Press Releases

Press Release #12-012

NYC DOT And New York Cares Host Third Annual Barrier Beautification, Saturday, April 21

Hundreds of volunteers join to paint colorful murals along 2,500 feet of bicycle lanes and sidewalks as part of New York Cares Day

New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) today announced the third annual “Barrier Beautification” event—produced by the agency’s Urban Art Program in partnership with the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit and New York Cares—will take place at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 21. Each year, concrete barrier sites are selected for this project as a way to reinvigorate these in-between spaces as part of New York Cares Day. Artists are invited to submit proposals for designs. This year, the Urban Art Program received 77 applications. Four were selected for implementation along 2,500 feet of pedestrian and bike paths in Brooklyn and Manhattan where hundreds of volunteers will assist with priming and painting this Saturday, the 21st annual New York Cares Day.

“Working with local artists and communities, we're bringing bold colors and designs to pedestrian areas and bike paths,” said DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “These creative designs instantly transform streetscapes into vibrant, welcoming spaces for New Yorkers.

Designs for this year’s Barrier Beautification sites are by Brooklyn-based artist and designer Abby Goldstein, Manhattan-based interdisciplinary artist Sam Holleran, Brooklyn-based painter and animator Marcie Paper and Manhattan-based illustrator Carla Torres.
Locations for these projects are:

• West Street South between North Moore and Laight streets, Manhattan
• Tillary Street between Cadman Plaza West and Adams Street, Brooklyn
• Manhattan Bridge Ramp, Sands Street and Jay Street, Brooklyn
• Columbia Street between Atlantic Avenue and Congress Street, Brooklyn

In Manhattan’s Hudson River Park, playful and surreal images designed by Carla Torres will be painted onto 715 feet of concrete barriers along the Hudson River Greenway near Pier 25. Torres’ narratives reflect a longing for the vibrancy of spring and the energy of the pedestrians and bicyclists who use the park daily. This mural is co-presented with the Hudson River Park Trust.

Barrier Beautification design by Carla Torres

On Tillary Street in Brooklyn, along a key Brooklyn Bridge access point, Marcie Paper will implement her design onto 340 feet of barriers along a bike lane located near both the Brooklyn War Memorial and the Korean War Veteran’s Plaza. The artist’s design is an abstract and delicate pattern derived from short-term memories of ground textures in the urban environment.

Barrier Beautification design by Marcie Paper

Approximately 600 feet of concrete wall, along the Manhattan Bridge bike lane approach in Brooklyn, will feature Abby Goldstein’s engaging play of color and pattern. Her design of botanical silhouettes against a background of repeated and staggered pattern of blues and greens reflect the natural world and the rhythm of the built environment.

Barrier Beautification design by Abby Goldstein

On Columbia Street in Brooklyn, along the most recent addition to the Brooklyn Greenway, fanciful picture-book impressions of nature by Sam Holleran, will cover 660 feet of concrete barriers. In his design, trees resembling spherical street lighting and rocky outcroppings resemble chunks of baking chocolate. This mural is co-presented with the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative.

Barrier Beautification design by Sam Hollerann

New York Cares is the city’s largest volunteer organization. Founded in 1987, New York Cares runs volunteer programs for various nonprofits, as well as City agencies and public schools across the city. This is the third year DOT is partnering with the organization to help reinvent the City’s streetscapes into inviting, attractive destinations.

For more information about New York Cares, visit For more information about DOT’s Urban Art Program, visit