City of Edmonton removing red brick crosswalks along 124th Street

The City of Edmonton is removing red brick crosswalks from 124th Street intersections due to the material losing traction and becoming slippery.

More than $100,000 to install and another $40,000 to take them out

Red crosswalks were installed at eight intersections on 124th Street in the summer of 2018. The City of Edmonton announced it would remove the red crosswalks because the material becomes more slippery with time. (Scott Neufeld/CBC)

City workers are removing decorated red-brick crosswalks on 124th Street because the material becomes more slippery with time — and rain and snow only makes it worse.

The bricks are covered with a red plastic veneer that looks like paint. It will cost $40,000 to remove the crosswalks, which are located at eight intersections between 102nd Avenue and 110th Avenue.

The crosswalks were installed last year at a cost of more than $100,000. The idea was to liven the street with colour, and to make the intersections safer for pedestrians by calming traffic.

There wasn't enough evidence to show that the decorated crosswalks made the intersections safer for pedestrians, a City of Edmonton official said Monday.

"We did see those encroachment infractions reduced, but not in a significant way to call it a success," said Olga Messinis, the city's director of traffic operations.

There isn't a lot of literature about how decorative crosswalk treatments impact traffic safety, Messinis said.

She said the experiment may prove helpful even though it only lasted a little more than a year.

"We do have some material to come back with and perhaps that will help us build a body of literature to help us address traffic safety."

The removal of the decorated crosswalks is expected to be completed within a few weeks.

The city will still be looking to install a decorative crosswalk across 124th Street, but it will be using a different material than the one being removed. 




Travis McEwan

Video journalist

Travis McEwan is a video journalist who covers stories ranging from human interest and sports to municipal and provincial issues. Originally from Churchill, Man., Travis has spent the last decade working at CBC Edmonton reporting for web, radio and television. Email story ideas to travis.mcewan@cbc.ca.