Minneapolis/ Arts & Culture
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Published on June 22, 2024
New Asphalt Murals in Minneapolis Aim to Boost Pedestrian Safety Near SchoolsSource: Facebook/Minneapolis Arts & Cultural Affairs

In an effort to enhance student safety and add a splash of color to the streets of Minneapolis, the City's Department of Arts & Cultural Affairs has rolled out two new asphalt murals, serving as a canvas where art and pedestrian safety intersect. These murals, situated on 21st Avenue near Folwell Community School and South High, are part of the broader Safe Routes to School program aiming to make the daily commute for kids a safer venture.

These aren't merely decorative pieces; they are strategic artworks with a mission, to slow down traffic and to counter the all-too-common traffic incidents, with support from the Minneapolis Public Works Department, their efforts are both eye-catching and potentially lifesaving, "Research suggests that asphalt art can work in combination with other safety countermeasures to help lower vehicle speeds, reduce crashes, and improve traffic safety on our streets," said Minneapolis Public Works Director Tim Sexton, with ongoing evaluations of these intersections on the horizon for the next two years.

Artists Constanza Carballo and Marco Aguero have not only lent their artistic expertise but also involved students from the nearby schools to contribute to the design and painting of these murals, quoted saying "We have had an incredible experience working with the students, and their enthusiasm, creativity, and dedication have been truly inspiring" in an affirmation of the project's collaborative nature and the students' integral part in bringing their ideas to life.

These murals, located at the intersections of 21st Avenue South and 35th Street, and 21st Avenue South and 31st Street, not only reflect the creative spirits of the Folwell Community School and South High students but also mark the intersection where art meets urban planning and community engagement, with funding from the Bloomberg Philanthropies' Asphalt Art Initiative grant program, these asphalt artworks also demonstrate how public and private sectors can collaborate to transform cityscapes.

As residents of Minneapolis walk or drive by these vibrant streetscapes, they are not only reminded of the city's dedication to youth safety but also of the powerful role that art can play in fostering community spirit and making roads safer for everyone. For more details about this initiative, one can view the murals and learn about the broader program on the City of Minneapolis website.