The Umbrella Project: Bus Stop Shelters

Team ‘Umbrella Project’ was funded $5,000 during the 24 Hour Citizen Project in 2016 to build a bus stop shelter prototype  – with the potential of being replicated throughout the city. Lafayette has over 500 bus stops, and just 35 of those have shelter. Project creators, Brittany Broussard and Kate Durio, will tell you that this project – more than anything – is about restoring dignity to bus riders. A worthy cause indeed. Location: Lafayette, LA

The Umbrella Project: Bus Stop Shelters

Our bus stops have two options. There is a sign on a pole or a complete shelter but no option in the middle, with the majority of riders left standing out in the rain and sun with no protection, no place to sit and no map and routing information. We can do better. The Umbrella Project aims to provide a modular system to provide shelter, map and routing information, seating and lighting at every bus stop. The current bus shelters are great where they work and where we can afford them.  Each costs about $10,000-$15,000 to install and navigating right of way can be an additional challenge. By identifying this option in the middle and developing it in a way that is agile and can work in a variety of contexts, budgets and right of way, we can provide amenities at any stop.

This project would seek to:

  • Provide shelter, seating, map routing information, trash cans and lighting wherever possible.
  • Continue to work comprehensively with LTS and all community members trying to improve the bus stops in Lafayette as a team so that we are addressing the rider experience holistically
  • Maintain a certain level of aesthetic standard so that all stops are replicable, affordable, sustainable, low-maintenance and recognizable as a bus stop to improve the rider experience first and second to incorporate works of art. This approach ensures that every bus stop is immediately identified as a bus stop thus improving the functionality of the rider experience.

Safe Pass Underpass

Team ‘Safe Pass Underpass’ was funded $5,000 during the 24 Hour Citizen Project in 2016 to install lighting under an overpass that is part of an essential bike path (Mickey’s Loop). Project Leader, Mark DeClouet, will tell you that cyclist avoid the area because it’s no longer “invitable.” While lighting on the surface may seemingly lack significance, Mark will tell you that his project is about bringing the community together through accessibility to different areas of town. Location: Lafayette, LA

Safe Pass Underpass

In 2015, the Lafayette City Parish Council adopted a resolution to create an 8-mile continuous bike path running through the heart of the city of Lafayette known as Mickey’s Loop, connecting existing and planned paths that were completed in 2016. Mickey’s Loop was created to honor the memory of Mickey Shunick, an avid cyclist who lost her life tragically in 2012. Mickey’s Loop provides unprecedented neighborhood connectivity across Lafayette neighborhoods including the UL Lafayette, Saint Streets, Greenbriar/Brentwood, Lafayette Central Park, Girard Park, Oil Center and the Downtown area. One portion of this loop connects pedestrian and bike traffic between the Oil Center/Girard Park area and West Bayou/Lafayette Central Park neighborhoods at the intersection of South College and West Bayou Parkway. This connection is made via an underpass on South College, next to Coulee Mine, a major tributary to Bayou Vermilion. Currently, the Coulee Mine underpass is not well lit, does not project an element of safety and is generally not well known as a connection point in the community. Our project proposes to enhance this connectivity, increase community and individual safety along the loop, and increase awareness of the environment and natural resources related to our community and the Bayou Vermilion.

How will we do this? We are proposing to:

  1. Implement environmentally friendly lighting that enhances the safety of this critical connection point on Mickey’s Loop for both pedestrians and bicyclists.
  2. Improve the functionality of the underpass for bicyclists and pedestrians with redesigned handrail and bike channel features to make it easier for cyclists to bring their bikes up the stairs, while providing safety elements for pedestrians.
  3. Add concave mirrors on both entrance points at the underpass to create visibility for cross traffic and for users to see what else may lie ahead.
  4. Add a number of beautification elements to the underpass, including a Project Front Yard inspired art project/sculpture on the underside of the Coulee Mine underpass. This would be analogous to the Freemont troll, a public sculpture in the Freemont neighborhood of Seattle, Washington which turned an underpass into a tourist destination. Additional aesthetic elements would be added that make the area more welcoming to tourists, pedestrians and bicyclists.

Safe Pass Underpass

July 2017 Update:

It’s hard to believe that nearly a year has gone by since the first 24 Hour Citizen Project!

We picked Safe Pass Underpass as a way to continue to improve Mickey’s Loop as one of Lafayette’s first cohesive bicycle paths. Mickey’s Loop is an 8-mile long trail consisting of bike lanes, sharrows, and sidewalks that tracks through the core of the city.

One of the most difficult spots on the pathway is a short leg on South College Road. There is an underpass for bikes there that is in need of better maintenance, and so we pitched that we would clean it up to continue to improve the Loop.

Our project has been slow in starting because we applied for a Transportation Alternatives Grant to enhance our original plans. We found out in late April that we didn’t receive it, so we have been refining our work and scope since then. Since that time, local firm Land Architecture has agreed to design the site improvements and apply for the DOTD permit (because we are required to have a licensed landscape architect apply for the permit). And to keep up momentum, we have conducted regular cleanups at the site, including a major cleanup following the August 2016 flood where we removed debris from the site. Most recently, a group of us participated in an annual bike ride to commemorate the establishment of Mickey’s Loop, an event that drew out about 75 riders, including Mickey’s parents.

-Mark Declouet

Recovery Garden

The birth of the ‘Recovery Garden’ comes from Project Leader, Adrian Perron, who believed that growing a garden was in itself, a form of therapy for his clients suffering from addiction. The project was funded $2,000 during the 24 Hour Citizen Project in 2016.  Crops produced from the garden benefit St. Joseph’s Diner, whose focus is to feed the hungry. Location: Lafayette, LA

Recovery Garden

The St. Joseph Diner Garden Project is a collaborative project between Catholic Services of Acadiana and Acadiana Recovery Center.  This project has a goal of taking the garden that is at Catholic Services of Acadiana and redeveloping it into a sustainable garden that provides produce that can be used to feed the homeless population of Lafayette, Louisiana. Currently, the garden is in a state of disrepair and needs the aid of the community. The St. Joseph Diner Garden was built in 2012. There are approximately sixteen planter boxes, as well as, fruit trees planted along the perimeter. St. Joseph Diner serves over 100,000 meals a year to the homeless living on the streets and to those living in the shelter. The St. Joseph Diner is open 364 days a year.

The project is on track to begin planting this spring. We have reached out to the LSU Ag Center for assistance. There have been challenges along the way. Acadiana Recovery Center is in the process of having new management, which has challenged the staff. We continue to refocus and look forward to reap the positive results this project will bring.

As of Spring 2017, this project is completed. The garden is maintained by the Acadiana Recovery Center, and all crops are donated to St. Josephs’s Diner to feed the poor.

The Art Wall

The Art Wall project stole the hearts of many who attended the 24 Hour Citizen Project in 2016, when Project Leader, Asher Corbell (a 16 year old from Shreveport, LA) was funded $1,000 to pursue his vision for the arts. What Asher really wanted was a designated wall where graffiti artists could perform their art legally. Since that time, the concept has grown into a wall where artists can pursue grafitti, street art, urban art and muralism. Asher paired up with local artist, Susan David, who feels Asher’s love for the arts needs to be cultivated. The duo hopes to mimic what other cities have done to promote public art participation. Location: Lafayette, LA

The Art Wall

Project Purpose: The Art Wall is a wall designated to artists from the community to pursue graffiti, street art, urban art, and muralism. The idea is to give young and/or aspiring artists a place to come express themselves outdoors in a unique, fun, and legal way.

Project Rationale:   The project stemmed from several successful examples of “Graffiti Walls” around the country that have been installed in an effort to convert  tagging and vandalism (see section titled “Paint Wall Examples”) into graffiti that is contained and manageable through a designated space, rules, and borders.

Proposed Location: The ideal location is a flat wall (i.e., side of building) that is visible to the public and well lit. Locations are dependent on appropriate permissions from building owners  (for private property) and local government agencies (for government owned properties). The idea is to create a vibrant area using artistic paint colors that was once a blighted wall/area.

Proposed Name:  The original name of the project was called the “Graffiti Wall.” After careful consideration and further research, the project team decided that the name should be more inclusive to other artists and painting styles. The new proposed name is “The Art Wall” followed by the wall location (i.e., The Art Wall @ 2nd Street). The name is clarifies the purpose of the site and provides a location.

Paint Wall Examples: Many cities have already implemented these types of campaigns to promote public art and participation. The Art Wall Project in Lafayette is replicated from many successful examples from over the years. The most notable are mentioned below:

  • – Organized over 1,250 legal street art murals in London since 2012.
  • – An aggregator for street art, providing 1,478 legal locations for artists to work.
  • A community paint park located in downtown Austin, TX. It is the only paint park of its kind in the USA. It was developed to provide muralists, street artists, arts education classes and community groups the opportunity to display large scale art pieces driven by inspirational, positive & educational messaging.

Access to Art Wall: The artist must be granted permission to use the space via an Art Wall Card, which is obtained following completion of an online form. The Art Wall Card is picked up at participating local businesses (i.e., Levee Skatespace (Logan Clothier), Rukus Skateshop (Dan Russel) Freetown Studios (Susan David)).The online form will contain the following:

  • Name
  • Contact phone number
  • Contact email address
  • Dates of wall’s use
  • Brief description of design (if available)
  • Size of the spot
  • Photo or access to Facebook profile
  • Agree to the Art Wall Terms and Conditions

Rules and Restrictions: The artist will agree to abide by the rules and restrictions of using the wall. The following rules will be communicated to the artists before use, and will also be displayed near the wall for easy viewing:

  • Keep it clean – Keep the wall and surrounding areas clean. Leave no waste behind including cans or other refuse.
  • Only apply paint to your designated area. Never apply paint on the ground or on other objects surrounding the wall.
  • Keep your colors beautiful – No insulting remarks or anything offensive expressed in your art. No violence. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • Always buff your intended area. No buffing = no painting!
  • Obey the art – Respect the other artist! Keep the murals above clean. Graffiti codex applies.
  • You work may get buffed over… That’s ok. It may be time to start a new piece!
  • Work starts at daylight, and ends at 10PM. No Exceptions!

We’re excited to announce that the “Graffiti Wall Project” has a home, a new name (The Art Wall), and a call to action for all willing artists wanting to pursue their art. If you live in the Lafayette area, and interested in designating a space for your work, you can contact the project team via their facebook page or the artist submission form.