Tucson, AZ (November 12, 2019) – This Friday, November 15th, local non-profit organization, Living Streets Alliance, together with Ochoa Community School and the John Valenzuela Youth Center will host a special neighborhood block party, inviting students, families and neighbors to transform the intersection of 8th Avenue and 25th Street. Together, the community will paint the intersection into a colorful school crossing that will beautify the street and increase safety and visibility of students and families walking and biking to school.
The Ochoa Block [Painting] Party (Fiesta en la Calle) will take place from 3:00PM to 6:00PM near Ochoa Community School located at 101 W. 25th Street. Led by local artist Mel Dominguez (Galeria Mitotera), families will paint a large intersection mural with imagery inspired by students. Flex posts and large planters will surround the mural, delineating a traffic circle that will serve to slow down cars going through the school zone. During the block party, families are encouraged to bring their bicycles for free repair provided by Cicli Noe and cruise through the bike rodeo set up by Pima County Health Department. To keep the painting party festive, DJ Aqua will be spinning music.
Over 65% of students from Ochoa Community School live within a 15-minute walk of the school, and there are many families who rely on walking and biking as a way to get around their neighborhood. The design of this “quick-build” traffic circle is temporary in nature and a relatively inexpensive solution to calm traffic compared to permanent circles made of concrete. “Every year, we struggle to make sure we have school crossing guards, so it helps to have these treatments to build safety into the street and reinforce the school zone,” says Rosamaria Raub-Duarte, principal at Ochoa. And what is most exciting about this project is creating a sense of place that celebrates their community. “We have a student group called M.O.B., Make Ochoa Beautiful, so this project fits right into our bigger goal of wanting our students to take pride in where they come from and ownership in their neighborhood here,” adds Adolfo “Chuck” Peralta, Ochoa’s Community Liaison.
This project is made possible through many different partnerships including support from City of Tucson Bicycle and Pedestrian Program, City of South Tucson, Galeria Mitotera, Cicli Noe, Tank’s Green Stuff, Creatista Film, Video and Photography, Pima County Health Department, Trees for Tucson, UA Garden Kitchen, and Pima County Native Plant Nursery. Additional grant funding from New Belgium Brewing and Tucson Osteopathic Medical Foundation helps to support the purchase of supplies and materials.
Living Streets Alliance (LSA) coordinates the Safe Routes to School Tucson Program in partnership with the City of Tucson, to encourage more children and families to walk and bike throughout the Tucson region. One of the goals of the program is to address the physical infrastructure that connects families to schools, and small-scale neighborhood projects like this can begin to address lack of safe and connected routes, which can be a major barrier to kids walking and biking to school. For more information, visit http://www.saferoutestucson.org
The mission of LSA is to advocate for a thriving Tucson by creating great streets for everyone. For more information, visit https://livingstreets.wpengine.com