New Study Reveals Public Art Decreases Traffic Accidents

During the pandemic, the US saw an unprecedented 21% increase in pedestrian fatalities. As the country looks to update its federal traffic safety guidance to mitigate this, a new report entitled Asphalt Art Safety Study from Sam Schwartz Consulting and Bloomberg Philanthropies offers solutions. The study examines the impact that asphalt art—which includes intersection murals, crosswalk art and painted plazas and bridge underpasses—has on the street. It found a 50% drop in crashes involving pedestrians or cyclists and a 37% drop in crashes leading to injuries at intersections where art had been installed. In places where the study placed new projects, there was a 27% increase in the rate of drivers yielding to pedestrians. This data reveals that public art not only makes places more welcoming and inviting, but it also provides clearer lane and walkway designations and makes drivers more alert, decreasing traffic accidents. Learn more about this effective and low-cost solution at Bloomberg.

Image of Butterfly mural in Asheville, NC, by Sound Mind Creative, photo by Justin Mitchell