It’s hard enough to walk down the street in Boston and not be overwhelmed with the signs, advertisements, lights and messaging that appears on every window, street corner, cab and billboard. Try New York City—the most crowded city in the US—where everywhere you look is some sort of visual eye candy. Understandably, with so much to look at, things tend to get lost in the shuffle—boring traffic signs being the first to go. Can you think of when you last paid attention to the traffic signs that speckle our streets? I can’t.
Until now. NPR alerted me to this new street sign trend that seems to be all the rage among New Yorkers. Traffic warning street signs written as haiku are popping up on poles around the Big Apple. Intended to minimize traffic accidents by bringing something novel and eye-catching to Manhattan’s cluttered streetscapes, the poems and artwork created by artist John Morse are now conquering the five boroughs.
This gives the ’Walk.’ ‘Don’t walk.’ common messaging a new power—the power of poetry. Messages like “She walks in beauty / Like the night. Maybe that’s why / Drivers can’t see her” make the average Joe walking down Madison Ave. think twice.
Thought provoking? Yes. / Will it solve traffic problems? / That is still unknown!