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Crosswalks to Classrooms project combines public aesthetics and traffic safety around 2 Tallahassee schools

Tom Flanigan
Cobb Middle School students hard at work painting the new crosswalk design at the intersection of Hillcrest Drive and Miccosukee Road

A project that combines art and traffic safety got underway on Saturday, Sept. 24 along the streets leading to Tallahassee's Cobb Middle and Kate Sullivan Elementary schools. The "Crosswalks to Classrooms" inititiative is the latest for the Knight Creative Communities Institute (KCCI.)
Professional artist Jay Giroux may have been in charge, but Cobb Principal Sarah Hembreee said the real work was done by the students.

"They're out here painting and I think the biggest thing that our kids know is that we're part of a community. We're a community school. We're at the center of town and a highly visible school and our kids know what they do impacts other people."

Especially people driving near the schools. Studies show colorful crosswalks increase awareness and reduce speed. Also on hand for Saturday's paint-a-thon was Kathleen Spehar who heads COCA, the Council for Culture and the Arts.

"This is going to be a movement that'll continue to explode! It's happening now in particular neighborhoods, but I'd love to see it happen all over the city and county."

Paco Fiallos/used with permission
An aerial overview of the crosswalk at Hillcrest and Miccosukee.

Exactly the plan of KCCI, which has charged its incoming catalyst class of volunteers to bring Crosswalks to Classrooms to more Leon County schools in the year to come.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

Find complete bio, contact info, and more stories. here.