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14 Movements: A Symphony in Color and Words. Photo by Steve Weinik.

Can art improve roadway safety?

A report released in March by Sam Schwartz Consulting in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies examined the impact of art in the streetscape by comparing historical crash rates and real-time behavior of motorists and pedestrians at 22 “asphalt art” sites before and after the projects were installed, with illuminating results.

The Asphalt Art Safety Study is the latest addition to Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Asphalt Art Initiative, which began in 2019 with a how-to guide for communities to install artwork in streetscapes, sidewalks and crosswalks.

The study’s major findings include:

  • Fifty percent drop in traffic crashes involving pedestrians or cyclists
  • Thirty-seven percent drop in crashes leading to injuries
  • Twenty-seven percent increase in drivers yielding to pedestrians with the right-of-way
  • Twenty-five percent drop in potentially dangerous conflicts between drivers and pedestrians

Download a PDF of the report from our Resources page

Pictured: “14 Movements: A Symphony in Color and Words” by lead artist Mat Tomezsko, commissioned by Mural Arts Philadelphia. Photo by Steve Weinik.

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