The Living Streets Alliance, 439 N. 6th Ave., STE 201, has organized many traffic-calming projects around the Tucson area. One of them was recently added to the Pueblo Gardens Neighborhood.

At the end of September, the community gathered to paint a mural inside the lines of the extended curb on South Plumer Road and East Silvosa Street, just outside of the Pueblo Gardens PreK-8 School, 2210 E. 33rd St.

This area was chosen in 2016 after Living Streets Alliance saw it as an area which needs a lot of improvement. The COVID-19 pandemic and funding extended the finish line for this project, but the community finally saw it all come together at the end of September.

Its a wonderful beautification of the area around our school. The curb extension has also made the area safer for our students walking onto campus. Weve had parents comment on how its much easier now for them to park a little bit off campus and how its much easier for them to walk their students on campus, explained Principal Michael Konrad.

Pueblo Gardens PreK-8 students joined the block painting party to beautify the extended curb. This project also added a crosswalk to the area. Both features are intended to slow traffic through bringing attention to changes in road-structure and appearance.

The design was all informed and created really by the people who live in the community and the kids who attend the school, said Evren Sonmez with the Living Streets Alliance.

Sonmez said this project started in 2016 as a continuation of the first phase of the project. The first phase included:

Crosswalk Street painting Mural

The mural is still standing strong, but the painting has significantly faded over time.

Since then weve learned a lot of things. For example, one thing we learned is if you paint the asphalt and cars are driving over it, that paint gets dirty pretty quickly, and also, in order to really enhance the traffic-calming benefits of projects like this, 3D elements are pretty important. In fact, behind me, you can see those vertical posts. Those really define the pedestrian space, explained Sonmez.

The first phase of the project was on the northeast side of the school, where students were released at the time. This project continued to the west side where students are currently released, but Sonmez will never forget where it started.

She said students from 2016 interviewed their parents about their memories of the community, and thats what inspired the mural’s images. KGUN 9 is hoping to hear from those students and their families.