This is a true story. I once lived in the town of Bradford, PA. They really did paint all the crosswalks neon colors one summer.

The History of the Technicolor Crosswalks

People complained in a Pennsylvanian town. Cars were almost running them over when they crossed the streets. The town council convened to discuss how to solve this problem. Perhaps the drivers of the cars could not see the yellow crosswalks. If they could not see the crosswalks, therefore they could not see the pedestrians when they crossed the streets!

The townspeople awoke one summer morning; they walked to fetch milk from the grocery and to give their barks their morning airing. What was this? Neon blue, yellow, orange, and green crosswalks were cropping up all over town! Everyone laughed, there was something to talk about while they got a clip.

The townspeople thought the town council was a little strange to authorize the painting of technicolor crosswalks. Well, it gave the town an a little color that it had previously lacked. My brother remarked that it looked a box of crayons had thrown up all over town.

For a while no one complained of almost being run over. How long could the technicolor crosswalks last? You would think it would be a distraction to drive up to a stoplight and see a neon colored crosswalk. The driver would be looking at the glaring crosswalk and would not notice the light changing. Would the lives of pedestrians forever be safe because of these neon crosswalks?

One day a lady jumped a curb in her car and crashed through a downtown bank window. She must not have noticed the bright crosswalk or perhaps she was distracted by its eye-popping glow. She claimed the gas pedal stuck.

Over the rest of the summer and into autumn the crosswalks slowly faded and the council never discussed the possibility of repainting them. By next summer people forgot they were witnesses to town government in action. The crosswalks assumed their original color, going back to a subdued yellow.

Words by Amy Buchanan
Read 608 times
Written on 2006-11-06 at 06:52

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