A popular section of North Clinton Avenue was shut down on Sunday, as neighbors and friends spent the day giving the area between Hoetzer and Sullivan streets a new look, while also making it safer. The El Camino neighborhood was this year's winner of Complete Streets Makeover Program.
“This stretch of road has actually one of the highest rates for pedestrians and bicyclists hit in the region. There’s a lot of people walking, a lot of people biking, and a lot people driving, and obviously there’s a lot of opportunities for conflict there," says Mike Bulger, community coordinator for Common Ground Health's Healthi Kids initiative.
He says their goal is to utilize community input to transform streets to make
them safer for pedestrians and cyclists.”
Miguel Melendez of the Ibero-American Action League says with an upcoming La Marketa development project underway, the makeover is a start to a positive view of the area.
“Unfortunately we do have some challenges we have to overcome. (And) we are overcoming them little by little. And its stuff like this, the positive stuff , that will eventually win out. And we're looking forward to that day when we have a beautiful economic development plaza here,” Melendez says.
Located in the area is the Father Tracy Advocacy Center. Executive Director Rudy Rivera says, that the street improvements were long overdue and they are a symbol of a changing Clinton Avenue.
“Positive visual cultural images that we hope will help to cause people to see that things are changing that there is something different about what I look at everyday,” Rivera says.
Colorful new crosswalks, road lanes and a mural are some of the improvements made to the busy intersection.
Bulgar says Healthi Kids is looking forward to collaborating on to their next neighborhood makeover.