Citizens post their own traffic signs - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Tactical urbanism

Citizens post their own traffic signs

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

It's no secret that sometimes parking signs can be confusing. Now one New Yorker is taking matters into her own hands, and doing something about it. Frustrated by one too many parking tickets, Nikki Sylianteng used her background in interaction design to create a new, simpler parking sign.

"With my signs what I tried to do is cover 24 hours of the day to clearly state when you can and can't park," she says. "Green would be for you can park, red would be for when you can't park."

She posted her sign right under the DOT's parking sign in her Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, neighborhood and left a spot for people to leave comments.

"The first person wrote like, 'The mayor should hire you. This is great,'" she says. "Things like that."

Projects like Nkki's are part of a growing trend called "tactical urbanism" in which regular citizens using tactics to try to improve the urban environment without the government's help.

Fed up by cars going over New York City's 30 mph hour speed limit, Keegan Stephan and his organization right of way started posting these "20 is plenty" signs to get drivers to slow down.

"People are dying. Speed is the leading cause of traffic fatalities in New York City," he says. "If you're hit by a car going 30 mph you have a 50 percent chance of survival. If you're hit by a car going 20 mph you have a 95 percent chance of survival."

The group put signs in city neighborhoods that had applied for slow zones but were delayed or rejected.

"We don't always need to wait for the government to do things for us," he says. "If we can do them ourselves, we could and should."

Most of Nikki's and Keegan's signs were taken down, but some are still up.

In a statement, the Department of Transportation told Fox 5: "it's been a long-standing city practice to remove unauthorized signage."

As for the speed limit concerns, the DOT said: "We are holding an ongoing series of vision zero workshops across the city in order to get just this sort of feedback from New Yorkers."

In the meantime, these New Yorkers say they plan to keep using their short-term tactics to bring about long-term change.

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