Streetcar Murals Are a Smart and Inexpensive Idea, So Let's Do It

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Streetcar Murals Are a Smart and Inexpensive Idea, So Let’s Do It

NXT City winner offers practical solution.

Design for Toronto Streetcar Safety Murals [PDF], the winner of the 2016 NXT City Prize.

Design for Toronto Streetcar Safety Murals [PDF], the winner of the 2016 NXT City Prize.

What if a street mural could beautify a neighbourhood and help keep streetcar riders safe? With a simple intervention, that’s what the winning pitch for the 2016 NXT City Prize hopes to do.

Founded in 2014, NXT City aims to get creative talent to propose ideas that can improve Toronto’s public spaces.

The winning design, Toronto Streetcar Safety Murals, hopes to get drivers to think about road safety by adding neighbourhood art. Proposed by Lucas DeClavasio and Andrew Patterson, who co-own a design studio, the project would see streetcar-length murals painted in the passenger lane at select streetcar stops. The idea is to remind drivers and cyclists that they should stop ahead of the mural. As they write in their submission summary:

The mural will bring awareness to the safety zone where cars are not supposed to enter if the streetcar’s doors are open. The signage on streetcars has proven ineffective. Through extra visibility and public service announcements, Streetcar Safety Murals is a cost efficient, community-supporting initiative.

The streetcar mural follows the implementation of Toronto’s first street murals, an idea spearheaded by local activist Dave Meslin.

The streetcar murals are an easy, feasible idea that wouldn’t cost that much money. Granted, they deserve some testing to see how well they work, but that’s exactly the kind of thing the City should do more of anyway.

As Metro‘s Matt Elliott tweets:

So yeah, let’s make that happen.

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