I don’t know if is ever mentioned in the TV coverage of New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, but they paint a green stripe down the center of the street over the course of the parade route. Above, our Andy Dallos ran into traffic outside TRMS headquarters, which happens to be across the street from St. Patrick’s Cathedral (in scaffolding on the right), for a look at it. I had always assumed the stripe was necessitated by some kind of city rule because I know they paint a stripe for the gay pride parade and also for the New York Marathon. But apparently there’s more to it than that. Andy also found this bit of information for former city commissioner Neil Walsh:
Mr. Walsh was also something of a philanthropist. After the city – in the administration of Mayor Robert F. Wagner – stopped underwriting the annual cost of having a four-inch-wide, two-and-a-half-mile green line painted down the center of Fifth Avenue to mark the St. Patrick’s Day parade route, Mr. Walsh paid for the labor and materials. In 1977, he said he had made provisions for future line-painting in his will.