GREAT FALLS — Yes, they brighten up the streets - but what if the colorful crosswalks of downtown Great Falls actually played a role in connecting and protecting the community?
The crosswalk painting is part of the Building Active Communities Initiative, a partnership that works to create active spaces in downtown communities.
Kim Skornogoski, an advocate of the program who works for United Way of Cascade County, says there’s evidence to prove they do just that.
“They’re art projects, but there’s science behind it. Other cities have done studies and if you do these types of projects, it actually changes people’s behavior without them even really realizing or thinking about it,” Skornogoski said.
Skornogoski explained how the simple addition of colorful crosswalks creates a ripple effect benefiting all of downtown and the community.
“If people are downtown, that attracts young people to our community. That attracts shoppers to businesses. And it also changes our behavior so that we're all walking from place to place, instead of driving from place to place,” Skornogoski said.
While people are walking around downtown, they are helping themselves by staying physically active, benefitting businesses by attracting more customers, and creating a safer environment downtown by making the area less attractive to criminals.
“It’s such a win-win-win-win, that we’ve just had so many people that are saying ‘yes’ to getting involved,” Skornogoski said.
If you’d like to get involved, you can come out to the next painting event on August 21st or stay tuned for upcoming projects. To find out more details about those projects, click here to visit the Get Fit Great Falls website.