Mural Painted on Mpls. Street to Help Slow Traffic | News
In an attempt to make a busy intersection safer, a Minneapolis neighborhood used the street as their canvas.
Sunday the Corcoran Neighborhood Organization, or CNO, painted a mural onto the pavement at East 34th Street and 19th Avenue South with help from more than 100 volunteers.
The goal is to highlight the busy intersection so drivers see it and slow down. The intersection is a concern because it's used by kids headed to Corcoran Park.
Neighbors say it's already working. Drivers are taking notice and heeding the stop signs.
The project is just one of ten public arts projects planned for the next two years all to be paid for with a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.
The CNO received $14,767 from the MRAC. The neighborhood kicked in some more money to bring the total for the ten projects to $22,000.
For the project at East 34th Street and 19th Avenue, the CNO used about $2,500 mostly to cover staff time and to pay a local artist. The paint was a donation from Valspar.
Future projects include a plan to cover utility boxes with an artist's work.
Neighbors first started drawing murals in the intersection last year with chalk.
The grant allowed the CNO hire local artist Elise Kyllo who to create a permanent design with input from neighbors.
The mural features a heart at the center and several bicyclists.
Neighbor Melanie Casiday said, "Biking is central to this neighborhood and so we had to make sure that we put some bikes in there."
It also features squash blossoms, bees and vegetables and fruits which represent the Midtown Farmers Market.
The mural quickly became as much about neighborhood pride as safety.
Casiday said, "People come now and they visit the spot where they painted so there is definitely an investment in what they've done."
Amy Arcand, executive director of the Corcoran Neighborhood Organization, said the neighbors are vowing to keep the mural looking new.
"They're already signing up to touch up next year," she said. "We'll see how it endures the winter but our intent is to keep it looking fresh."
In Minneapolis, groups interested in launching similar projects must go through a process that includes getting the okay from the Public Art Advisory Panel, the Minneapolis Arts Commission and the Department of Public Works.
City officials say block group on the north side is currently going through that process, so you might see another mural sometime soon.
The CNO got the idea for a street mural from St. Paul which has an entire Paint the Pavement Program.