When you think about how to make streets safer for all the people who use them, you might think about a bike lane or a crosswalk, or the speed that cars travel. While these undoubtedly make streets safer for people who bike and walk, it’s aspects like lighting, trees and plants, artwork, reflections of the culture of neighbors — these are the things that really bring life to streets, the things that make people enjoy their time in public space, encourage people to hang out and develop relationships with their neighbors. These are the things that build stronger, connected neighborhoods.
As part of BOPA’s Light City festival, they award grants to install light installations in neighborhoods throughout Baltimore through their Neighborhood Lights program. And there are two we supported that we’re particularly excited about — check them out November 1st though 10th!
Oliver Light, Oliver Bright
We first met Celena Owens when she was recommended to come on our study trip to Memphis. She is very active in her Oliver neighborhood, and helps take care of and improve neighborhood green spaces and play spaces through the Oliver Beautification Alliance (OBA). The Oliver Light, Oliver Bright project is lighting up three greenspaces in the community to encourage neighbors as well as visitors to explore Oliver in a different way, and to create welcoming and activated community spaces for neighbors to use in the evenings.
We were excited to be able to support Oliver Beautification Alliance’s Neighborhood Lights Grant by being their fiscal sponsor.
Arches & Access in Reservoir Hill
For the past few years we have been partnering with Graham Coreil-Allen, Reservoir Hill Improvement Council, and neighbors on a variety of community art and traffic calming projects in Reservoir Hill, including a footprint crosswalk project and way finding for the Big Jump. Graham, along with Courtney Conner Bettle, Jessy DeSantis, Graham Coreil-Allen, and Kate Jennings, Reservoir Hill Improvement Council, TAP Druid Hill, and the Rawlings Conservatory developed the Arches and Access Neighborhood Lights project as a continuation of their neighborhood work to make it easier and safer for neighbors to access Druid Hill Park. The Arches and Access project will illuminate and activate the landmark Druid Hill Park Gate at Madison Avenue with colorful lights, as well as a community parade, and public walking tour.
Click here to find out where the rest of the Neighborhood Lights installations are, and make a bike ride out of it!