Lockwood neighborhood gets a new paint job

By: Nicole Eaton, Charlotte Communications & Marketing

Sylvania Avenue in the Lockwood neighborhood has a colorful new look. Over this past weekend, community members came together to participate in a Paint the Pavement project, but the street mural is much more than art.

Bringing the community together

Located in the North End Smart District, the Lockwood neighborhood was looking to address speeding on Sylvania Avenue. The residents used a few city programs to help neighborhoods. One of the newer programs is called Paint the Pavement, where a community selects an area such as a sidewalk or street in the city’s right of way to paint. They also received a Neighborhood Matching Grant through the city to help with the project.

The process is largely driven by the neighborhoods. Neighborhoods have to apply for both programs and provide volunteer participation. The neighborhood decided to paint traffic circles in three intersections. The goal is to install a temporary traffic circle and paint street murals to build community and increase safety. The neighborhood selected local artist Julio Gonzalez and Scott Partridge to design the painted traffic circles.

On Aug. 18, the artists led residents in a community paint day as part of “Lockwood Day.” They helped guide all participants so everyone could be a part of the event. By having an activity, it brought neighbors out of their homes to get to know one another and build a stronger community. Along with painting, there was a DJ, games and opportunities on how to get more involved in the community.

“Lockwood Day and the street painting activity itself was merely a catalyst to work towards two main goals. The primary goal is to encourage a safer community. As important, is the idea building a community of residents who shows a willingness to get to know each other. The creation of the traffic calming circles warranted just enough curiosity to simply get people out of their homes. From that point, humanity was able to take over. Introductions led to conversations and common ground was discovered, within a rapidly changing neighborhood.” — Winston Robinson, President of Lockwood Neighborhood Association.

This project also is a part of CLT250, a yearlong celebration recognizing our history, commemorating our spirit of independence and celebrating our future and continued growth.

Helping neighborhoods

The City of Charlotte has many programs to help neighborhoods implement projects like Paint the Pavement. A good place to start is the Placemaking Hub, where you can find process and permitting information on programs like Adopt-A-Street, cabinet wraps, parklets and temporary events.

The Neighborhood Matching Grants program also assists neighborhoods with funds to complete projects that benefit the community. It can be used for things like landscaping, festivals, Neighborhood Watch groups, wellness programs, printing/mailing, bike racks, property enhancements, community gardens, decorative signs and so much more.

What’s next?

At one of the intersections, a temporary traffic circle will be installed by the Charlotte Department of Transportation later, which will be designed to increase safety. The painted murals can be seen at:

  • Grimes Street & Sylvania Avenue
  • Hobbs Street & Sylvania Avenue

View more photos of the event on the City of Charlotte’s Flickr page.