EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The first “creative crosswalk” in El Paso, located at the intersection of Yarbrough Drive and Independence Drive in the Lower Valley, is an invitation to El Pasoans to get out and walk more and to stay safe on the streets.
This effort is a part of El Paso Complete Streets Coalition’s project with the support of the city of El Paso to create safer streets in the city.
Abraham Torres, public health program manager with the American Heart Association, which is also a part of the Complete Streets Coalition, said that the program’s goals include encouraging physical activity and creating crosswalks that are equitable for all users.
The first artistic crosswalk was created on Wednesday near Shawver Park using neon-colored geometric designs that are not only pleasing to the eye but also serve a purpose.
“When pedestrians see the crosswalk, they’re going to feel safer to walk in it and they might feel more motivated to go out and walk,” said Torres, explaining how the colorful crosswalk could also encourage pedestrians to make use of it instead of crossing the road elsewhere and putting themselves in danger.
This also benefits drivers who might stop over the crosswalk, since the bright colors of the crosswalk will be visible from afar, alerting them to stop sooner and not stop in that space.
Aidee Cosme, capital improvement project manager with the city, said that the initiative is a part of the Sun City Safe Program that is set to provide and explore opportunities for safe spaces in the community.
“It’s an invitation for people to use the open spaces around the area and also lightens up the space as you are driving by,” said Cosme.
The plan is to create more of these eye-catching crossings around the city, especially around parks and schools, said Torres.
The Complete Streets Coalition will be holding an event from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday at the Yarbrough and Independence intersection to demonstrate the benefits of the complete streets concept. The free event will include family-friendly activities and local vendors as well.