Volunteers make crosswalks pop
Students, artists increase visibility of pedestrians
HOWLAND — Artists from the Trumbull Art Gallery and Howland High School students spent the weekend painting two crosswalks by Howland Middle School that showcase the school’s tiger mascot.
Starting Friday, the group began using tiger stripes and paw stencils for the designs created by Youngstown State University art students as they decorated the two crosswalks in front of the school on East Market Street. They also added large “H”s in the center. The colors reflect Howland’s school colors and logo.
Sue Senvissky of Warren and with TAG said Township Administrator Darlene St. George contacted Patricia Galgozy, director of TAG, to see if any staff would be able to help with the crosswalk project.
“This is where many students cross the street to get to school. This was a fun project to do and for everyone to get together for community service,” Senvissky said.
Lukea Pitinii, a Howland High School student, said several high school students have helped out over the three days.
“This is a way I can help the community and also get community service hours for Howland High School Serve. I hope the new crosswalks will make it safer for the students and others,” she said.
Patty Cleary of Niles spent time painting the large “H”s in the center of the crosswalks.
Howland Planning Director Kim Mascarella said the township received a grant from the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley Healthy Community Partnership for the project.
She said besides Howland, Boardman and Warren also received grants for creative crosswalks.
The project is meant to be an expression of creativity while enhancing pedestrian safety in school zones and came from the Safe Routes to Schools program. The highly visible crosswalk is meant to alert vehicular traffic to any pedestrians that may be using the crosswalk.
“We have many talented art people and other volunteers participating in making these official crosswalks,” Mascarella said.
Mascarella said plans were originally for the project to be done last spring, but it had to be postponed because of the coronavirus.
Sev Tripoulas of Warren and with TAG said when she was asked to take part, she knew immediately it was something she wanted to do.
She said Warren city did a crosswalk project on Panther Avenue.
Trustee Chairman Matt Vansuch said public health is an important component of the township’s long-term comprehensive plan.
“Providing safer alternatives for our students to walk around the middle school area is critical, and doing so in a fun way that encourages our children to do so is a great idea,” he said.
Healthy Community Partnership Director Sarah Lowry said the group’s Active Transportation Action Team views the project as a way to engage the community in conversations about improving pedestrian safety and making streets safer, and to re-envision parts of the neighborhoods as brighter, more vibrant, and more active, inclusive spaces.
Lowry said more than 6,000 pedestrians are killed every year on American streets.