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Uptown Marion Receives Grant to Fund Safety & Beautification Project

Unique shops, services, organizations, concerts and events bring thousands of residents and visitors to the vibrant Uptown Marion District each year. While the rules of the road clearly state that cars are required to stop for pedestrians at marked crossings; the rule is often broken by distracted or hurried motorists.

Marion’s Central Corridor Plan is designed to balance traffic between 6th and 7th Avenues and create a more pedestrian-friendly shopping district. While progress has been made, several phases of the project remain. In the meantime, Uptown Marion – A Main Street Iowa District has partnered with the Marion Parks and Recreation Department and Sheets Forrest Draper Insurance to increase safety and beautify the area.

In 2019, Uptown Marion successfully applied for the IMT Group Community Contest through Sheets Forrest Draper Insurance to purchase planters that are now located in the intersection of 7th Avenue and 11th Street. “We are proud to be located in the Uptown Marion District and our partnership with IMT Insurance has allowed us to participate in this beautification project for the Marion Community,” stated Scott Stephens, president of Sheets Forrest Draper.

The contest funding and a local match from Uptown Marion Main Street and the Marion Parks and Recreation Department made it possible to purchase, plant and install the planters this spring.

“It’s great to see businesses and municipalities come together to make projects like this happen,” said Uptown Marion Main Street Director Brooke Prouty. “Small enhancements can have a big impact and we’re excited to see how it affects pedestrian traffic in the district.”

Studies show that placing planters in crosswalks can have a calming effect on traffic, increase pedestrian confidence, and add to the walkability of the district through increased aesthetics.

For more information on Uptown Marion programs or to volunteer for beautification efforts, visit the “GET INVOLVED” tab above.

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