Demonstration and Pilot Projects
MetroPlan is excited to enter the world of Demonstration Projects (also known as Pilot Projects). So, what exactly are demonstration projects?
Demonstration projects allow public agencies, community partners, and people walking, bicycling, taking transit, and driving to evaluate potential infrastructure improvements before investing in permanent changes.
Demonstration projects take many forms. Here in Flagstaff, MetroPlan focuses on the solutions to the right, that allow creative ways to implement temporary changes through
art and roadway changes to support safe streets for everyone!
Each of these is intended to be temporary in nature and focuses on collecting data and evaluating behaviors of pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers that can then be shared with our partner agencies. These are often referred to as “Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper” Street Transformations.
Demonstration projects allow communities to evaluate the impact of a roadway change without making a permanent investment.
Demonstration projects are a way to test aspects of safety improvements before making further investments.
Some demonstration projects use art, typically murals on crosswalks, intersections, plazas, or other road infrastructure, designed to make streets safer and revitalize public spaces.
Impacts to safety
The Asphalt Art Safety Study released in 2022 by Bloomberg Philanthropies in collaboration with Sam Schwartz Consulting shows considerable safety improvements across a cohort of 22 U.S. project sites after the art was incorporated into roadway designs.
50% drop in crashes involving pedestrians or cyclists
37% drop in crashes with injuries
27% increase in drivers yielding to pedestrians with the right-of-way
25% drop in the rate of conflicts between drivers and pedestrians
How do these projects make streets safer?
Reshaping the Street → Some projects use art and design to physically change the shape of the street, such as by installing curb extensions to shorten crossing distances and to make it harder for cars to take high-speed turns.
Increasing Awareness → In other projects, just the presence of art impacts how drivers drive. Art on the ground provides a clear reminder for drivers that the street is for pedestrians and cyclists too, prompting them to drive more carefully.
Photo by Living Streets Alliance (Tucson, Arizona)
Provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies
Upcoming Slow Streets
Cheshire Slow Street!
MetroPlan in partnership with the City of Flagstaff, Creative Flagstaff, and Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy (FALA), received our very first Bloomberg Asphalt Art Initiative Grant to support the Cheshire neighborhood by using art and design to make the main street safer for pedestrians and cyclists along N Fremont Blvd.
Currently, the project is in its design phase. Artists have been selected. A focus group is scheduled for early February to select themes. Installation is scheduled for mid-May 2024 in conjunction with Creative Flagstaff’s ArtX Festival events.
Who’s designing this?
The City of Flagstaff and MetroPlan collaborate to find easily implementable strategies for creating a safer roadway for all users. This project focuses on narrowing the roadway to slow down vehicle speeds, along with enhanced crossings to key destinations such as Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy (FALA), Cheshire Park, and adjacent Flagstaff Urban Trails System (FUTS).
The City and MetroPlan have been working with the residents of Cheshire to find solutions to the community’s roadway safety concerns - high vehicle speeds, lack of yielding to pedestrians – especially as children try to access the school and park, and bike lanes blocked by parked cars. Cheshire is an intergenerational neighborhood where community members engage in the civic process to cultivate a sense of place for all its members.
MetroPlan is thrilled to announce the Artist Selection for the Cheshire Slow Street project funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies in partnership with Creative Flagstaff: Dana Kamberg is an artist and educator at Northern Arizona University. Frequently immersed in public art, narrative portraiture, and graphic design/illustration, her exterior works can be seen throughout Flagstaff in the form of murals and vinyl wraps. Kayley Quick is a 20-year Flagstaff resident and has taught art/graphic design to students for over a decade and has completed many local murals. The artists have created a new local mural business called Flagstaff Mural Co.
This is a community effort! The artists will lead the design of the artwork and coordinate with the students of FALA and the residents of Cheshire to seek volunteers to assist in the initial painting of the roadway.
Who’s maintaining the art?
As a temporary project, we anticipate the art itself to last between 3 – 9 months depending on exposure to the elements and use. Once the data gathering is completed, along with the demise of the art, the asphalt art may be power washed away. Future investments may be made by the City and/or community partners to support a more permanent solution.