The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership beautified downtown streets by installing colorful, lively art on bustling nabe’s asphalt.
In partnership with the city’s Department of Transportation, the org brought fresh, public asphalt art to pedestrian spaces within the neighborhood’s Shared Street network — parts of Hoyt, Elm, Bridge and Jay streets – in an effort to increase pedestrian and cyclist safety and upgrade the asphalt.
Each space in parts was painted with a colored base coat and then covered with vibrant hues.
The artwork contrasts the existing black asphalt, metal bike racks and granite poles, with topography-inspired landscape, according to a DBP spokesperson.
“The Shared Street program is designed to create a vibrant downtown experience that prioritizes people and the environment,” said Regina Myer, President of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. “By working with a local artist to beautify our streetscape, we are providing our community of pedestrians, cyclists, residents and visitors with public spaces that are accessible, safe and beautiful.”
“Terrain Park” was designed by Brooklyn-based artist Ann Tarantino, who says she wanted to connect passersby to the natural world while still being in an industrial setting.
“Terrain Park connects viewers with the landscape beneath their feet. Its imagery is built from snippets of topographical maps from the immediate surrounding areas and beyond, alternated and combined to create an imagined new terrain,” said Tarantino. “With this piece, I wanted to create calm resting places that could also spark the imagination and make viewers feel connected to the natural world and landscape around them. I hope it will bring moments of joy and a calming energy to this vibrant, bustling community and neighborhood.”
Shared Streets, a program first launched by DOT and DBP in 2019, redesigns city streets to provide designated safe spaces for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to safely co-exist.
Since its inception, the initiative has expanded to various parts of the downtown area. After seeing the success of the Willoughby Street shared space DBP’s Public Realm Action Plan added Hoyt Street, from Fulton to Willoughby Street, Bridge Street, from Fulton to Livingston Street, and Elm Place, from Fulton to Livingston Street, into the shared streets network.
The spaces prioritize people over cars by adding an advisory 5 mph vehicle speed limit, curb extensions, street furniture, signs, bike corrals and shortening pedestrian crossings on select streets.
DOT commish Ydanis Rodriguez hopes the palette of lively colors create a calm, soothing atmosphere that offers a moment of respite and repose in the traditional urban setting.
“These vibrant murals will help beautify the streetscape while enhancing the safety of our Shared Streets, where pedestrians and cyclists are prioritized,” Rodriguez said.