So-Called Thoughts: A silly setback and a new notion

Sorta but not quite related to this column, here nonetheless is Torg's most recent Union toon.

Just thought you’d like to know what’s up with my most recent smash-flop project – the Silly Crosswalk proposed for Eighth and G streets.

The short version is, it’s not going to happen, but.

Now to review, the Silly Crosswalk would be a place where people may walk sillily, and in fact are encouraged to do so. The idea was to further infuse downtown with fun and help break down social barriers with a shared love of absurd behavior. There are any number of videos on YouTube showing how these work, and they’re a lot of fun.

There are designated silly-walking spots in several other towns, and Bonnie Carroll quite rightly thought it seemed time for Arcata to try this and potentially claim credit for the innovation. Arcata Main Street, the Arcata Chamber of Commerce and CommUnity Pride & Peace all endorsed the concept.

It’s not going to happen because objections were raised to the idea of encouraging folks to goof around out in the street. Those concerns could have been overcome, maybe, but when the city’s municipal insurance carrier, REMIF, said it was “not very thrilled” about the idea, that pretty much put the kibosh on it.

Silliness survives

But, there is a new silly scenario. Our wonderful Transportation Safety Committee (TSC) and its staff liaison, Netra Khatri, assistant city engineer, came up with an alternative concept that’s even better!

What if we had a Silly Sidewalk instead? Maybe even one of the walkways that lead to the center of the Plaza, say the one that starts at Eighth and H?

Netra even suggested some kind of archway heralding the onset of the silly zone, but rather than clutter up the Schwazz any further, I’d just go for a simple sign, maybe something with a Pepperland feel.

So, silliness survives. Feel free to provide comments to the TSC and the Union as I pursue the proposal and report back.







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