Durham resident upset thousands of dollars spent on vibrant crosswalks

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) —  The Durham Arts Council worked to bring vibrancy to the Bull City through three new vibrant crosswalks.

However, one Durham resident argues that this money could have spent on more important things.

Minister Paul Scott is the founder of the Durham, North Carolina Black Messiah movement.

Scott said he was outraged after he found out the new vibrant crosswalk project came at a total cost of $100,000.

“It’s not just a crosswalk, it’s about the city turning its blind eye on certain less affluent communities,” Scott said.

Scott said for a year, he has been trying to put a painted crosswalk in the McDougald Terrace Community with three colors from the Pan African Flag.

“My hope is, and my prayer is, that the gang members and the young people, in general, see these colors and that they might just put down the gang colors and pick up these colors,” Scott said.

After collecting signatures from the people in the community, he said nothing has come of his efforts.

“It’s about money spent downtown that could be put in the hood,” Scott said.

So where did the $100,000 come from to pay for the crosswalks?

The Durham Arts Council said all of the funding was earmarked for public art and the money came from grant funds that came from different entities, including $25,000 from the city of Durham.

The Durham Arts Council said this is all part of the $10 million Durham SmART Vision Plan, which includes other art projects in the city.

“It’s bad enough that the bull city has become known as the bullet city, but now that they’re putting $10 million in downtown, all Durham citizens should be outraged,” Scott said.

No one with the city of Durham would speak on camera on Wednesday, but they did say that city staff have been asked to contact the DHA McDougald Terrace Resident Council to seek their feedback on Scott’s proposed crosswalk.

“The administration is currently awaiting the Resident Council’s response in order to inform the City’s next steps regarding this project,” said Keith Chadwell, Deputy City Manager for the City of Durham.

However, Scott argued that it shouldn’t take this long.

“Why are they making a big deal and a big controversy over putting three simple colors on the street,” Scott said. “It shouldn’t have to be that hard.”

The Durham Arts Council also got feedback from residents and businesses before they could put in the vibrant crosswalks in the areas downtown.

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