New York City has come up with a creative way to promote safety on the streets via arts-based learning:
By rewriting traditional street-sign warnings in haiku form, New York City is using poetry to urge motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians to think about safety. (See one of the 200 new signs below.) City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan unveiled the new Curbside Haiku campaign on Tuesday, saying the city is “putting poetry into motion with public art to make New York City’s streets even safer.
The New York City Department of Transportation will be posting hundreds of signs around the city as part of a new safety education campaign called “Curbside Haiku.” The signs were created by New York/Atlanta artist John Morse and feature twelve designs accompanied by a haiku poem. Via New York City’s ‘adorable’ haiku traffic signs – The Week.
Morse created the images through paper collage and authored the haiku, which he said was a whimsical take on a deadly serious subject. “It’s like a Grimm’s fairy tale. You’re delivering a dark message in a way that’s rather delightful.” He said the challenge was to find a new way to deliver an old message. “We have this thought of ‘walk/don’t walk. Look both ways.’ I get that, I understand that,” he said. “The goal here is to say ‘how can I reach people who have heard that message a million times but need to hear it again?’”He added that the poetry “underscores the reality here, the harshness of, what is the brutality of traffic. That’s a very significant thing.”
New York City has fought speeding with “slow zones” and digital images of skeletons. It has turned Times Square into a pedestrian zone. It has installed hundreds of miles of bike lanes and will implement a bike share program next year. Via Transportation Nation
I hope this works. I was in NYC recently and it seemed like I was the only pedestrian who waited for a green light to cross the street. With so many jay walkers, no wonder traffic can’t move.