Infinite Jest

Here’s a little back-to-school fun:

With the help of an underground tunnel this group of 94 high school seniors from who-knows-where created a never-ending line of pedestrians crossing the street, not allowing a single car to pass for a full 15 minutes. Granted, it’s a bit man power-intensive but wow, is this ever an effective traffic-calming technique. At one point in the video above, a thrilled particpant says, "We are going to get in so much trouble for this!"

In addition to being a fine prank, this is pretty much exactly the same tactic that Transportation Alternatives and Downtown community members used in 1996 to launch what ultimately became the Downtown Brooklyn Traffic Calming Project. As an act of civil disobedience, a line of marchers ground traffic to a halt by walking in a continuous circle, filling all four crosswalks at a busy intersection during morning rush hour.

Via CollegeHumor.com

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Plan Urged Safety Measures for Intersection Where Boy Died

|
The May 2003 final report of the Downtown Brooklyn Traffic Calming Project recommended pedestrian safety measures designed specifically to prevent the kind of collision that killed a four-year-old boy in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn on Tuesday afternoon.  A graphic from the Downtown Brooklyn Traffic Calming Project final plan showing pedestrian safety recommendations for Third […]

Legacy of Downtown Brooklyn Traffic Calming Advocates Continues

|
A bit more background on the generous neckdown at Smith and Bergen spotlighted earlier today: This pedestrian amenity never would have been built without the long-term organizing for the Downtown Brooklyn Traffic Calming Project. Street protests and advocacy campaigns stretching back more than a dozen years are bearing fruit now. And advocates are still on […]

City Promises $5M in Ped Safety Improvements at Mural Opening

|
The mother and grandfather of James Rice. With weeping family members and the ghostly, smiling images of three boys watching over them, city officials and elected representatives joined 100 community members on a Brooklyn street corner Tuesday evening to pledge "Not one more death."   State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, Assembly member Joan Millman and representatives […]

Commissioner Weinshall Agrees: Two-Way Streets Calm Traffic

|
While Michael Primeggia, DOT’s Deputy Commissioner for Traffic Operations is trying to sell one-way mini-highways through Park Slope as a pedestrian safety improvement, his boss, DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall, is hawking the exact opposite. On Thursday, March 1, at the City Council Transportation Committee oversight hearing on the Mayor’s Long-Term Planning initiative, Weinshall touted two-way […]

Downtown Brooklyn Traffic Calming Project: Ten Years On

|
March 1996: Residents in Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, and Boerum Hill are tired of their streets absorbing overflow from the nearby Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Neighborhood groups have tried repeatedly to convince the City to protect the neighborhoods from rush hour through traffic. So far, the City has done nothing but promise further study. DOT […]

Why Wasn’t Traffic-Calming Built on Third Avenue?

|
DOT has gotten back to me with some answers.   As Streetsblog reported Monday, New York City’s Department of Transportation failed to follow through on a 2004 pledge to build potentially life-saving pedestrian safety improvements along the Third Avenue corridor where a 4-year-old boy was run over and killed last Tuesday. Streetsblog asked DOT why […]