Cross-dressing

Hey Ace: I just noticed that the crosswalks from the Emmet/Ivy intersection all the way to Jefferson Park Avenue are green and white instead of the customary black and white zebra crossing. I love the white/lime green combo—it really goes well with my wardrobe—but why the new style?—J. Crewe

Oh dahling, didn’t you know? Save for the occasional Truman Capote tribute, black and white is out and color is in! Even the usually fashion-oblivious City is catching on to the trend, hence the crosswalk in question. Before you know it, there will be all sorts of “Stop” and “Slow Children at Play” signs popping up in hues such as “charcoal gray,” “petal” and “azure.” The City, incidentally, studiously refers to the greenish color of the crosswalks around Ivy Road and JPA as “florescent yellow-green.”

   But the City is its usual pokey self, even in matters as crucial as style, which explains why the stretch of pavement that passes by the UVA tennis courts, Memorial Gym and the Newcomb Hall parking garage is the only place in town where crosswalks look so snazzy. That’s what Maurice Jones, Charlottesville’s dapper Director of Communications told Ace.

   To make matters worse for Ace, who knows a good fashion scandal when he hears one, the selection of “florescent yellow-green” was purely practical, Jones says.

   Seems UVA raised concerns to City leaders regarding the combined pedestrian and vehicular traffic and the accident history in the Ivy/JPA area. While the speed limit along there is 25 miles per hour, cars tend to whisk along at a brisker pace. No wonder there are five busy crosswalks in the stretch of a mile. After an assessment of the concerns, the City concurred with UVA and added the green color “to draw more attention to the crosswalks and therefore to the pedestrians that use them,” says Jones. Ace, on the other hand, thinks the best way to get more attention is to wear a tight-fitting pair of John Varvatos jeans. But Ace digresses…

   Jones says that the City plans on evaluating how effective the new crosswalks are and, if the City sees some success, it will “consider other intersections on a case by case basis.” In the meantime, if crossing those dangerous streets is making you nervous, stick to your car: If you can’t fight ’em, join ’em.

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