In an effort to increase student and pedestrian safety at and around Los Amigos Elementary School in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca., the City of Rancho Cucamonga gathered partners together to help restore the Los Amigos intersection mural, create safe walking paths, and implement traffic calming strategies in a historically underserved neighborhood.
Utilizing a SCAG (Southern California Association of Governments) grant in partnership with Music Changing Lives and a grant from America Walks, the city was $10,000 short in completing the project and reached out to Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) for support. “This is more than a sponsorship,” said Marci Coffey, IEHP director of community partnerships. “This is an all-hands-on-deck effort to create safe spaces for our community, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”
In coordination with City staff, Music Changing Lives and their artist and Rancho Cucamonga resident, Chris Becktel, took the lead in creating sidewalk art in the neighborhood surrounding the school and will also assist with the task of restoring the intersection mural located at the intersection of 9th Street and Baker Avenue, originally painted in 2018 with funding assistance from SCAG. In an effort to expand upon the traffic safety goals related to the initial 2018 project, additional semi-permanent infrastructure will be installed along 9th Street between Grove and Vineyard Avenues, to try and influence slower speeds and heightened driver awareness.
Designed by Becktel, painted walking routes in surrounding neighborhoods have created accessible, interactive, and enjoyable routes for residents and students to walk along. “The creation of intentional walking spaces helps to break down perceptions that it’s unsafe to walk in the neighborhood,” said Erika Lewis-Huntley, Management Analyst III at the City of Rancho Cucamonga “The project also supports Healthy RC’s ‘Safe Routes to School Program,’ which aims to create safer, more walkable routes for students to and from their school.”
In completion of the project, IEHP’s Chief Executive Officer, Jarrod McNaughton, and Governing Board Member, Eileen Zorn, were invited to paint the IEHP logo on one of the sidewalk paths.
“We hope these beautiful murals remind Los Amigos students and residents that they are cared for and are truly valued in our community,” said McNaughton. “Working in step with partners and communities in this way, we can make lasting and effective strides to ensure our communities enjoy the optimal care and vibrant health they deserve.”