These owls have a wise eye for traffic safety.
An alert group of kindergarteners at Hunt’s Point’s P.S. 75 – where the winged creature is the mascot – have won a neighborhood traffic safety poster contest run by the local police precinct and community board.
The kids’ posters will soon hang on a street pole at one of the area’s most troublesome traffic hotspots, if all goes according to the precinct and community board’s plan.
‘Vision Zero’ localized
“We care about this,” said Deputy Inspector Philip Rivera, commanding officer at the Four-One Precinct. “A lot of us have kids in the community, and we wanted to put their artwork out there so people can see how much the kids care about being safe.”
Locals started the poster contest as a response to Mayor deBlasio’s embrace of “Vision Zero,” the push to rid the city of traffic deaths. Police at the precinct have also said they are increasing the amount of summonses handed out for motorist speeding and failure to yield to pedestrians within the precinct.
But pedestrian awareness is crucial too, Rivera said. P.S. 75’s poster—meant to remind walkers to cross the street safely — was chosen from a field of nine finalists. Its clean-cut design took the win by a long shot.
“We tallied all the votes,” said Rafael Salamanca Jr., CB 2’s district manager, “and none of them could compete with that poster.”
Klein doles out prize
At an event announcing the winners on Apr. 3, Salamanca and Rivera were joined by the Bronx borough commander, Assistant Chief Lawrence Nikunen and State Senator Jeff Klein, who was fresh off finishing the state budget up in Albany.
“You would think that adults would know better,” said Klein to the assembled group of kindergarteners. “But I think that today we’ve learned that kids really know more than adults about how to be safe.”
The community board says it is now working with the Department of Transportation to get permission to laminate and then hang the posters on street poles at dangerous intersections.
Precinct statistics show that the area’s worst corner is Hunt’s Point Avenue and Bruckner Boulevard, said Rivera.
Salamanca said he’d also like to hang some of the other winning posters at other trouble corners.
Students at P.S. 75 were excited to win the contest —and had some words of wisdom for pedestrians and motorists alike.
“In the whole entire world,” said Christopher Matthew, kindergartener at P.S. 75 and one of the poster’s designers, “The traffic light will always be there for you.”