MARION, Ill. (KFVS) - The City of Marion received $3,000 in grant money to improve safety and community development.
The money came from the State Farm Good Neighbor Citizenship Company Grant.
The City plans to use the money to:
- Create and install traffic calming artwork for pedestrian safety in four of the eight alleyways connecting Tower Square Plaza to city parking lots
- Install overhead decorative lighting in each of the four primary alleys to improve safety of pedestrian traffic at night, encourage parking lot usage in the evenings and maximize aesthetic appeal as part of the Downtown Revitalization Plan
- Develop and implement a city-wide asphalt art initiative that engages the community in a way that promotes community pride, neighborhood ownership, revitalization efforts and traffic safety
The city recognized the potential of art as a catalyst to improve street safety, revitalize public spaces and bring the community together.
Because of this, the city created Destination Alleyway, a visual intervention in four alleyways linking underutilized city parking lots to the historic downtown Plaza.
“Our solution is to make the alleyways a destination that is sought as part of the downtown experience,” said Mayor Mike Absher. “These spaces are more than a conduit between parking and merchants, but an opportunity for creative placemaking while providing a safe, traffic calming passageway that pedestrians enjoy.”
Crown Brew Coffee Co. is right off the square in Marion.
Co-owner Jared Gravatt is excited for what’s happening in Downtown Marion.
“We absolutely believe that the art that’s coming in downtown and the quality businesses that are coming down here. We really believe it’s going to bring in a lot of tourism,” said Gravatt
Gravatt added that their company keeps seeing sales on the rise.
He attributed it to the revitalization project.
“We keep breaking sales records every single week, so we know that the revitalization taking place downtown here is absolutely helping our business,” said Gravatt
Gravatt said this is only the beginning stages of the project.
“We love the culture, character and everything that’s happening down here and we know they’ve only just begun,” he said.