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Fort Collins to receive $25,000 for asphalt art installation at intersection

Fort Collins Intersection
Posted at 9:14 PM, Dec 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-04 23:14:22-05

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Can art on our streets make them nicer to look at and safer? Bloomberg Philanthropies argues it can and is funding efforts in Fort Collins and other cities around the world to show it.

Fort Collins is among 25 cities selected to receive funding for an asphalt art installation, using painted images on the street and plastic posts to change traffic flow and improve safety for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.

"Asphalt art is a low-cost, quick-build way to paint in infrastructure and change our streets at a pace that would otherwise not be possible if we are waiting for concrete curbs and big capital projects," said Anna Kelso, the active modes specialist with the City of Fort Collins. "Instead, we can paint on infrastructure with striping and plastic delineator posts, and then humanize our streets by making them beautiful and defining these places."

The City of Fort Collins is receiving $25,000 for its project, which will be installed at the intersection of Magnolia Street, Canyon Avenue, and Sherwood Street. It is a five-point intersection that currently only has stop signs to instruct drivers.

"It's about 10,000 square feet of asphalt that people have to navigate. There's a lot of right-of-way confusion," Kelso said. "And because of the wide streets here in Fort Collins, it allows cars to travel at speeds that are faster than what's actually posted. So we're hoping that this asphalt art project will help solve some of those issues."

A study last year from Bloomberg Philanthropies and Sam Schwartz Consulting looked at several completed asphalt art projects and found a 17 percent decrease in total crashes, a 37 percent decrease in the rate of crashes leading to injuries and a 50 percent decrease in crashes involving pedestrians. Kelso credits this to the marriage of the "tactical urbanism" of the traffic striping and plastic posts with the art that "humanizes" the street.

"When streets look like people belong there, people drive they expect to see people there," she said.

Fort Collins's project will begin with a series of community meetings at the beginning of 2024 to discuss what it will look like and how it will change traffic flow, and is slated for installation in September 2024.

Fort Collins to receive $25,000 for asphalt art installation at intersection

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