TACOMA, Wash. -- The City of Tacoma plans to prosecute anyone caught making a rogue crosswalk after five popped up recently.
The group behind them, “Citizens for a Safer Tacoma,” believes breaking the law is a risk it’s willing to take to save lives.
According to Tacoma police, traffic incidents have spiked in the area. At least 15 members of the group have been hit by cars. They went to the city to ask for help, but say they were turned away and are now taking matters into their own hands.
“If the city does nothing, we will,” said a spokesman, who wouldn’t go on camera because he didn’t want to be targeted.
The spokesman says their cause is important.
“None of us want to go to jail, but we’re more dedicated to the safety of citizens than we are to the law,” he said.
“It’s been a headache,” said Kurtis Kingsolver, Interim Public Works Director.
Each time a rogue crosswalk shows up, the city spends up to $1,000 to get rid of it. In addition to the costs, the city claims they create a safety issue.
“We’re not asking for major infrastructure changes, all we’re asking for is a little bit of paint,” said the spokesman.
“They’re different colors, some of them were circles, they weren’t really a crosswalk,” said Kingsolver.
The cost to install a crosswalk is up to $1,000, but they first must meet federal guidelines.
“We look at sight distance, we look at traffic volumes, we look at street width,” said Kingsolver.
According to Kingsolver, a crosswalk can’t be painted anytime someone wants one, even a group on a safety mission.
“We’d be more than happy to stop, but we want to get the attention of the city,” said the spokesman.
And they have. The city intends to arrest and prosecute anyone they catch creating the rogue crosswalks.
“This is by far the wrong avenue,” said Kingsolver.
An intersection costs up to $1,000 to put in depending on size and quality. The city hopes to meet with the citizen’s group to address its traffic concerns.