Spring in Wellesley brings the return of flowers, marathoners, and yes, that Washington Street crosswalk that isn’t really a crosswalk at all.
We’ve written about this demon stretch of white paint on Rte. 16 for more than 2 years, initially inspired by an email from an out-of-towner aghast that someone was parking in a crosswalk in front of Blue Ginger, at the time (See “Swellesley cracks the Case of the Crazy Crosswalk”). But as it turned out, the car was parked legitimately at a meter, and the striping was really the remnants of a temporary crosswalk used while the Belclare complex was under construction. The bogus crosswalk was the bane of Blue Ginger’s existence, as customers steadily asked whether the space was OK to park in.
The town worked with the Belclare developer to cover the crosswalk with black paint, but then we found ourselves returning to scene of the crime last spring. Blue Ginger was gone, Smith & Wollensky was on its way, and the ghostly crosswalk had seeped through the black cover. The town again was forced to spring into action to cover it up. After all, the semi-crosswalk is a danger to drivers, who are unsure whether to stop or go through it, and pedestrians, who are also tempted to take the shortcut at their own peril.
Now, upon visiting the new Fiorella’s Express at the corner of Church Street and Washington Street, I couldn’t believe the phony crosswalk was back. I parked in that questionable space, and just hoped no one would try to teach me a lesson.