Project to Paint 18 Murals to Beautify CV’s Broadway
By Sandra G. Leon
A non-profit group’s plan to enhance Chula Vista’s main North/South corridor includes painting 18 murals on sides of business and residential walls to beautify the community, revitalize a main street, and create a more welcoming atmosphere for residents and tourists.
The Envision Broadway Mural Project, organized by the Institute for Public Strategies, a San Diego-based group aimed at improving communities that experience inequity, poor health, and lack of opportunity, is focused on Chula Vista’s Broadway running from Palomar St at the South to E Street at the North.
“The positive impact that I have seen on businesses where we have created murals changes the clientele that goes to the location; it slows down traffic in the area and creates a sense of pride among the community,” Envision Broadway Beautification Committee Chair Julio Martha said. “There are studies where it shows that it almost eliminates crime. Displaced people won’t sit around a mural because there’s too much foot traffic around it.”
The group has already completed three wall murals on buildings on Broadway: the entire south wall of El Patio restaurant near G Street; the northern corner of the El Milagro hotel north of D Street; and the front street wall of the Firestone tire store south of K Street.
The cost of painting the murals is mostly covered by the group through grants and fundraising, including from the businesses that host the painting. Sponsorship packages are available through the group’s website.
“It’s not only going to beautify your building, it’s going to bring you more business,” Martha said. “Think of all the benefits. You’re not only contributing to your community, you’re also bringing a community together.”
The group’s mural painting events engage youth to help deter substance use, including through a collaboration with South Bay Youth for Change, students and volunteers actively participate in mural painting sessions that incorporate themes advocating for an alcohol and drug-free lifestyle. The initiative provides positive activities that steer young individuals away from harmful habits.
The City of Chula Vista has already begun its own Broadway corridor improvements to add bike lanes in both directions from C Street to Main Street, including reducing vehicle traffic lanes from two each way to only one with bike lane separation in both directions, as seen in a graphic released by the City of Chula Vista.
Improvements along Broadway will also include new bus transit shelters for MTS Bus Route 932.
The Institute for Public Strategies is IPS South Bay is funded by the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency’s Behavioral Health Services.