INDIANAPOLIS — An east side community is working together to create a permanent traffic calming solution at a local elementary school.
According to those who live in the community, traffic in front of Anna Brochhausen Elementary School is busy, especially during pick up and drop off during the school year.
“The school let us know that they had a problem with speeding around the school,” Leslie Schulte, with the Community Heights Neighborhood Association, said. “Drivers were whipping around in the center turn lane to get around the crossing guard and the line of cars that would back up."
To avoid any accidents waiting to happen, the school was looking for ways to slow down drivers. At first, they had help from IMPD.
“That only works when you have an IMPD officer there, and people can see the officer,” Schulte said. “Asking every school to have an officer every day is prohibitively expensive.”
Now, the neighborhood and school are seeking a permanent solution, which is why they created a traffic calming mural.
The mural was small at first, but volunteers helped make it bigger and more visible to drivers on Sunday.
"We want to alert drivers that they need to be paying attention,” Schulte said. “They should not be texting; they need to slow down. This is an important place, and we want our kids to feel safe."
Deonna Craig is the artist of mural. She says creating art with a purpose is why she became an artist in the first place.
"Lives change through art. The traffic calming mural here shows you that it can definitely do that,” Craig said.
The mural is part of tactical urbanism. It looks at low cast ways to create change in communities.
To access funding for the project, the community had to perform a traffic study. The study had some troubling results according to community members.
“In about 15 minutes, two cars were traveling an excess of 50 miles-per-hour,” Schulte said.
Once the project is complete, the group will conduct another study to see how much the mural is helping calm traffic.
Those involved with the project hope this kind of solution will expand throughout the city.
“There are people speeding everywhere,” Craig said. “This, by research, is a main thoroughfare that does have traffic that speeds. We can probably find that, unfortunately, everywhere we go to. Hopefully the neighbors buy into it. "
Another portion of this expansion includes adding traffic control barriers in the center turn lane. That area of the road is where this neighborhood is having its biggest issues with drivers.
Altogether the project costs around $30,000.