New York

New York’s New Traffic Safety Haikus Get the Haiku for the Single Girl Treatment


Have you seen the Department of Transportation’s latest effort to keep people safe on our streets? It involves little signs with little safety messages placed in “high-crash locations” where…perhaps…people should not be stopping to read? According to NBC NY, “Half of the signs will be hung in pairs, with the image and haiku text appearing. Others will be equipped with technology to allow New Yorkers to access the safety message via smartphone.”

Safety tip: Put down your smartphone while in the street. No, not actually IN the street…

But the point is, the signs are adorable, if a bit of a downer (Oncoming cars rush / each a 3-ton bullet / and you, flesh and bone. [Ouch]. They are called “Curbside Haiku,” and they have been written and designed by artist John Morse and funded with a state grant. Enlarge and read them all here.

However, the DOT is not the only one in town playing the haiku game. One of our favorite haiku-ists, in fact, is Beth Griffenhagen, @thathaikugirl, and author of the hilarious Haiku for the Single Girl. We asked her to provide her own versions of traffic safety haikus, you know, for the single girl, or whoever, really.

They follow in left to right correspondence with the images above.

1. When you see someone
you know on the sidewalk, wave!
Then fake a phone call.

2. Can we talk about
the real problem in the streets?

3. I don’t speak Spanish :/

4. Bikes mean injuries
Remember Puck from Real World?
Did we learn nothing?

5. Wait, what? A raffle?
Who does this? Oh wait…door prize.
Ha ha. I get it.

6. Hey, this is New York.
I’m going to wear black clothes
And also be drunk.

7. You say that. I hear:
“Once there was this boyyy who…” Ugh.
Safety is ruined.

8. And never forget
That flashing red hand signal
Means still time to run!

City Uses Haiku to Promote Street Safety [NBC NY]

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