City workers slowly ambling across Haight and Steiner undertook a job certainly none of them ever considered they'd be doing when they were children. The men were blasting the crosswalks off the street with fire.
As the workers explained, the temporary crosswalks placed on the streets by paving contractors are simple aluminum tape. And the only way to get it off before replacing it with thermoplastic tape
-- your standard crosswalks -- is to roast it off with a propane burner.
This the workmen did, with one wheeling the burner along and another peeling the aluminum tape off the street. Every so often, the aluminum tape would burst into flames, and the workmen would hurriedly stamp it out.
Drivers motoring past ogled at the counter-intuitive sight of the crosswalks catching fire. And your humble narrator learned yet another thing you can do when properly motivated and in possession of a massive propane flame-thrower.