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Awareness Through Art: Roanoke City Addressing Pedestrian Safety with Signal Box Art Contest

A picture may be worth 1,000 words but Roanoke City officials hope art can remind people of only four – No Need to Speed! Admissions are now being accepted from artists of all ages for the second annual Color Your Corner Contest, part of the 2021 Roanoke Pedestrian Safety Campaign to raise awareness of speeding as a pedestrian safety issue and reduce speeding and speed-related crashes in Roanoke.

Five artists will be selected to have their artwork installed on a signal cabinet at key locations across the City where speed has been identified as a critical issue. Initial submissions are due August 31, and winners will be selected by the Roanoke Arts Commission following the campaign. Details on submission requirements are available at

“Art is a wonderful way to engage the community in a positive way on a public awareness and safety issue,” says Andrea Garland, Traffic Engineer, Roanoke City Transportation Division. “We had a tremendous response to this initiative last year. It’s been a joy to watch art go on display across our city to share a positive message of pedestrian safety and the power of community.”

This is the second art initiative by Roanoke City to raise awareness of pedestrian safety issues. Earlier this month, five signal boxes in Roanoke were the first to receive an artistic makeover with designs by 2020 contest winners focused on drawing attention to crosswalk safety.

  • Carly Almarez – “Cross Your Way” (Bullitt Avenue and Jefferson Street)
  • Renae Dower – “Downtown Diversity” (Williamson Road Library)
  • Molly Kernan – “Bear Crossing” (Grandin Road and Memorial Avenue)
  • Hannah Wheeler – “Downtown Diversity” (19th Street and Orange Avenue NW)
  • Sunni Purviance and Eliza Kraus – “Stop in the Name of Love” (9th Street and Jamison Avenue SE)

To be considered, artwork submissions must be original, incorporate the message “No Need to Speed” in a positive way while also highlighting the diversity of Roanoke’s neighborhoods and people. Submissions may not mimic a regulatory sign, and may not include offensive wording or images, nudity or violence, or contain any promotions for a business or product.

The Color Your Corner Contest is one of several public awareness activities initiated by the City as part of it’s No Need to Speed campaign. Other ways to get involved include:

  1. Become a Community Ambassador to help to spread the word about the campaign through yard signs and peer-to-peer advocacy.
  2. Share your story by creating a short video about why you love walking in your neighborhood, and why it’s important for drivers to obey the speed limit. In thanks for sharing your story you’ll be entered to win one of five Grandin Theatre prize packs (two passes + Grandin theatre swag)
  3. Follow the City of Roanoke on social media and share posts about the campaign.

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