MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The crosswalk at the intersection of Mulberry and 5th Streets in midtown Montgomery will soon be getting a facelift.
The city of Montgomery applied for the AARP Community Challenge grant and was selected to be one of the recipients.
“These grants are awarded to build momentum in communities, to bring about change, and to make communities better for people of all ages,” said AARP Associate State director of Community Outreach Anne Hails.
For the second annual AARP Community Challenge grants, AARP distributed $1.3 million to nonprofits and government entities across the United States. This year, AARP’s grants funded 129 “quick action” projects, and out of 1,600 applications, Montgomery’s creative crosswalk was one of the 129 selected.
Hails said the purpose of the grand is to create more livable communities nationwide.
“AARP chose grants that bring about change to make communities safer, to work with transportation, and to just build a safer and more livable community for people of all ages,” Hails said.
The city will be using the grant money to pay for the installation of two solar powered pedestrian crossing signals and a creative crosswalk.
“We’re always trying to find things that help our citizens, but this also has been a request by the neighboring businesses all along Mulberry Street,” said city of Montgomery senior planner Lynda Wool. “There are some really quaint and wonderful shops down here, and if people could park and walk they would have a great time, but right now, Mulberry is very hard to cross.”
Wool is hoping the updated crosswalk will encourage walking and pedestrian safety.
“This should bring attention to the fact that people are crossing the street and cars can slow down and stop,” Wool said.
When choosing the location for the creative crosswalk, Wool said it was like “pulling a rabbit out of a hat,” and that Mulberry Street was the “rabbit that popped up first.”
Since the money has been provided and the location has been selected, all that’s left to do is find a design, and that’s where the community comes into play.
“We are looking for colorful, whimsical, innovative, and creative ideas,” said Montgomery Public Art Commission Chairman Ashley Ledbetter. “We are looking for all types of citizens to submit a design for us."
According to Ledbetter, you don’t have to be from Montgomery to submit a design.
“We will give preferential treatment to those who are from Montgomery, because we love to highlight our Montgomery artists; however, we are looking for a quality design, so that doesn’t mean that it eliminates you if you aren’t from Montgomery,” Ledbetter said.
If you would like to submit, follow these instructions.