July 18, 2024

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Gary Public Transit Corp. seeks votes on students’ crosswalk art designs | Entertainment

GARY — Local students came up with artistic designs for downtown Gary crosswalks, and the public can vote on which they like best.

The Gary Public Transit Corp. is asking the public to vote on crosswalk art designs by elementary and middle school students from Glen Park Academy, Banneker at Marquette and 21st Century Elementary. The winners selected will be painted on crosswalks at the Art and History Fitness Trail, between 21st Century Elementary and Gary Public Library and Cultural Center.

The bus transit agency got a $10,000 tactical urbanism grant to fund improvements to downtown crosswalks.

“We sent the invitation out to schools primarily in the Gary area,” Gary Public Transit Corp. Director of Planning and Marketing David Wright said. “We got about 27 entries total; the eight that are finalists on our Survey Monkey are from three different schools.”

Polling will run through the end of the week on which art designs will be installed later this year.

“There is a Bloomberg study that proves crosswalk art actually makes intersections safer,” Wright said. “People slow down and pay more attention. They’re more visible. Since we’ve got several major bus stops in the downtown area, making those crosswalks safer means our pedestrians and riders are safer.”

The project includes the creation of a new walking trail in downtown Gary.

“One will be displayed by our Art and History Fitness Trail, which is a walking trail we’re creating to hit some of the exhibits and architectural gems in downtown Gary,” he said. “We wanted to create a circuit that highlights the artwork and architecture downtown, that connects to the Metro Center and the other bus stops, so we were able to get a state grant that will help us get that done. We’ve got a logo and are finalizing signage that will focus on architectural gems like City Methodist and City Hall and art exhibits like the sculpture around City Hall, the ArtHouse and the sculptures near the Metro Center. We want to highlight them. And make it easier to get around and get some steps in downtown.”

The Gary Public Transit Corp. has done a few artistic initiatives in recent years, including murals by local artists on shelters.

“We installed those in 2018 and took them down last year,” he said. “Some of the student artwork we may turn into additional shelter art if we have the budget. We got a lot of great responses from the shelter bus program. If we are able to recreate that, we will.”

For more information or to vote, visit gptcbus.com and surveymonkey.com.