Thursday, April 8, 2010

Art as Traffic-Calming Device


John and I were talking this morning about how fast some cars blast down our street. Maybe this has increased since Lincoln is closed for road constuction, diverting more traffic down the neighborhood streets. John mentioned putting a large planter in the middle of the 25th and Monroe intersection. This is next to Wilson Elementary, and there's a lot of pedestrian congestion from the kids and parents walking to and from school. This congestions is not enough to slow some drivers though. Often we sit having coffee in the mornings at the Scoop, stunned by the speeding drivers we see.

One way to slow down traffic that I'd love to see are murals painted directly on the intersection's asphalt. Communities are experimenting with this idea in other areas. The large and vibrant ladybug mural is from the Phinney/Greenwood neighborhoods in Seattle. Neighbors got tired of speeding traffic, pooled their resources and energy, and created some traffic calming art. I love it. With the momentum around Complete Streets and Summer Parkways, maybe we'll see more of this kind of local art and neighborhood action.

4 comments:

Mark said...

My sister and brother in law had the same problem with their street in Menlo Park. Lots of kids and speeding cars, so they put cones in the street to warn drivers. However the police said they couldn't do that but they could legally park up to 18" from the curb. So they would strategically place some cars on the street on weekends to create a single lane in places.With the blessing of the P.D.

Anonymous said...

I love this idea!! Can that be done in spokane? I mean, who would you have to get permission from, how would you block the street during painting? Who could answer these questions?

Andrew

Traditional Bike Club Curmudgeon said...

Three years ago, in Zurich, I saw traffic circles that were nothing more than paint in the intersections. No "structure" at all. The socially conscious Swiss were dutifully following the designated lanes and not driving over the paint.

My immediate reaction was "Not in Spokane!"

Ken Paulman said...

There's a neighborhood in St. Paul that set up a program for this. Requires coordinating with the city and public works. This site may be helpful: http://www.paintthepavement.org/frontpage.