Press Releases




Crosswalks to Classrooms brings together local leaders and partners for asphalt art project near DeSoto Trail Elementary School

TALLAHASSEE, FL (Feb. 25, 2023) – Students from DeSoto Trail Elementary school join community members, professional artists Cosby Hayes and Sarah Painter, KCCI volunteers, and community partners to bring Crosswalks to Classrooms to two crosswalks near the school: at Tredington Drive and North Umberland. Crosswalks to Classrooms is a project where high-use crosswalks near schools are painted an array of bright colors and eye-catching designs while engaging students, enhancing safety, and improving the livability of streets. This event builds upon the success of the pilot project near Cobb Middle School and Kate Sullivan Elementary School where the painted crosswalks have already proven to improve safety.

“I am proud of the way our school family and KCCI volunteers worked together today for the greater good of promoting the safety of our Trailblazers at DeSoto Trail Elementary School,” said Principal Michele Keltner. “We know that properly using crosswalks makes a difference, and when it’s paired with vibrant art that reflects student input, it improves the safety of children and adults in this area as they go about their day.”

KCCI’s Crosswalks to Classrooms initiative decorates crosswalks with colorful artwork designed by local artists and painted by students to promote community engagement and safer pedestrian crossing. Utilizing traffic patterns and crash data to identify potential sites and working in collaboration with city and county officials, KCCI engages nearby schools, neighborhoods and organizations to explore their interest and support of this unique opportunity.

“Our volunteer team is excited about the impact this project will have across Tallahassee,” said 2023 KCCI Community Catalyst Tristan Williams. “Our group includes professionals with diverse backgrounds and interests who come together and pour their passion into projects that make a difference. Crosswalks to Classrooms merges safety and art – two things we can never have too much of in Tallahassee.”

Similar projects have been shown to slow down traffic, increase crosswalk usage, and decrease negative interactions between cars and pedestrians, improving overall safety. The crosswalks’ colors and designs help warn drivers of an approaching school zone and to watch out for students crossing.

“The City of Tallahassee is committed to supporting local artists, and we are proud to support this artful project that aims to engage students, and enhance public spaces and safety,” said Mayor John Dailey.

When studying pre- and post-behavior at the artistic Crosswalks to Classrooms painted near Cobb Middle School and Kate Sullivan Elementary, recent findings from Florida State University’s research found that the crosswalk murals reduced stop sign violations by nearly 30% and increase the rate of drivers stopping before the crosswalk by 28%.

The DeSoto Trail Elementary artistic crosswalks are KCCI’s third and fourth decorated crosswalks in Tallahassee. Kate Sullivan Elementary and Cobb Middle School were the locations of the first two Crosswalks to Classrooms. Between the two schools, more than 800 children walk or bike to school daily.

“Unique initiatives like Crosswalks to Classrooms add to why Tallahassee is such an incredible place to live and raise a family,” said Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna. “It’s incredible to see the collaboration between KCCI, our schools’ leaders, and city officials, who can come together to carry out projects that have a lasting impact.”

Crosswalks to Classrooms is the latest of KCCI’s placemaking projects in Tallahassee. Past projects include Fully Booked Tallahassee, Art of the Box, Discovery at Cascades Park playscape, ELLAvate (the aesthetic improvements and improved seating around Lake Ella), The Frenchtown Farmers Market, the iconic TLH letters, and more. These and other KCCI projects have yielded nearly $1 billion in economic impact while fostering community involvement and engagement.

The two Crosswalks to Classrooms near DeSoto Trail Elementary are made possible thanks to the support and involvement of The Foundation for Leon County Schools in collaboration with KCCI, the City of Tallahassee, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Donor Advised Fund at the Community Foundation of North Florida, Vicki Bradley, and DeSoto Trail Elementary.

The volunteer 2023 KCCI Community Catalyst team members are Susan Aarons, Alan Amidon, Quia Atkinson, Anna-Kay Hutchison, Amina Kassem, Christina Lynch, Holly McPhail, David Powell, Fern, Senra-James, Lindsay Slautterback, and Tristan Williams.


About KCCI: Established in 2007, KCCI is a local organization committed to positive placemaking and community collaboration in Tallahassee. KCCI projects have generated nearly $1 billion in economic impact for Leon County. A new group of volunteer Community Catalysts is selected to plan and implement each annual project. KCCI is made possible by partners including: Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, VyStar Credit Union, Taproot, FAMU School of Business and Industry, FSU College of Business, NAI Talcor, Structure Real Estate, Nolia & Bill Brandt, Architects Lewis + Whitlock, Wood + Partners, Brown & Brown, BowStern Marketing, Serena & Jon Moyle, Cassidy and Company, Tharpe Construction, Flightline Group, Inc., Drs. Chaney, Couch, Callaway, Carter and Associates Family Dentistry, Charlie Johnson, Knight Foundation Fund at the Community Foundation of North Florida, and Archibald Foundation.