This summer, Ecolibrium3 partnered with the City of Duluth and the Minnesota Department of Transportation to install crosswalks at two intersections in Lincoln Park. This project was designed to make those intersections easier to cross. New crosswalks, signs, and delineators aimed to slow traffic. Street murals and planters were also put up to beautify the streets. Wayfinding signs were installed to help visitors navigate through Lincoln Park without driving. To learn more about the design and development stages of this project, see New Crosswalks and Signs in Lincoln Park!
Since the installation, Ecolibrium3 and the City of Duluth have been monitoring the intersections. Community members have also sent us feedback and updates that helped manage the project. Our neighbors let us know when planters were hit by turning trucks, when wind pushed signs over, and when delineators needed to be cleared. In some cases, people took it upon themselves to clean and tidy the intersections. One of our neighbors even reached out to adopt some of the plants after the first frost. That’s Lincoln Park pride!
Through rain, wind, and heavy traffic, the project lost a bit of shine. The murals got dusty and muddy, and some of the temporary delineators came unstuck from the street. But in Duluth, we know that function is more important than form! Although they lost some of their initial curb appeal, the crosswalks helped people cross safely through October. In addition, yield studies conducted by the City of Duluth Transportation Planning department showed clearly that these intersections made it more likely for drivers to yield to pedestrians.
This installation was designed as a demonstration project. Once snow begins to accumulate, we will take down the temporary elements. The delineators will be removed so the snowplows can clear the streets and the wayfinding signs will be put in storage. The plants have already been given new homes. The crosswalks and murals will stay, and hopefully will continue to help people cross safely for years to come.
Throughout this process, we learned a lot about how the intersections along Superior Street are used. Pedestrians have noted that the streets are easier to cross, and many people complimented the colorful street murals. Truck drivers and business owners shared that the delineators made turning more difficult for delivery trucks. Some people shared that the crosswalks caused confusion at times, because drivers and pedestrians weren’t sure who had the right of way. We have gathered a great deal of information which will make future projects better. That’s why we started with a temporary project. It is a budget-friendly way to test ideas. If you have feedback to share, the Crosswalk Survey is still open. We would love to hear your input! This information will all be incorporated into the larger redesign of Superior Street. To learn more about that project, visit the website for the Redesign of West Superior Street.
This project has been a success thanks to the hard work of our partners, staff, and VISTA members; the cooperation of local business owners; and the ongoing input from our neighbors. We are grateful to everyone who shared their feedback, reported missing delineators, and watered plants! Lincoln Park has long been a neighborhood where people work together to build and maintain the community. This project has been a true demonstration of that spirit.