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Thursday, December 1, 2011

NYC Turns To Haiku To Improve Traffic Safety

Would seeing poetry on a road sign make you more likely to follow traffic rules? That’s the idea behind a new “curbside haiku” campaign that kicked off this week in New York City, aimed at promoting road safety. The signs are designed by artist John Morse.

The campaign cost $25,000, and it’s paid for with fines from DUI incidents.

But City Councilman Eric Ulrich called the program a waste. Similarly, Councilman James Vacca told the New York Post, “I think most drivers would feel safer if DOT forgot about the haikus and fixed potholes within three days instead of 10.’’

Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan told Here & Now‘s Monica Brady-Myerov that the DOT does generally fix potholes in three days, and that she sees value in the curbside haiku program.

“We’re doing everything we can to get the message across the New Yorkers that they need to look out for one another as they use the streets,” Sadik-Khan said.

Do you have a Haiku about the road? Post them in the comments section or on our Facebook page.

Guest:

  • Janette Sadik-Khan, Department of Transportation Commissioner

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Maggi Arend

    The spring butterflies
    grotesquely smashed on windshields
    just like you, you fool

  • http://www.pedestrians.org/ John Z Wetmore

    This follows the tradition of The Honku Poet, who posted Haiku poems about (honking) traffic in Brooklyn a decade ago.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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