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A recent study shows art murals could be making city streets safer

Part of the Asphalt Art Safety study revealed areas of cities with murals saw a 50% drop in crashes involving pedestrians or cyclists.

PHOENIX — Have you noticed more street art popping up around the Valley? Neighborhoods are becoming more colorful by the day, pleasing the eyes of drivers and walkers who pass by. 

The street art is created to bring our senses to life while we’re milling around from day to day, and also causes us to pause and think about the designs around town. Now, a study is finding that the art is also lowering the number of crashes around them. 

Jason Begay is a muralist who has commissioned art around Arizona. 

"I’ve got several murals in the Coronado neighborhood downtown,” he said.

Taylor Victoria is another artist whose work you can see around Phoenix-metro.

“I love being a part of that," Victoria said. "I think that’s the greatest gift as an artist, to be able to contribute beauty to the community around us.”

That beauty is becoming more than eye-candy, according to research. A recent Asphalt Art Safety study found there’s a dramatic reduction in vehicle crashes where murals line the streets.

“I've heard those studies and I think it’s phenomenal," Victoria said. 

The study revealed parts of cities with murals saw a 50% drop in crashes involving pedestrians or cyclists, a nearly 40% drop in crashes leading to injuries and a nearly 30% increase in the rate of drivers yielding to pedestrians.

“When I’m driving around, I definitely drive a little slower so I can check out murals," Begay said. 

Victoria has a hunch as to why researchers found this data. 

“Art creates that moment of pause to be able to escape from what’s going on and reflect on the beauty," Victoria said. 

The streets aren’t the only place Victoria and Begay created their murals. Begay also designed a colorful piece on the walls of Brightside Studios in Phoenix.

“I really like dark backgrounds with the subjects coming out of the dark background and illuminated with really loud light," Begay said. 

The Asphalt Art Safety study also found another 25% drop in potentially dangerous conflicts between drivers and pedestrians. Begay and Victoria's latest art projects can be found on social media.

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