Art as traffic calming: Kids painting school zones in Paradise

Young students are busy painting the roads in Paradise this week, in an effort to raise awareness about traffic speeding through school zones.
Students at Paradise Elementary School took part in Paint the Pavement outside their school on Monday. (Town of Paradise/Twitter)

Elementary students are busy painting the roads in Paradise this week, in an effort to raise awareness about speeding through school zones.

Paradise Mayor Dan Bobbett says students in Grade 3 and Grade 4 at Elizabeth Park Elementary, Holy Family and Paradise Elementary are painting sections of road around their schools this week.

"They come out and they get involved in the painting and get their hands dirty, paint up to their elbows I would say," said Bobbett, adding that safety is the top priority. 

"They've all got yellow T-shirts and safety goggles and [before] they come out, our staff cordon off the road." 

The project is part of an initiative across North America called Paint the Pavement, which Bobbett said is aimed at making drivers more aware of when they're driving through school zones.

"It does bring an awareness when you come to an intersection and it's all painted up with murals — they'll slow down and bring their attention back to the road."

Bobbett said the town commissioned local artist Jennifer O'Brien-Strapp to work with students and come up with ideas to put in the murals.

Now, the students get to paint their ideas right on the road, while making their school a safer place when it comes to traffic.

"[There's] a bit of fun too. School's coming to a close right now so it's part of getting outdoors and enjoying the sunshine," Bobbett told the St. John's Morning Show. 

Monday through Wednesday, traffic detours are in place while the painting continues — weather permitting.

With files from the St. John's Morning Show