I lived 16 years in Greenwood on this stretch of 3rd Ave NW (ie. Interstate 3), and whenever I crossed this street, I dealt with dangerously speeding cars and drivers who don’t yield to pedestrians waiting to cross. I wrote the city at least once a year to ask them to study this street, install crosswalks, and make safety improvements.

Occasionally an SDOT traffic engineer would write me back and say it wasn’t justified, and that in fact, the intersections were already legally defined as “Unmarked Crosswalks” which I guess means cars are supposed to yield to pedestrians if they’re standing there to cross. In practice, from my experience, maybe 1 in 10 drivers ever does this.

Way back in 2011, in my own little art protest I made this video where I performed the ‘Unmarked Crosswalk’ of that intersection, per the terms of state law. It was meant to be funny, as is the notion that an obscure, unenforced line of legalese creates any kind of a safe barrier between a 3000 lb metal speed machine and a human body.

So this week, I read that SDOT is putting in no less than SEVEN CROSSWALKS on this street, as well as speed bumps and other safety improvements.

I moved from this street three years ago, but I still walk this city and am ready with dark glares for the oblivious car drivers who would run me over if I were not on the lookout for them. I could not be happier to discover this news, and I am 1000 percent certain that SDOT discovered my 13 year old video and thought “hmm that poor guy – we should really do something about this.”

OK, I’m not that certain, but it’s nice to see that, occasionally, slowly, things can tilt towards justice. And that all the folks living there will have a safer, healthier neighborhood.

p.s. I don’t honestly think anyone was swayed by my video. It was still fun to make.