New downtown creative crosswalk comes to life in COVID-19 school break

Liz Fabian - Center for Collaborative Journalism

While thousands of students are adjusting to homeschooling to stem the spread of COVID-19, one high school freshman is making her mark on her school and the community.

Lily Livingston designed a new colorful crosswalk to the Mount de Sales student parking lot on Columbus Street.

A motif of panels with the school’s logo and large leaves is painted across the road.

“I like the idea of doing like a jungle theme. Thought it would be pretty cool, kind of. I guess it represents high school can be a jungle sometimes. It’s crazy,” Lily said Thursday after painting black borders around the panels of blue and gold.

Bike Walk Macon received a Downtown Challenge grant from the Community Foundation of Central Georgia that funded four other creative crosswalks nearby.

The organization paired up with stARTup Studios of Macon in August to hire artists to paint the intersection of Ross and Columbus streets at the southwest corner of campus.

“We’ve seen it in lots of other cities thought the United States and the main point is to slow down traffic but also to add a little bit of creativity. It’s all about place making,” said Rachel Hollar Umana, executive director of Bike Walk Macon. “So, making this a vibrant space that is enjoyable for not only for cars but also for pedestrians and bicyclists.”

The colorful crosswalks have been praised by local pedestrian safety advocates who are looking for ways to make Macon’s streets safer for those on foot or riding bikes.

Artist Heidi Clinite helped bring Lily’s vision to life as the painting began Sunday and finished up Thursday.

Earlier in the school year, students were asked to submit designs for the project.

The administration of the downtown Catholic school chose Lily’s, which features the crossed sabers of the Cavaliers logo as the centerpiece of the walkway.

Paint used on the crosswalks is supposed to last five years, Umana said.

The hues Lily chose happen to coordinate with the designs on the corner which feature a faux keyboard cutting across Appleton Avenue.

“I tried to do some vibrant colors that go along with the school’s colors,” Lily said. “I think it looks really awesome. I’m really happy and excited to get it done and can’t wait for people to get to see it. I hope they like it.”

Contact Civic Reporting Senior Fellow Liz Fabian at 478-957-2829 or [email protected]mercer.edu.