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Creative Crosswalk Design

Design, good design, are the invisible bits of genius invisibly embedded into the everyday by anonymous designers toiling over the details. It’s not just about how it looks, or it feels, it’s about how it works. Pedestrian at best, I prefer to walk or bike whenever I can. On foot, I take time to take in the width of the sidewalks and their path before I cross the street. Often, in my mid-sized midwestern city of Fort Wayne there are few crosswalks to guide pedestrians across the roadway. I imagine that we're not alone. As populations move into city centers, walking and biking must be incentivized for health and developmental reasons. We don’t just need crosswalks and wayfinding, we need aesthetically efficient solutions that inject joy and wonder into our shared spaces. Paul Goldberger, an American architecture critic and educator puts it this way; “Urbanism works when it creates a journey as desirable as the destination.” This isn’t a novel idea, there are several cities that have implemented attractive and creative designs into their streets. Every summer in Fort Wayne, there’s a Chalk Walk street art festival where local artists cover Main Street with eye-catching designs. It’s an amazing time to walk around and reside in the space with no clear destination. Inspired by it’s popularity, I started researching street designs and have spoken with gallery coordinators, artists, and the city about the possibility of creating awesome art beneath our feet. It possible and plausible, we just need to create it. Design, good design transforms the ordinary. More than it was before, more than its parts, it transcends to bring joy to our shared spaces and our journey through the urban environment.