The New York City Department of Transportation wants to spruce up its less aesthetically endowed elements: construction sites. So the local Department of Transportation held a contest to find artistic designs to decorate that ubiquitous and visually insidious component of construction: the Jersey barrier.
They announced their Jersey Barrier Design Winners this week.
Jersey barrier art by (left to right) Jennifer Cecere, Jenny Hung, and Debra Hampton will adorn the omnipresent eyesores around NYC construction zones with brightly colored patterns and representational designs. The winning entries vary in style from geometric patterns, to bright bird feather hints striped lengthwise, and subtle human forms hidden in complex symmetrical flowing red and white line images.
For a sense of past projects with similar sensibilities, click through this photo set by NY DOT "pARTners." Downtown New York has done this in the past, and we hope they do it more often. It's a smart move to transform the constant construction sites inherent in infrastructure upgrades into a canvas for local expression. It might also earn a little more support for the projects too. Once these Jersey barriers are covered in art instead of car soot, people might not dislike them as much.
Check out other efforts to inject art into transportation spaces by the NY DOT laid out in this little pdf they released on how they select sites and art projects.
(A version of this story appeared in Transportation Nation)