Glenwood South looks to add zip to crosswalks
Posted May 4, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — A Raleigh neighborhood wants to get creative with the white lines on its streets that designate crosswalks.
The "Cool Walkings" project in the Glenwood South area will allow artists to paint creative designs on the Glenwood Avenue crosswalks at Jones, Tucker and North streets.
"We think it’s a unique take on involving public art in a neighborhood," said Julie Mastropaolo, who is coordinating the project for the Glenwood South Neighborhood Collaborative.
The group has been working with Raleigh and state Department of Transportation officials to ensure the project will meet local and state regulations for crosswalks. The crosswalks will have to follow the standard white grid, but artists will add accents to turn them into piano keys, zippers, hopscotch squares or other designs.
"Some other cities who’ve involved this type of public art have seen a calming of traffic patterns," Mastropaolo said. "They’ve also seen how neighborhoods have come together, how people are engaged with the art."
Residents gave the idea a thumbs-up on Monday before any designs have even been submitted.
"When you do things to draw people in, you lift the city up a bit," Skip Wright said.
"Maybe it’ll slow down cars so they’ll stop and actually see that first," Carla Ambrose said.
"We need the cars to stop for us," Dawn Lenns said.
An information meeting for artists will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at United Arts Council, 410 Glenwood Ave. Deadline for artist submissions is May 29.
Each winning design will earn the artist a $500 honorarium, and he or she will have to assemble a volunteer painting crew to get the design onto the pavement. The Glenwood South group has set up a GoFundMe page to raise the $2,900 needed to cover the cost of painting all three crosswalks.
Mastropaolo said organizers hope the designs are in place by the end of the summer, but they will be short-lived – Glenwood Avenue is scheduled to be repaved in 2017.