When it comes to public works or public safety, aesthetics seem to be disregarded. This I disgree with so long as true public safety is not compormised. In this case, it's PennDOT.
BACK TO BRICK
Paving with bricks is expensive, but many places think the ambience they create is worth it. Until recently, any pedestrian crossing South Broad Street in central Philadelphia would surely have noticed the handsome crosswalks, which were set off from the asphalt with interlocking Z-shaped bricks. The
brick was an extravagance, to be sure, where two white painted lines would do fine. But former mayor Ed Rendell, who had the brick installed several years ago, thought the crosswalks were worth the extra cost. They added an ambience that helped market the street's theaters and concert halls as the "Avenue of the Arts." Apparently, officials in Pennsylvania's Department of Transportation weren't so keen on them. PennDOT has its own name for South Broad--State Highway Route 611--and when it turned up on a list of roads to repave this July, maintenance crews saw the bricks not as an urban enhancement but as a maintenance nuisance. They ripped out the expensive bricks one crosswalk at a time until Rendell, who is now governor, found out and ordered the work to cease. It's not every day that a governor intervenes in a road-paving project, but then again, Philadelphia really loves its bricks. James Kise, the architect who designed South Broad's streetscape, called PennDOT's brick bumbling "an act of vandalism." PennDOT chief Allen
Biehler apologized for the department's aesthetic insensitivity and promised to rebuild the crosswalks as they were. The brickwork won't be done until the middle of September--at a cost of $280,000.
Taken from www.governing.com
Any comments Mike D.?