NEW YORK – To remind pedestrians to look both ways while crossing the street, the Department of Transportation has started stenciling “LOOK!” onto crosswalks in busy areas of the city and Brooklyn.
While the white thermoplastic lettering could have been just a sign, no more endearing than “stop,” the addition of two irises inside the “O”s indicating which direction to look, make them a charming addition to the street.
Janette Sadik-Khan, commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation, said she was inspired by similar, although less cartoonish, signs in London, commanding pedestrians to “Look Left” or “Look Right” (directed probably much to tourists struggling with the British opposite-side-of-the-road driving).
A corresponding poster campaign will appear on the sides of city buses and bus shelters with additional language about the amount of traffic fatalities per year—57 percent of traffic fatalities involve pedestrians. It also goes along with a LOOK campaign that encourages taxi passengers to look for bike riders when opening doors.
Whether pedestrians are actually paying attention is questionable, but regardless the google-eyed signs make busy crosswalks a little friendlier and definitely work as functional street art.
ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE