Hundreds help paint State Street; Pedestrian Mall Experiment to launch May 8

Aerial view of State Street painting and murals
Image credit: Ian DeGraff

The City of Madison is one step closer to getting people to #FlockToState for the start of this summer’s Pedestrian Mall Experiment thanks to the hard work of hundreds of volunteers this past weekend.

More than 600 people from across the Madison area signed up to help paint State Street on Sunday, April 21, adding vibrant colors in the form of murals, stencils and polka dots across the 400 to 600 blocks of State Street.

The City’s Planning Division is so thrilled with the wonderful turnout and amazing team effort that transformed State Street yesterday. It was wonderful to see Madisonians from across the City participate on a beautiful Spring Day to support our local artists and begin the first steps of our #FlocktoState experiment this summer.  We hope it will encourage others to come downtown and experience the amazing things our Downtown has to offer.

City of Madison Urban Design Planner Rebecca Cnare

The painting was the first step in getting that stretch of State Street ready for this summer’s Pedestrian Mall Experiment, which is scheduled to officially begin on Wednesday, May 8. With the street painting complete, City staff will begin adding new benches, planters, and sculptures to the area over the next couple weeks.

Once the Pedestrian Mall is opened, people are encouraged to capture the many made-for-social media sights and sounds using the hashtag #FlockToState and tag musicians performing at the new busking location across from Concrete Park with the hashtag #MadisonIsMusic. A full summer’s worth of programming and performances are being planned for the Pedestrian Mall.

The Pedestrian Mall, stretching from Gorham Street to Hawthorne Court, will be closed to all non-emergency traffic starting at 3 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. on weekends and holidays, ending at 4 a.m. every day. Traffic will continue to flow normally on all cross streets even when the pedestrian mall is open, including on Gorham and Gilman Street.

The nature of State Street, with many local businesses not having alley or back door access for deliveries, prevents a full closure to traffic. The City of Madison worked in consultation with the businesses on the 400-600 blocks of State Street in setting the hours for the experiment.

The City of Madison and Madison Arts would like to give a special thanks to the local artists who designed the street murals and stencils, including:

Jessica Gutierrez
Instagram: @inspiritartist

Jessica Gutierrez State Street design of pink flamingo and blue and green flowers
Image credit: Jessica Gutierrez

Taylor McAda
Instagram: @taylor_nicole_mcada

Taylor McAda State Street design saying Flock to State with two flamingoes facing each other
Image credit: Taylor McAda

Sharon Bjyrd
Instagram: @bohemianblackart

Sharon Bjyrd State Street design with a pink flamingo and a hop scotch game
Image credit: Sharon Bjyrd

Rahul Kamath

Rahul Kamath State Street design pink flamingo
Image credit: Rahul Kamath

Maeve Makielski
Instagram: @en.ballpointe

Maeve Makielski stencil designs including ice cream, terrace, State of Liberty on Lake Mendota, fish, Madison flag, and boats on the lake
Image credit: Maeve Makielski
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