Santa Monica Is Turning its Crosswalks Into Art

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It appears we’re in the golden age of crosswalks in Los Angeles. After Mayor Eric Garcetti introduced Vision Zero, a citywide set of initiatives aimed at protecting pedestrians, the race has been on to produce better, safer crosswalks.

Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue got a spiffy new scramble crosswalk late last year, with Garcetti planning to install even more in Hollywood and Downtown. Earlier this year, Santa Monica got in on the safer crosswalk fad as well, when it announced plans to install 12 new scramble crosswalks of its own.

Now, Santa Monica is taking two of those scramble crosswalks in a new direction. According to Santa Monica Next, the city will transform the crosswalks into public art, so they’re not only functional and safe, but also surprising and delightful, Santa Monica mobility manager Francie Stefan tells the local news website.

The intersections of Ocean Avenue and Broadway and 2nd Street and Arizona Avenue will be repainted to “capture the joy of walking in Santa Monica,” Stefan said.

The city is surveying residents to inspire the themes that will be incorporated into the crosswalk designs. It’s asking for “one word that encapsulates” downtown Santa Monica and for “fun story” about walking in the neighborhood.

The final designs are expected to be ready by early next month, and should be completed by the end of August. Stefan told Santa Monica Next the two initial art projects will “inform expansion of creative treatments to other locations.”

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