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Durham, NC

Painting a safer route to school

The Project

The Club Crossing project aimed to create a fun and welcoming street environment for elementary school students, families, and residents to cross to the Club Boulevard Elementary School, Northgate Park, and the Ellerbe Creek Trail. The project activated the intersection and travel lanes by adding artwork to the crosswalks in front of Club Boulevard Elementary, reducing speeding on West Club Boulevard, and increasing yielding to pedestrians crossing. Based on responses from 1,800+ residents through an online community vote held in January and February of 2021, Candy Carver was selected to paint her winning design out of five designs created by local and regional artists. Carver worked with community members and stakeholders to refine her crosswalk design, and together with 39 volunteers installed the mural over the course of two days. The mural, “Our Oasis,” depicts blue motifs and reminds residents of the nearby creek and surrounding natural environment with colorful fish guiding the way.

  • Potentially dangerous conflicts between drivers and pedestrians crossing the street decreased by 30%.
  • The percentage of people who felt unsafe crossing fell from 85% to 6%.
  • Community members who felt positively about the site rose from 4% to 77%.

“By rooting the community at every stage of the project, the artist and volunteers were able to transform a normal intersection into a wayfinding landmark.” 

Rebecca Brown, Cultural & Public Art Program Manager, City of Durham

Use the slider to see the transformation

Credit: Eric Waters


West Club Boulevard and Glendale Avenue

Number of Intersections


Installation Dates

May 21-24, 2021

Lead Partners

City of Durham Transportation Department

City of Durham Cultural and Public Art Program

Durham Parks Foundation

Lead Artist

Candy Carver


H&C Colortop Water-Based Concrete Stain, H&C ClariShield Clear Concrete Sealer Natural Look, Shark-Grip Slip-Resistant Additive

Square Footage of Artwork



Design: $8,750

Labor: $8,335

Supplies: $6,030

Community Coordinators (2): $750

Security/Transportation Traffic Control: $5,585





Best Practice Highlight: Community Surveys

The City of Durham engaged community members throughout the design process by using various forms of surveys and community conversations. Through an initial survey, the City collected feedback from residents on usage and perception of the site, as well as what kinds of design interventions were desired. Five finalist artists were selected by a panel of community members and organizations and commissioned to create designs that responded to the needs and preferences of the community. This process culminated in a vote drawing in 1,826 responses, selecting Candy Carver’s crosswalk mural of colorful oceanic patterns and fish as the winner. Post installation, a school-day walking event was hosted for 160+ students to meet the artist and representatives from the East Coast Greenway, Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association, Bike Durham, and the Durham Park Foundation who discussed public art, street safety, nature, trail and park use, and connectivity throughout Northgate Park.

For inspiration and tips for the creation of art on roadways and public places, download the Bloomberg Associates Asphalt Art Guide which features successful plaza and roadway art activations around the world, as well as key steps for developing such projects.

Asphalt Art Guide