(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) In the great tradition of leveraging public shame to correct behavior (as in this classic 1970s anti-littering commercial), the New York City Department of Transportation has rolled out an ad campaign it's calling "Don't Be A Jerk." The message: bicyclists, you need to clean up your act.
The city has called upon several celebrities (like the orange-shod chef, Mario Batali, seen below cycling against the traffic) to demonstrate bad biking behaviors.
“As our streets have become safer and as more New Yorkers take to two wheels, bike riders need to adopt a street code,” said NYC DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “A nice way to put it is that we all simply need to look out for one another. To put it a little more bluntly, don’t be a jerk. It’s a simple, direct message with a wink for bicyclists to follow the rules and help make our streets safer for everyone on them.”
The ads are timed to coincide with Bike Month (not to mention coverage of the NYPD's ticketing of bicyclists) and will air on local television stations through the end of June.
Kate Hinds is an Associate Producer for WNYC News. She also reports for WNYC and Transportation Nation, a public radio reporting project that combines the work of multiple newsrooms to provide coverage of how we build, rebuild and get around the nation.
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