Downtown is about to get a lot more colorful, and not from the summer sunshine.

The Common Council last week approved a series of public art and beautification projects proposed by Lockport Main Street, Inc., including two new murals, wayfinding signs and painted traffic control boxes.

Lockport Main Street, a non-profit agency that partners with the city and its development agency, is planning to paint blue four traffic control boxes along Main Street, and paint the city seal on the front panels and way-finding maps along the sides. 

Artist Matthew Duquette, of 12 Grain Studio in Lockport, will paint a mural of regional wildflowers on the retaining wall along Market Street, below Cornerstone CFCU Arena. Duquette also will adorn the back of the portable city stage — a mainstay at local events with live music — with a mural depicting the city's canal locks, with a forced perspective of the city's skyline in the background. 

The beautification plans also include installing 20 bike hoop racks along Main Street between Transit and Washburn streets. The hoops, which can accommodate two bikes apiece, will attach to light posts. Lockport Main Street Director Jessica Dittly said they will monitor use of the bike racks, and provide additional racks in areas with higher usage.

The projects are being funded through a $23,000 grant from the Verizon Media (formerly Yahoo) Community Benefit Fund for Lockport.

The grant will also support new hanging signs, which are more visible to pedestrians, for downtown businesses, and new displays for Art on Main Street. Dittly said the new artworks, each produced by a local artist, will be displayed in the windows of vacant downtown storefronts sometime next spring.

“Projects like this encourage people to get out of their vehicles and spend more time downtown," Dittly said.