CLEVELAND (WJW) — Art with a purpose. Hugging the street corners in a residential area of Slavic Village, artwork was painted by the people living there to help protect the community. 

“This is a response to the residents complaining that we had speeders and just really concerned about our children playing outside,” said resident Joy Cummings.

She says for the past two years, they’ve been working with the city and getting the right permits to stop what she says is an ongoing problem with people speeding down the street. 

“My neighbor actually had her home hit three times,” she said. “We have children that like to play outside and they really don’t have much of a front yard, so they do like to use the sidewalks to play sometimes.”

The Warszawa Triangle Block Club was helped by Ward 12 Councilwoman Rebecca Maurer to get the permits to paint the traffic calming designs on the streets around East 69th Street. 

“What it is designed to do is actually work with the driver to make them think that they are going to drive around the art instead of through it or on it and so it extends the curb by three feet or so,” said Cummings.

WJW photo

“There’s a lot of science and research behind this that tells us when drivers see these decorative curb extensions, they do in fact slow down,” said Maurer.

Jahru McCulley took notice Monday: “I don’t know if that’s gonna do it but it’s a good effort that we’re putting forward to try to slow down and start paying attention.”

Last month, a 5-year-old girl was killed in Cleveland’s Stockyards neighborhood in a hit-and-run.

Days later, the residents on that street installed speed bumps. 

“No more children should be dying on our streets, no one should be dying on our streets from reckless drivers,” said Maurer.

The councilwoman says this beautification and safety project is the first of its kind in the city. 

“They made sure to canvas the neighborhood, they made sure to invite their neighbors, this essentially became a community event,” she said.

And the people who live in this neighborhood hope it is the right deterrent to speeders. “If this saves a life, it’s well worth it,” said Cummings.