Beginning this morning, 3,000 pairs of shoes will be affixed to the fence around Johns Hopkins-owned property at the corner of St. Paul and 33rd Streets by members of the JHU community. The project, conceived earlier this spring, is designed to highlight safety issues faced by pedestrians and bicyclists.
Specifically, the 3,000 pairs of shoes represent the number of pedestrians and cyclists involved in motor vehicle crashes in the state of Maryland every year, according to Hopkins’ Office of Alumni Relations, which notes that more than 100 people die in the state each from such crashes.
The St. Paul Street location is particularly poignant because it’s an intersection that has been the site of recent pedestrian and bicyclist tragedies.
In 2009, Miriam Frankl, a 20-year-old Johns Hopkins student, was struck and killed on St. Paul Street by a hit-and-run driver. Hopkins student Nathan Krasnopoler, also 20, was struck by a car while bicycling on nearby University Parkway last year and died from his injuries.
Shoes painted white and affixed to the fence are meant to symbolize those who lost their lives in fatal collisions.
The Johns Hopkins Office of Alumni Relations sent out an email yesterday that said volunteers will be needed between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Friday, with more possibly needed on Saturday.
More information about the project can be found here.