LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A grant to the city of Little Rock will be used for art to improve street safety.
The $25,000 grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies was one of 25 chosen from more than 200 applications from across North America announced Tuesday.
The project will install a mural at a SoMa intersection in order to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety, slow traffic, and encourage foot traffic. It is slated for 2024 installation.
A Bloomberg spokesperson stated the grants are made under its Asphalt Art Initiative, supporting projects that use art and design to improve street safety, revitalize public spaces and engage communities.
“The Asphalt Art Initiative has proven that when cities invest in these low-cost projects, streets become safer and communities become stronger,” Michael R. Bloomberg, Bloomberg Philanthropies founder and 108th mayor of New York City, said.
A 2022 study by Bloomberg Philanthropies found that car crashes involving pedestrians or cyclists decreased by 50% after art is incorporated into roadway design. In the same study, the rate of drivers yielding to pedestrians increased by 27% with art application.
Arkansas is one of the states with the highest rate of traffic deaths between 2010-2020, according to the National Safety Council data.