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Across the United States and around the world, cities are turning gray streetscapes, dark underpasses, and drab public plazas into giant canvasses for artists—and entire communities—to enliven with paint.

Cities don’t need expensive new traffic signals or road blocks to keep pedestrians safe. They just need a bucket of paint.

Streetscape art — think colorful crosswalks and painted intersections — can do a lot to liven up communities and make streets more welcoming. Yet it might seem like a potential distraction for drivers.

But new research shows the opposite is true: Painted roadways often make intersections safer by encouraging motorists to slow down and be on the lookout for pedestrians and cyclists.

Art makes streets safer by “increasing visibility of pedestrian spaces and crosswalks” and “encouraging drivers to slow down.”

Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced a European expansion of its Asphalt Art Initiative on the heels of a new study from the organization and Sam Schwartz Consulting that revealed some eye-opening statistics about the improvement of blacktop spaces in urban areas.

Can art make streets safer? As part of our Asphalt Art Initiative, a new study found that city streets became considerably safer for pedestrians after incorporating art into roadway redesigns.

There was an especially sharp reduction with pedestrians and cyclists getting struck by cars, according to a new report. The art projects include things like intersection murals and colorfully painted crosswalks.

Bloomberg Philanthropies announced an expansion of the Asphalt Art Initiative in Europe and opened applications for Asphalt Art Initiative grants which will provide as many as 20 cities with $25,000 for projects that use art and design to improve street safety, revitalize public spaces, and engage community residents.

A safer walk to school for Baltimore students: that’s what the Rebuild Johnston Square Neighborhood is striving to achieve.

Volunteers took to the streets of Johnston Square in Baltimore this weekend hoping to slow down drivers near a school.