If you've been driving or walking in Portland, Maine, recently, you may have noticed two streets have gotten a color upgrade.

Bright blue curb extensions (though, sometimes it looks a bit purple, right?) have been painted on Danforth Street near the Ugly Duckling coffee shop and Brighton Avenue near Bolton Street.

But what are they for?

It's easy to think that it's just the start of painting the full crosswalk into a full creative art display, like Bath, Maine, did in 2023, or the first color of a multi-colored rainbow crosswalk, like many cities/towns are doing in connection with Pride Month.

However, it's all about a safety addition to those particular areas.

According to a Facebook post from Portland Trails, these painted curb extensions give the illusion of a narrower road to get drivers to slow down when navigating the lanes. Additionally, reflective bollards are placed near these curbs to enhance the visual.

And while this may seem small, it can have a big impact, making for a safer walking and driving experience for all.

This type of painted "bump out" has been in a number of locations across the U.S., including Minnesota, Texas, and California.

The Department of Transportation states that curb extensions "significantly improve pedestrian crossings by reducing the pedestrian crossing distance, improving the ability of pedestrians and motorists to see each other, and reducing the time that pedestrians are in the street."

You can see more about pedestrian laws in Maine here.

Hopefully, these changes ultimately have a positive impact, and who knows? Maybe more will pop up in other parts of Portland and Maine in the future if they haven't already.

What do you think of these blue curb extensions?

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