children · community · design

Kids paint South Seattle mural for safety | Seattle Times

Hajiyeva Aysha, a volunteer from Harborview Medical Center, foreground, and Keith Harrison help paint a whale mural near Graham Hill Elementary School on Sunday. The mural is meant to improve walking conditions for child pedestrians in the Graham Hill Community. Photo credit Ellen Banner. Seattle Times.

Flashing lights or a “Slow Children” sign are common sights around schools, but now a local school has put in a “a huge, round, sea-themed mural right smack in the middle of South Graham Street in South Seattle,” to alert drivers to pint-sized pedestrians:

Some of the kids who had helped earlier talked about what the painting was supposed to accomplish.”It’s there so people will notice it and think they should really, really slow down so they don’t get into accidents,” said Maya Garcia, 8, one of the students the mural is meant to protect at nearby Graham Elementary School.Her friend Lilly King, 9, had another concern. “I hope they don’t crash into each other when they’re slowing down.”

The mural, part of the Safe Kids Seattle project installed this weekend in the 5100 block, is thought to be the fourth in the city and the first south of Interstate 90, according to Graham Elementary Principal Christina Morningstar. Each year, according to officials, more than 244 children under the age of 14 are killed in pedestrian accidents in the nation. All the Safe Kids projects are designed to alert drivers to the presence of children in school zones.

In addition to the mural, which features a whale and several fish, organizers installed speed bumps and school-warning signs using $35,000 in grant money from FedEx and the Seattle Department of Transportation.

via Local News | Kids paint South Seattle mural for safety | Seattle Times Newspaper.

I read this story in the office lounge while I was waiting for my leftovers to warm up in the microwave, and immediately thought this was a good idea not just for schools, but for any place that pedestrians frequent. Often cities will put in colored bricks or tiles at busy crosswalks, but for areas with less options and/or funds to renovate, this is a great solution!