Color Your City: Vote for the 7th And Westlake Crosswalk Design

Posted on April 19, 2017, 3:17 pm
2 mins


Time to add your two cents about the latest dash of color being planned for public spaces downtown. Westlake Avenue cuts through the north end of downtown at a roughly 60° angle. That makes for a lot of odd intersections, triangular plots between busy lanes. Westlake’s intersection with 7th Avenue is among the most fraught for pedestrians and drivers. Some snazzy designs proposed for the five crosswalks there may improve morale, at least, if not safety.

The public is invited to choose among the four submitted designs. All of them tend toward cooler colors, so if you were hoping for a sassy hot pink, better luck next time.

For people like me who grew up loving the works of M.C. Escher, the Tesselation Concept is probably the clear winner. Interlocking forms become fish and rockets on different corners. The Map Concept also addresses the more abstract intersection of technology and the natural world. It evokes the topography of Denny Hill, which stood in what is now the Belltown/Downtown area. It was excavated out of existence in the early 20th century, and the map is a winsome memorial.

The Spiral Concept is a simple but attractive burst. If it wins, it’ll probably get a few Instagrams and shrugs. One can only hope that we don’t end up with the Knots Concept, though. Its “playful” reminder that “efficiency and order can quickly turn to chaos and confusion” is ill-timed. We already know that quite well in Seattle—as does anyone who has been watching the news lately.

Vote and comment on the official survey page.

T.s. Flock is a writer and arts critic based in Seattle and co-founder of Vanguard Seattle.