Midtown Pairs Art with Safety for Creative Crosswalk Project
Midtown streets feature art beneath the feet of pedestrians in the name of safety
Midtown, Houston’s most walkable neighborhood, increases pedestrian safety in a creative way with the installation of the Artistic Crosswalk Pilot Project. The pilot project located at the intersection of Elgin and Louisiana Streets, began on April 23rd and completed on May 1st. Local artist and University of Houston professor Aaron Parazette created the design. While visually appealing, the ornate project marries public art and pedestrian safety by improving accessibility and encouraging drivers to be more aware of pedestrians at marked crossings. A signal box that controls the traffic lights at the intersection will be adorned in a similar design in a separate but cohesive project to compliment the crosswalk. Similar projects that infuse art at pedestrian crosswalks can be found in major cities around the world.
“People love to walk and bike around Midtown, and want to make sure they can do so safely. These creative markings encourage drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to look out for one another, and they further enhance the appeal of the area,” says William J.Taylor, secretary, Midtown board of directors.
Parazette is a decorated artist who was named Art League Houston’s Texas Artists of the Year in 2012. He has taught art at the University of Houston for more than ten years.
The new creative crosswalk is one of many efforts to revitalize the Midtown area. Other programs include Greenroads project, the new Baby Park, an updated Midtown Park and other street and green space improvements.