The Gary Public Transportation Corp. commissioned artists to place murals on its bus stops a few years ago. Staff photo by Joseph S. Pete
The Gary Public Transportation Corp. commissioned artists to place murals on its bus stops a few years ago. Staff photo by Joseph S. Pete
GARY — Artists will have the opportunity to change the streetscape in downtown Gary, leaving their mark on the city and making it more walkable.

Gary Public Transportation Corp. is soliciting proposals from artists to create crosswalks and other pedestrian improvements in the Steel City.

The transit agency, which runs buses across town and around the Region, wants crosswalk upgrades, streetscape beautification and other low-cost pedestrian-friendly improvements in what it's calling "artistic tactical urbanism."

The bus company got a grant from the Indiana state government to improve pedestrian access and safety in Gary. The goal is to make it safer and more accessible for pedestrians and transit riders while promoting history, art and social themes.

“Community conversations are at the heart of this project,” said David W. Wright, planning manager for GPTC. “We aim to engage our community and support local artists, particularly in Gary, and we will make streets and sidewalks safer for the residents of Gary.”

The Gary Public Transportation Corp. has previously worked with artists on projects, including wrapping bus stops around the city with colorful and eye-catching murals a few years ago.

This time, the public transit agency plans to award $8,000 for a project on the 900 block of Broadway, $4,000 for the Adam Benjamin Metro Center, $2,000 for Union Station, and $2,000 for U.S. Steel Yard.

Artists should submit an estimate of material costs. If chosen, they will be reimbursed for materials like city-approved UV anti-graffiti coating.

A selection committee will choose the artists or teams of artists. Those who live in Gary, work out of a studio in Gary or will create work with a Gary theme will get a higher score.
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