TACOMA, Wash. -- A gritty rough mess is what’s left of a busy Tacoma intersection. To make the area safer, someone illegally painted their own crosswalks, forcing the city to grind them away.
“It can be really challenging to get across the street,” said Morgan Alexander, a business owner.
A road closure has forced extra traffic near the intersection of 6th Ave and St. Helens, creating a safety issue. Many that live and work in the area say a pedestrian nearly died after being hit by a car; others see near misses daily.
“Cars aren’t stopping properly or rolling through the stops and not really paying attention,” said Anna Steel, who works nearby.
Neighbors took their concerns to the city but didn’t get anywhere. Someone then took matters into their own hands, painting rogue crosswalks and a bike lane.
“At first I thought the city did it and I thought, great it’s about time. Then I took a closer look at it and it looked a little more homemade,” said Alexander.
“It’s Tacoma. They call us gritty and that’s what we do sometimes. We like to take things into our own hands,” said Kris Blondin, a business owner.
A few days ago, the crosswalks and bike lanes disappeared.
“The person who did this, thank you so much, but it’s gone now,” said Blondin.
City crews spent nearly a thousand dollars to grind them away.
Blondin and others in the area say spending money to clear the crosswalks and bike lane, but not fix the problem, is hypocritical.
“It’s a waste of taxpayer money,” said Steel.
“How much is paint versus having this grinding machine and then paying a city employee that’s probably making $25-30 an hour,” said Blondin.
A city spokesman says because of the safety concern, a traffic analysis is already underway on the intersection and will be completed by the end of the month.