New initiative to encourage drivers to be more cautious in International District

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A group of artists are calling attention to two deadly intersections in the International District, and they’re doing it with paint. 

In the last few years, the U.S. Department of Transportation published data showing historically disadvantaged communities are often more dangerous for pedestrians. That reigns true for the International District in Albuquerque. 

Now, a group of artists hopes to make their block safer with art. 

“This is what art is for, art is for a lot of things, for celebration but also for commemoration. While this image is not an expression of grief directly it’s on the topic of grief, especially for the families who have lost folks who have been struck by a car here,” lead mural artist Andrew Fearnside said. 

Over the last few years, KOB 4 has covered multiple deadly crashes near Expo New Mexico – a majority of them along Central. 

“San Mateo and Central, and Louisiana and Central are two of the most dangerous intersections for pedestrians in the city, and in the country,” Fearnside said. 

For the next month, southbound lanes of Louisiana Avenue and the bus stop on the east side of Expo New Mexico will be closed, as artists work to bring this mural to life. 

“There is a visual energy to the mural, there is a zigzag pattern, then a curving pattern on top, and they kind of clash, they are not really friends all the time, and I think that is kind of a metaphor of what it’s like to be a pedestrian, or a driver around here. There is clash and a struggle to get where they have to go,” Fearnside said. 

The design of the mural was created with the help of folks who live in the International District. Fearnside even went door-to-door at one point asking neighbors who live near the mural what they would like to see. 

Most of this week is prep work – cleaning and priming the wall. They hope to start painting the design early next week to meet their April 15 deadline.