Baltimore’s guerrilla crosswalk artists

crosswalk hampden2

Lou Catelli’s late-night intersection enhancement on Hampden’s 36th St.: a homemade crosswalk.

Photo by: Jed Weeks

Transportation officials don’t like it, but Hampden residents are apparently fed up – they want cross-walks repainted on The Avenue and if the city’s not going to maintain the crosswalks on this busy north Baltimore street, they’re doing it themselves.

Deborah Patterson, a former OSI-Baltimore Community Fellow who runs ArtBlocks, is one of the ringleaders. She’s planning to install art crosswalks in Hampden intersections, but has run into many delays dealing with the city, according to OSI’s Jed Weeks, who happened to encounter her do-it-yourself crosswalk project very early this morning upon coming out of a restaurant.

“I took some photos and videos of the action, including officers responding to a ‘Destruction of City Property’ complaint, who after hearing the explanation of what everyone was doing, left,” Weeks wrote. Patch’s Adam Bednar has a pretty good write-up of the whole thing.

The latest example of citizens using art to strike back at what they see as government’s street-level lapses and affronts.

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  • cshaw-wilson

    Pretty sad when we can’teven get City government to respond to a simple request, then tie up a citizen response to the need in red tape!!

  • p johnson

    When I saw this yesterday my first assumption was that the city was going to FINALLY paint the crosswalks. This is actually so much better.

  • Virgil Caine

    Great idea. That intersection has been better with the stop signs, but without the proper street makings, it was still a nightmare.

    Please do the intersection at 36th and Keswick next!!

  • Guest

    This has been like this for MONTHS – there is absolutely no reason that people should have to do this on their own. Whenever they repaved the street they should have restriped it – period. 

  • anonymous

    Has anyone ever actually used a crosswalk to get across 36th?

    • Loucatelli

      it’s more about the awareness of the drivers of the newly installed stop signs

  • ARTblocks

    Thank you for the coverage, Baltimore Brew!  A little clarification is in order though, as there are TWO separate issues at play here. One is the fact that DOT should have painted the crosswalks, etc when they finished the repaving. Period. But since they didn’t, and the intersections are dangerous with or without them, we took matters into our own hands. The other issue is the street murals.  The decision  to do the one at 36th & Elm as a traffic calming device was made at a Hampden Village Merchants Association (HVMA) meeting last spring.  Since then, we have formed an excellent relationship with Valorie Lacour, the head of DOT’s new street painting program, and the ONLY thing holding up that project is funding. The cost per mural is $5,000, which I have been hard at work trying to raise. Our ultimate goal is to paint a mural in each of thel FIVE intersections.  If anyone wants to play Medici and help fund the project(s), we offer PayPal on our site, If you look us up on Guidestar, you will see that nearly all the money we raise goes towards programming.  Here’s to making Baltimore known as the most creative and pedestrian/bike friendly city on the [right] coast!

  • gasman

    Artsy Fartsy?

    • Loucatelli

      hey! you aren’t gasman

      • gasman*

        Never said I was “the ” gasman. I am simply “a” gasman.

  • Freddie

    Some problem with the video. It runs in four seconds.

  • Sillama

    Good community organizing! Get folks involved in making their street better and who knows what they might improve next! This could be the start of citizens taking back the city. 😉

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