nyc traffic safety education takes a poetic turn

As the popularity of cycling in New York City continues to grow, street signage helps advance the trend toward safer streets. The latest example of creative thinking by the NYC Department of Transportation is the safety education and public art campaign above. Curbside Haiku, a joint project of the DOT and the Safe Streets Fund, includes 12 designs by artist John Morse.

Each sign delivers a road safety message written in haiku and focused on a mode of transportation: driving, cycling or walking. For example, the sign on the top row, far right, warns against a particularly frightening hazard to cyclists:

A sudden car door,

Cyclist’s story rewritten.

Fractured narrative

According to the DOT, 144 signs have been or are scheduled to be hung at eye-level at high-crash locations near cultural institutions and schools in the five boroughs. In Manhattan, for example, they can be seen near the Municipal Arts Society, the Museum of Modern Art and the Studio Museum.  In some locations, the signs carry QR codes that can be scanned with smartphone readers, making the campaign interactive. Find locations and learn more about the campaign here.

Feeling creative yourself? Post your own traffic safety message in 17 syllables to the City Room blog of the New York Times. We love this one by a reader identified as lharrit:

BEEP! New York, New York

A literate town. Haikus UP,

Accidents DOWN.

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