NYC crosswalks urge pedestrians to LOOK!

Sep 21, 2012, 7:45 PM

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) – At bustling intersections where fast-walking, rapid-texting New Yorkers come together with cars, cabs, carriage horses and daredevil bicycle messengers, the city is trying to slip in an emphatic message: LOOK!

That word is being stenciled onto the crosswalks of 110 of the city’s most dangerous intersections. Officials hope it will catch the eyes of pedestrians who walk with their heads buried in their smartphones.

“New Yorkers are driven to distraction with their smartphones, and the simple act of looking can prevent thousands of crashes and injuries every year,” said city Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, who borrowed the idea from crosswalk signs in London that warn tourists to “Look Right” for traffic coming in a direction they may not expect.

But she gave New York’s signs some in-your-face twists: the exclamation mark and little eyeballs peering from the Os in the direction of oncoming traffic.

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

“It won’t make any difference to me,” 58-year-old Patrick Egan said after stepping over a “LOOK!” sign at Second Avenue and 42nd Street, an intersection where 75 pedestrians were injured between 2006 and 2010.

Egan, who works in video production and lives on the Upper East Side, says he walks around the area frequently and is always very careful. “I tell my wife to step back even when she’s standing and waiting, because you never know where a car will come from.”

Looking at the white letters, he added, “If you’re looking down at this, you’re not looking at the traffic and paying attention.”

But Seema Seepersad, 37, a nanny from Queens cautiously taking a toddler and a 3-year-old across the street, said the “LOOK!” is eye-catching. “It’s a good idea. It makes you pay attention; it makes you more careful, because suddenly, you see this word!”

Sadik-Khan says progress will be tracked, comparing injuries at each targeted intersection.

In addition, the transportation department is putting ads on bus shelters, telephone kiosks and subway entrances. One ad says: “Mom was right. Look before you cross the street.”

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

Groundhog handler A.J. Dereume holds Punxsutawney Phil, who saw his shadow, predicting a late sprin...
Associated Press

Punxsutawney Phil sees shadow on Groundhog Day, predicting longer winter

Punxsutawney Phil’s “inner circle” summoned him from his tree stump at dawn on Groundhog Day to learn if he has seen his shadow.
8 hours ago
A hiring sign is displayed outside of a restaurant in Arlington Heights, Ill., Monday, Jan. 30, 202...
Associated Press

Job market still hot, December openings rise to 11 million

U.S. job openings rose to 11 million in December, delivering a setback to the Federal Reserve's effort to cool a hot job market.
1 day ago
(AP Photo/John Locher)...
Associated Press

Is pumping Mississippi River water to the west a solution or dream?

Amid a major drought in the Western U.S., a proposed solution comes up repeatedly: large-scale river diversions.
1 day ago
US Vice President Kamala Harris (R) greets friends and family of Tyre Nichols during his funeral se...
Associated Press

Emotional calls for police reform at Tyre Nichols’ funeral

Vice President Kamala Harris delivered an impassioned speech calling on Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
1 day ago
Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, at...
Associated Press

Fed lifts rate by quarter-point but says inflation is easing

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve extended its fight against high inflation Wednesday by raising its key interest rate a quarter-point, its eighth hike since March. And the Fed signaled that even though inflation is easing, it remains high enough to require further rate hikes. At the same time, Chair Jerome Powell said at a […]
1 day ago
The Colorado River Basin supplies water to 40 million people in seven western states. (Photo by Jus...
Kevin Stone

Arizona leaders call out California on Colorado River water negotiations

Arizona politicians are calling for more cooperation from California in negotiations over Colorado River water supply distribution.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
NYC crosswalks urge pedestrians to LOOK!