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Marion Receives $3K in Safety and Community Development Funds from State Farm

Photo: City of Marion Facebook page

MARION – As part of the ongoing downtown revitalization efforts, the City of Marion has received $3,000 from State Farm Good Neighbor Citizenship Company Grant.

The City of Marion recognizes the potential of art as a catalyst to improve street safety, revitalize public spaces, and bring the community together. To that end, the City has launched an endeavor of creating Destination Alleyway – a visual intervention in four alleyways linking underutilized city parking lots to the historic downtown Plaza. With this support, this relatively low cost, interim and scalable project can create immediate positive impact in the community as well as long-term outcomes in public spaces.

With these funds, the City plans to:

1. Create and install traffic calming artwork for pedestrian safety in four of the eight alleyways connecting Tower Square Plaza to city parking lots.

2. Install overhead decorative lighting in each of the four primary alleys to improve safety of pedestrian traffic at night, encourage parking lot usage in the evenings and maximize aesthetic appeal as part of the Downtown Revitalization Plan.

3. Develop and implement a city-wide asphalt art initiative that engages the community in a way that promotes community pride, neighborhood ownership, revitalization efforts and traffic safety.

The benefits of this project are an innovative trifold between roadway/pedestrian safety, neighborhood revitalization and small business development. Mayor Mike Absher states, “Our solution is to make the
alleyways a destination that is sought as part of the downtown experience. These spaces are more than a conduit between parking and merchants, but an opportunity for creative placemaking while providing a safe, traffic calming passageway that pedestrians enjoy.”

State Farm agents Bill Ecker, Kenya Garner and Ed Russell supported the application and are involved in the project plan. Implementation will start this spring.

For more information about this project, contact Community Programs Director Allison Hasler at ahasler@cityofmarionil.gov.