It approved at a recent city council meeting and now it can be seen Yorkton city streets.
Sponsored by the Yorkton Business Improvement District, Crosswalk Art is here and it’s designed to raise awareness of pedestrian and traffic safety issues. Traffic in Yorkton is well-managed, but density is increasing as newcomers, temporary workers and long time residents navigate the streets. This clash of driving cultures adds to the pressure and the challenges faced by drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.
City of Yorkton council members say they are working to ensure that Yorkton continues to thrive as a vibrant community, one that encourages an active and healthy lifestyle.
“We enjoy a safe and healthy community, and the Business Improvement District wants everyone to walk freely downtown and take advantage of the many businesses and services available. Sponsoring a public art initiative to raise awareness of traffic safety is an ideal course to further both goals,” adds YBID Chairman Ken Chyz.
Crosswalk art was immediately recognized by the Godfrey Dean Art Gallery as an opportunity for an innovative, whimsical and useful public art project. Working with Yorkton designer Kelly Litzenberger of MEEP Creative Agency, three designs were created and approved for the first crosswalks: cutlery, piano keys, and neckties. Eight intersections with 32 crosswalks were done in the first round.
“Our primary concern is pedestrian safety, both encouraging people to use the crosswalks and drivers to be more aware of them. Once we see how drivers respond, the crosswalk art program can be shaped to be even more effective. Other designs and locations are being developed based on what we learn with this first stage,” according to Donald Stein, executive director of the Godfrey Dean Gallery.
Crosswalk Art also benefits from a unique public-private sector partnership called artsVest, a sponsorship matching program established by Business for the Arts with the Government of Saskatchewan. artsVest provides matching funding for arts and culture organizations that raise new sponsorship dollars from the business community. Resources from artsVest and the Yorkton Business Improvement District are enabling the gallery to deliver this playful, but practical, community art project.