Crosswalks to Classrooms

Making Tallahassee Streets Safer Through Art

Crosswalks to Classrooms was envisioned by KCCI and made possible in partnership with City of Tallahassee, the Foundation for Leon County Schools, Florida State University, Leon County, Envision Credit Union, Capital City Bank and others.

  • The City of Tallahassee logo
  • Florida State University - Home of the Seminoles (logo with screaming Seminole in profile)
  • Envision Credit Union

About the Project

The 2023 Knight Creative Communities Institute’s (KCCI) Community Catalyst team created asphalt art projects at intersections and crosswalks in Tallahassee to improve safety for students and drivers as they travel to and from school. The Crosswalks to Classrooms initiative incorporates STEAM principles and pairs local artists with students to create visually appealing art to bring attention to drivers that students may be crossing the road, so they should be alert and slow down. More than 14 artistic crosswalks were implemented near 7 schools. The KCCI team directly benefited more than 3,500 school children within 12 months.

Crosswalks to Classrooms Sustainability Toolkit Cover ImageThe first Crosswalks to Classrooms project was completed in Tallahassee at crosswalks near Kate Sullivan Elementary and Cobb Middle Schools, thanks to funding from the Foundation for Leon County Schools. While the team would have loved to work with every single school to implement a unique crosswalk, they were limited to what they could reasonably accomplish within one calendar year. If you have an interest in learning more or pursuing their very own Crosswalks to Classrooms project, please download the C2C Sustainability Toolkit to serve as a resource for planning and implementation.

Evidence this Works

Over the course of the project, KCCI worked with both Leon County Government and Florida State University to determine if the installation of artistic crosswalks make a difference. At the Dempsey Mayo location, where a series of three elevated and artistic crosswalks were installed, Leon County Government determined the southbound traffic experienced a significant reduction of speed from 37 MPH to 29 MPH (approximately 22% reduction) while the northbound traffic had a reduction from 38 MPH to 29 MPH (24% reduction). The FSU study examined driver behavior outside of Kate Sullivan and Cobb. Their findings show a 10 percent decrease in drivers running intersection stop signs and a six percent increase in drivers coming to a full stop at intersections.

Similar findings are available at the national level, too. Bloomberg Philanthropies, a leader in promoting asphalt art for safety purposes, released the following data in its 2022 Asphalt Art Safety Study. Comparing the average of crash rates for before-and-after analysis periods, results from the Historical Crash Analysis include:

  • 50% decrease in the rate of crashes involving pedestrians or other vulnerable road users
  • 37% decrease in the rate of crashes leading to injuries
  • 17% decrease in the total crash rate

Similarly, The Observational Behavior Assessment indicates:

  • 25% decrease in pedestrian crossings involving a conflict with drivers
  • 27% increase in frequency of drivers immediately yielding to pedestrians with the right of way
  • 38% decrease in pedestrians crossing against the walk signal

Art Locations

Installation Details

Kate Sullivan Elementary & Cobb Middle

The Crosswalks to Classrooms officially launched during the 2022 Placemaking Week which featured Artist Jay Giroux bringing the well-loved community project from Tampa to Tallahassee. Armed with specialized paint, roller, brushes and a slew of volunteers. students and the community, we transformed two crosswalks near Kate Sullivan Elementary and Cobb Middle School.

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Sarah Painter paintingasphalt art icon

DeSoto Trail Elementary

Artist duo Painter Hayes tackled the first two Crosswalks to Classrooms installation at DeSoto Trail Elementary. Students from the school joined community members, school board members and our dedicated KCCI Catalyst team in painting high-use crosswalks an array of bright colors and eye-catching designs.

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Sarah Painter paintingasphalt art icon
Close up picture of painted heart and swirls on crosswalk

Sabal Palm Phase 1

Artist duo Painter Hayes are at it again, this time leading a group of students at Sabal Palm Community Partnership School install Phase 1 of their Crosswalks to Classrooms. After the base coat was laid, the students rolled up their sleeves to paint musical notes, a heart, and art splatters along the crosswalk. Phase 2 is scheduled for Saturday, September 23, during Placemaking Week. The team plans to transform the nearby intersection and three crosswalks near the school, further complimenting the artistic crosswalk in front of the school. If you are interested in sponsoring this community engagement event and painting day, please contact KCCI team member Anna Kay Hutchison at (850) 933-5422 or KCCI Executive Director Betsy Couch at (850) 509-3767. Or make an immediate donation by clicking here. 

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Four students crossing painted crosswalk

FAMU DRS

On Monday, July 31, students from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Developmental Research School (FAMU DRS) joined school officials, community members, professional artist Franzline Whaley of Kowosol Art, and our KCCI Catalyst Team to transform two more Crosswalks to Classrooms. These beauties are located on Wahnish Way near the entrance of the school and utilize the iconic dark green and Rattler orange, plus we gained special permission to use the FAMU mascot in the art. We are certain that students will have renewed school spirit when they return for classes in early August.

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FAMU DRS asphal art

Sabal Palm Phase 2

Phase 2 is now complete! PainterHayes joined the KCCI crew once again on Saturday, September 23, to transform the intersection and three crosswalks at Ridgeway and Eisenhower to improve safety near Sabal Palm Community Partnership School. More than thirty children and their families participated in the community painting day and had the opportunity to also access resources from several community partners and “touch a truck” thanks to Leon County and City of Tallahassee. This particular event was made possible by the tireless efforts of the 2023 KCCI Community Catalyst team and funding provided by private businesses that believe in the power of community such as Capital City Bank, ServisFirst Bank, and many others.

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Hartsfield Elementary

On Saturday, October 7, students from Hartsfield Elementary, professional artist Jay Giroux, KCCI volunteers, and community leaders gathered together to bring a Crosswalks to Classrooms asphalt art project to the sixth school in Tallahassee. The crosswalk is located at the school’s main entrance on Chowkeebin Nene. This initiative decorates high-use crosswalks near schools with an array of bright colors and eye-catching designs while engaging students, enhancing safety, and improving the livability of streets. The Crosswalks to Classrooms at Hartsfield Elementary is made possible thanks to the support and involvement of Envision Credit Union, KCCI and the City of Tallahassee. Other schools or neighborhoods interested in implementing their own Crosswalks to Classrooms project are invited to learn more and use the step-by-step toolkit available on KCCI’s website.

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W.T. More / Westminster Oaks

Leon County’s 1st Elevated AND Artistic Crosswalks were celebrated on Monday, November 13, at an unveiling on Dempsey Mayo road where 3 crosswalks now slow down traffic while enhancing the beautiful of the area and pedestrian experiences. This was our first series of crosswalks using thermoplastic designs that will stand up to the high traffic counts on the road. This installation brings our year’s total to 14 crosswalks near seven schools and benefitting more than 3,000 students in Leon County. This particular series gave KCCI a new opportunity yo align the crosswalks to Classrooms initiative with AARP’s Community Challenge Grant. The quick-action project demonstrates changes and helps build momentum to improve livability for residents of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities right here in Tallahassee, and the opportunity to collaborate not only with WT Moore Elementary, but also with Westminster Oaks, has brought our community closer in new and exciting ways.

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Florida State University

After lots of planning, Florida State University completed their installation of multiple “Crosswalks to Classrooms” on their main campus, adjacent to Tully Gym. The geometric design incorporates the classic garnet and gold and is already having an impact with students walking and drivers alike.