“Do A Good Deed, Don’t Speed”
“Slow Down, We’re Walking Here”
“Stop! Look! Yield”
“Drive With Care, Be Aware”
These are the traffic safety messages to NYC drivers, creatively displayed on 52 banners throughout four NYC business improvement districts (BIDs), courtesy of 5th-8th grade students who participated in the 2017 Traffic Safety Banner Residency Program.
Piloted in 2016, the traffic safety banner residency program provides young art students with the opportunity to work directly with DOT safety educators and Groundswell teaching artists, and collaboratively convey Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero message: Speeding is the leading cause of injury-related deaths for children under 14.
Once the students realized their age group was in the highest percentile to be injured or killed due to speeding vehicles, they became passionate about wanting to save lives in their community. Working alongside an educator and artist for 10 45-minute sessions allowed the students to imagine themselves in the driver’s seat, develop images to catch the motorists’ eyes in less than 3 seconds, and be proud of their roles in creating these life-saving messages in their neighborhood.
This program was developed as a perfect way for the art students and the BIDs, who donated space for these banners, to support community development, encourage and understand traffic safety awareness, and creatively beautify their own neighborhoods.
After seeing their unique banner with slogan, “Do A Good Deed, Don’t Speed”, unveiled on May 22, Beyanka Cruzado, a 6th grader at IS 77 in the Myrtle Avenue Ridgewood BID area, said it best, “It’s kind of cool to see it up there. We thought it was a good idea, because people don’t take into consideration speeding through a yellow light, but it does matter. It’s a big deal that it will be in other places helping people, too.”
Find more about Groundswell's collaboration with the NYC DOT through our Livable Streets Initiative.
Because every New Yorker deserves to feel safe on our city streets, Groundswell and the Department of Transportation have collaborated since 2008 to use art as a tool to start conversations around safer streets and inspire better decisions for the entire community.