West Charlotte youth create art for neighborhood traffic calming signs

“Slow Down. Children Playing in Neighborhood.”

“Stop. Kids Crossing.”

“We Don’t Like Speeders”

Those were just a few of the messages written by youth during last week’s workshop at Arbor Glen Outreach Center in West Charlotte. Over the past year that Sustain Charlotte has worked with residents in the Reid Park neighborhood, we learned that their top sustainability concern is a lack of safe and connective pedestrian and bicycle transportation infrastructure for residents. This includes crosswalks, sidewalks, speed bumps, and bike lanes.

West Charlotte youth create art for neighborhood traffic calming signs

Traffic calming yard signs made by West Charlotte youth at recent sustainability workshop.

Youth from Reid Park and the surrounding neighborhoods gathered at the Arbor Glen Outreach Center last Friday evening to do something about this problem.

18 young men joined Sustain Charlotte staff and volunteers to create messaging and art that will be featured on traffic calming yard signs. “Traffic calming” means changing or adding elements to roads for the intention of slowing down or reducing motor-vehicle traffic as well as to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists.

This West Boulevard community is continuing to engage Charlotte Department of Transportation in discussions about pedestrian infrastructure, but they’re also taking their own action to make their streets safer. The youth hope that traffic calming signs made by young residents of the neighborhood will cause inattentive drivers to slow down and consider the implications of their driving habits.

West Charlotte youth create art for neighborhood traffic calming signs

Creative art and slogans were produced by West Charlotte youth at recent sustainability workshop!

The art and messages created by the youth will be compiled by Sustain Charlotte staff and used to design weather-proof yard signs. The youth will choose locations and install the signs throughout the neighborhood, particularly in locations where speeding is a problem and where children play.

Sustain Charlotte’s work with the West Boulevard community is funded by grants from the Wells Fargo, UTC Aerospace Systems, New Belgium Brewing, and operating support grants from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and Park Foundation. Mecklenburg County Park & Recreation is partnering with us by providing meeting facilities, staff expertise and planning assistance, and promotion of workshops.

If you or your organization are interested in learning more about how to support our neighborhood work in low-income communities throughout Charlotte, please contact our Education and Outreach Program Director, Meg Fencil, at meg.fencil@sustaincharlotte.org.

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