Footprints Crosswalk was a temporary crosswalk made of colorful stencils marking various walking tracks connecting the residents of Baltimore’s Auchentoroly Terrace neighborhood to the adjacent Druid Hill Park. The installation location was selected by residents through a Plan4Health-funded engagement process led by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and BikeMore in collaboration with the Auchentoroly Terrace Association and public artist Graham Coreil-Allen.
The west side of Druid Hill Park is cut off from the neighborhood by Auchentoroly Terrace, a former three lane boulevard turned into an eight lane highway during Baltimore’s 1960s era of destructive, car-oriented urban planning. Most residents in the area do not own cars, so the lack of safe crosswalks along the thoroughfare is a major hinderance to connecting with an otherwise beautiful space for urban recreation and exercise. Rails-to-Trails and BikeMore invited input during community meetings in and around the Druid Hill Farmers Market. For these meetings, resident and public artist Coreil-Allen made reusable whiteboard maps for participants to mark which intersections needed the most attention. Based on this input, the intersection of Auchentoroly Terrace and Gwynns Falls Parkway was selected as the best place to create a temporary project highlighting the need for increased pedestrian safety and connectivity.
Including foot, hoof, bird, and paw prints, the playful tracks of Footprints Crosswalk allude to both people and other creatures that frequent Druid Hill Park. The crosswalk is enhanced with “Save Lives” street signs hung all around the intersection that draw attention to the pedestrians’ rights-of-way. Footprints Crosswalk was installed by lead designer Graham Coreil-Allen with assistance from artists Melvin Thomas and Valentino Wiebel, with traffic control generously provided by the Baltimore City Department of Transportation.