Santa Rosa artists brightened up two drab city crosswalks Tuesday to try to improve pedestrian safety and bring some vitality to the Burbank Gardens neighborhood.
With city approval and funding for supplies, the volunteer crews using specially approved street paint and stencils covered the crosswalks in floral patterns. White and yellow Shasta daisies now grace the east side of the Santa Rosa Avenue and Mill Street intersection, while yellow California poppies blossom to the west.
“This gives new meaning to the term street art,” Burbank Gardens resident and artist Judy Kennedy said as she supervised about a half dozen paint-splattered helpers.
Kennedy two years ago won grants from the city’s Community Advisory Board totaling $1,400 to support the public art project, which she hopes will brighten up an area that residents for years have been pushing the city to clean up. The intersection is bordered by both vibrant businesses and vacant lots.
She said she appreciated the city installing a street light at the intersection awhile back and wanted to go further to improve the neighborhood’s walkability. But various hurdles, including this past fall’s fires, delayed the project.
Dana Lynn Vallarino, a Sebastopol muralist who helped on the project, said painted crosswalks and bike lanes help motorists pay closer attention.
“We find that when streets are painted, it slows down traffic and makes pedestrians feel safer,” she said. “This is just a step above that.”
The city recently has installed green paint in a few bike lanes and, also on Tuesday, added a bright red “Bus Only” reminder to alert motorists not to turn into the city’s transit mall.
You can reach Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 707-521-5207 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @srcitybeat.