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Town of Barhead council approves new decorative crosswalk policy

New policy gives guidance to organizations who want to apply for the installation of a decorative crosswalk
Town of Barrhead councillors approved a new Decorative Crosswalk Policy that would govern the application process for speciality crosswalks, such as this Pride crosswalk painted in June 2023 in front of the municipal office across Kowalski Drive.

BARRHEAD - Individuals and organizations in Barrhead that want to decorate a crosswalk will now have some official guidelines.

Town of Barrhead councillors approved a new decorative crosswalk policy during their May 14 council meeting.

The policy sets the criteria that community groups must meet to get the municipality's approval to paint a crosswalk. 

Chief administrative officer (CAO) Edward LeBlanc said administration started drafting the policy following the March 26 meeting.

At this meeting, Councilor Rod Klumph suggested that the municipality adopt a decorative crosswalk policy modelled after Edmonton's as part of a discussion on whether to approve Barrhead United Church's OutProud group's application for a Pride crosswalk. Councillors approved the application for the crosswalk, which will be on Main Street adjacent to the TD Bank and Tim Hortons across 51st Avenue.

Coun. Rod Klumph suggested the creation of the policy due to potential liability and safety concerns.

"You can have them, but there should be guidelines because there is a safety issue with decorative crosswalks," Klumph said. "We don't want to put our residents in peril when crossing the street. We want the groups that may want a decorative crosswalk to adhere to best practices."

Under the policy, applicants must submit all requests for a decorative crosswalk in writing to the town's CAO. The municipality has created a decorative crosswalk application form to simplify the process. Individuals, organizations or groups wishing to have a decorative crosswalk must be Barrhead residents or have a physical presence in the community. Successful applicants will also be required to supply all materials and labour needed to paint the crosswalk, and all paints used must be non-slip and similar to that used to paint standard crosswalks. Approval of applications is the responsibility of the CAO.

Applications will be accepted for the calendar year they are received and must be submitted at least 30 days before the requested installation date.

All requests must include a copy of the proposed design of the crosswalk's artwork, and the applicant must ensure that the artwork is free from advertising, text logos, political symbols, or symbols containing hate, violence, lewdness, or racism.

Artwork containing colours or shapes that could be confused with traffic control devices is also prohibited.

The primary consideration in gaining approval for a suggested location for a decorative crosswalk is the safety of pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists. Suggested locations include low — to medium-traffic-volume roads, roads with a speed limit of 50 km/h or less, well-lit locations, and locations where the pavement is in good condition.

Barry Kerton,

Barry Kerton

About the Author: Barry Kerton

Barry Kerton is the managing editor of the Barrhead Leader, joining the paper in 2014. He covers news, municipal politics and sports.
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