said Zambuto. “It has to be the correct paint.”
Giannino made a similar point, saying that when she talked with her father, Revere Police Sgt. Christopher Serino, he said it was imperative to have the right paint for the sidewalks.
Ward 6 Councillor Charlie Patch said some crosswalks off of Route 1 in Saugus “are red, and it really stands out. But having the color in the middle does have an effect on you.”
Ward 3 Councillor Arthur Guinasso said he would be happy just having “the faded crosswalks painted white.”
“Just get them illuminated white. We have quite a few that are faded and need a good paint job. Rather than worrying about what color, let’s get them painted.”
Councillor-at-Large Steven Morabito supported the motion, but noted that there are LED smart crosswalks that might be safer for motorists and pedestrians. “That’s something to look in to in the future as we are moving to new technology.”
Mayor Arrigo said at the Council meeting that the City Council had earlier approved his request for additional money for crosswalks in the city.
“There was an additional $65,000 that we requested in our capital budget for this very purpose, so we do have the money,” said Arrigo. “The crosswalks and the markings on the street have historically been done in plain paint. Our latest bid for markings included some newer technology that includes paint that will last, hopefully, for a long period of time. So rather than doing it three times each year, you do it once for a couple of years, and we’re good.”
Arrigo said the city is working with a group called Neighborways in the Shirley Avenue and Beachmont areas to bring some public art to those neighborhoods.
“We’re on it and I look forward to making sure our markings are clean and crisp and last for a couple of years,” the mayor assured the Council.
Councillor George Rotondo loves the idea of new colors in the crosswalks, but he wants to do a step further and have a Paul Revere mural at a crosswalk.
“As long as we can have it safe, I would love to have brilliant color schemes throughout the city. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have kids crossing the street and seeing Paul Revere in the middle of a crosswalk right down by the Paul Revere School.”
Rotondo said during a trip to Barcelona, the city had actual murals on the crosswalks of “fish and old boats of the 1500s and 1600s, and they we just beautiful.”