Saturday, September 22, 2012

NYC crosswalks urge pedestrians to LOOK!

Pedestrians walk past a "Look!" sign on the crosswalk at the intersection of 42nd St. and 2nd Ave.(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)NYC crosswalks urge pedestrians to LOOK! - New York News | NYC Breaking News


Pedestrians walk past a "Look!" sign on the crosswalk at the intersection of 42nd St. and 2nd Ave.(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
New York City transportation officials are putting the word LOOK! on the crosswalks of some of the city's most dangerous intersections.

City Transportation Department Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan says New Yorkers are driven to distraction with their smartphones, and the simple act of looking can prevent thousands of crashes and injuries every year.

The word LOOK! - in bold capitals with an exclamation point and eyeballs peering from the Os - is being stenciled into the crosswalks of 110 intersections.

It's the most visible part of a $1 million campaign aimed at solving a chronic problem. More than 9,000 New York City pedestrians were injured and 41 killed in 2010, the last year for which detailed traffic crash data is available.

Ads tailored to drivers feature eyes and will appear on MTA/NYC buses' rear advertising panels. These ads remind motorists to "Drive smart/LOOK!" with the dramatic statistic that 57% of traffic fatalities involved pedestrians.

Another underscores the life-saving benefits of motorists looking before they turn, noting that half of all New Yorkers killed last year by cars at the crosswalk had a green light.

The ads, which will be expanded to nearly 200 intersections and more than 300 buses, build on recent public education campaigns that have taken on the biggest safety issues on New York's streets, including speeding, drunken-driving, and other initiatives focused on all transportation modes.

The pedestrian ads and markings are being placed together at targeted locations with histories of crashes resulting in serious injuries and fatalities. The initial rollout began in July in all five boroughs, including at Grand Concourse and Bedford Park Blvd. in the Bronx; Avenue D and Utica Avenue in Brooklyn; Madison and Montgomery streets in Manhattan; Roosevelt Avenue between 76th and 77th streets in Queens; and Clove Road and Victory Boulevard on Staten Island. Bus ads are expected to run through December. They will run in tandem with the pedestrian-focused ads and markings to extend the reach of LOOK's important safety message as lighting levels decrease due to daylight-saving time and foot traffic tends to surges in commercial areas due to the traditional holiday season.

The LOOK campaign originated in 2006 to enhance safety for all street users, and particularly to build awareness among motorists and pedestrians of the growing number of bike riders using the streets.

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Copyright 2012 The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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