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Green footprints an eyesore

Walking along the 200 block of East 29th Street, I was alarmed by the appearance of 20 pairs of 19-inch stenciled fluorescent green footprints. Baltimoreans learned about the invasion of this sidewalk graffiti near five local elementary schools ("City works to improve safety for children's walk to school," Dec. 23). Imagine these permanent footprints marching across the city — all to promote safety for children walking to school.

No one questions the critical need to improve the pedestrian safety near all our schools with improved crosswalk markings, countdown signals and more crossing guards on duty. At the same time, Baltimore's transportation department is replacing many derelict sidewalks to improve pedestrian safety and also enlarging tree pits to enable street trees to thrive. If these footprints washed away with poster paint or chalk, I would not object, but these stencils will blight the city for years.

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Here's hoping that Mayor William Donald Schaefer's pothole valentines of 1983 stir memories of another misguided promotion. Let's not let the transportation department's footprints distract from the city's serious streetscape improvements.

Sandy Sparks, Baltimore

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