— Sarah K (@skurpie) June 10, 2016
The weather did mostly cooperate this time, up until mid-afternoon Saturday. It was great to see people interacting with the demonstration and discussing how to make our streets safer and more welcoming for all. I hope the city is able to do more events like this one. However, I think the demonstration also highlighted how challenging it is to make an effective temporary demonstration.
While this demonstration was very well thought out and visually more attractive than past ones done by the city, the same chalk markings which were very visible standing on the street corner were easily missed as a motorist. Driving through yesterday, all I really noticed were the orange cones and barrels. Cyclists still used the sidewalk and motorists still used the bike lane. And standing at the parklet opposite Madison Avenue, it was shocking to see one driver after another ignore pedestrians in the crosswalk, sometimes waving as they drove by. Perhaps we need to invest in longer, more visible demonstrations? Or perhaps we need to try other techniques, some which might not lend themselves as well to trials.
If you were able to walk, drive or ride your bicycle through the area, please fill out a survey and feel free to share your thoughts here as well. There will be a follow-up workshop Monday June 13th from 5pm to 8pm in the War Memorial Auditorium at Newton City Hall with short presentations given at 5:30 PM, 6:30 PM, and 7:30 PM. RSVP preferred.