Andrea Aiello of the Castro Community Benefit District announced at the Castro Streetscape Improvement Project groundbreaking this morning that over 4,500 voters and Castro area residents chose decorative rainbow sidewalks to be located at all four crosswalks at the intersection of Castro and 18th Street. The CBD voted to make up the difference of the budget shortfall for the project in February which included decorative crosswalks and street lighting, and pavement stamped with Castro facts. The CBD had an online survey open to the public for the past several weeks that allowed folks to vote for their favorite of four decorative crosswalk designs which included rainbow stripes, rainbow handkerchief paisley, a design inspired by the Castro Theatre foyer tiles, and a design inspired by the Muni overhead catenary wires. The survey also allowed voters to decide whether the four decorative crosswalks should all be placed at the intersection of 18th and Castro or divided evenly at 19th and Castro and 18th and Castro. There was a lot of concern, at least in the comments section of this blog, that if either rainbow design was picked it would look too cartoonish. It looks like readers are going to be a little disappointed with the design choice, but it's difficult to make everyone happy. Construction is set to wrap up on the street improvements and sidewalk widening before the Castro Street Fair the first Sunday in October. Just in case improvements are not completed by then, construction workers have been told they will need to clean up construction during Pride in June and the Castro Street Fair in October. Mike Ghilotti of Ghilotti Brothers Construction, the contractors working on the bulk of the project, mentioned during the groundbreaking that if all goes to plan they hope to be out of the Castro several months before schedule. We'll see. As I walked down to Reveille Coffee to finish up this post, construction workers on the westside of Castro were already potholing outside of Rossi's Deli. An employee over at Lisa Hair Design closed the front door to the shop to keep out the noise. Here we go!
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