Friday StreetPoll: Pick the Best Roadside P.S.A.

If you’re a fan on road signage as traffic calming, then 2011 is shaping up to be quite a year for you!  First the Department of D.I.Y. rolled out some signage attached to power boxes around the city asking drivers to “Please pass with care.”  Later in the summer, the collaborative efforts of the Bike Coalition, Midnight Ridazz, Mayor’s Office and LAPD came the “Give Me 3” Poster Campaign.  In the Fall, just in time for Back to School, the LADOT’s Watch the Road Campaign placed advertisement’s on billboard that encourage people to both “Watch the Road” and “Be safe.  Be healthy.  Walk or Bike to School.”

So with all this time and money being spent writing messages to motorists, this week’s poll asks you; which was the “best” campaign.  That we’re using a subjective word such as “best”is intentional.  Go with your gut.


Screen shot 2010-10-21 at 8.52.16 PM

Screen shot 2010-10-21 at 8.49.43 PM

Which is the best side of the road P.S.A. Campaign?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
  • Erik G.

    It’s a no-brainer because the Dept. of DIY poster is created by someone who actually “uses the system” on a daily basis.

  • I love the nuclear holocaust shadow people in the “Watch the Road” campaign. “Watch the road” is such a backhanded campaign to scare people into driving.

    Regarding the Give Me 3, I am with Dan Gutierrez when he says it should be “8 is Great”, as in, “Change lanes to pass a cyclists safely, since we’re controlling the lane.”

  • Aaron

    Hell, I’m just happy they’re all out there. Bring on more campaigns as far as I’m concerned.

    And is it just me or has anyone else noticed a bit of a change in driver behavior towards cyclists coinciding with the introduction of all these campaigns? It may be in my head, but I feel like I’ve been consistently getting a little more passing room and less attitude from drivers while on my bike (with occasional exceptions, of course).

  • Just dropped my Dept of DIY poster at the frame store!

  • PIO

    3 feet??? Doesn’t feel good when passed by a vehicle going 45+mph!!!!

  • Miguel

    They’re all great D.I.Y. i feel was very effective & started the movement that eventually led to “Give me 3” & “be safe… Ride to school” which i think brings more people to try the bikes., the more bikes on the road the better accommodations for cyclists. The safer it is for cyclists the more people are willing to come out & enjoy this amazing city outside of that dam hunk of wasted steel :)

    <3 So thanks to everyone that made all 3 happen

  • All 3 PSA campaign posters totally suck.

    They leave viewers with the impression that cycling is an inerently hazardous activity. There is hardly any mention of the positive aspects of cycling.

    The persons responsible need to go back and do their homework. In particular, follow the lead of experts in Holland and Copenhagen, where there is never any kind of fearmongering in PSA’s.

  • Eric B

    The watch the road one is uniquely terrible. Every person I have talked to about it–cyclist or not–either doesn’t get it or is annoyed by it. It’s really too bad since the rest of the watch the road campaign is at least somewhat effective. We need to get the messaging straight: driving is dangerous, biking is safe and enjoyable. Until that comes through, everything else is just noise.

  • @Eric B: You state that “the rest of the watch the road campaign is at least somewhat effective” – on what do you base this?

    It’s my opinion (and @Ubrayj’s apparently) that Watch the Road is a pernicious waste of money and space. The implication I read in the watch the road billboard above is “bikes are for kids.” One should bike or walk TO SCHOOL only, and get out of the way while the rest of us adults are busy driving to important places. It’s pathetic, insulting, wasteful.

    I find even the overall program’s title “Watch the Road” to be irritatingly passive. The way I read it: don’t bother getting involved changing your [the viewer’s/reader’s] personal behavior or the built environment around you, just sit back and WATCH. (“Watch the road” is bad advice for peds, for transit riders – why would they watch the road? The notion is highly driver-centric – the messages assume that we’re all driving.) It’s the same sort of paternal attitude (trust us, we’re professionals and we’re going to solve this technical issue for you) that we’ve come to expect from John Fisher’s DOT.

    Anyone know how much money the city DOT spends on Watch the Road? Anyone up for a campaign to defund it in next year’s budget?

  • Roadblock

    @drunk engineer you make a good point. Would be nice to see a campaign that focuses on selling the positives of bike riding…. Aimed at car drivers… Any suggestions for slogans?

  • or encouraging kids to be more active – what about a slogan, “no child left on their behind” :)

  • I saw some lawn signs for the watch the road campaign. I kind of like that idea. Gives the city an opportunity to reach out to residents along routes to school and sends a message to the parents in their cars, waiting in school traffic, to drop their precious cargo off at the front door. I’m not sure how cost effective the billboard message is as it is not focused specifically on the impacted residential neighborhoods.

    Lawn signs! I’m going to steal that idea!

  • Eric B

    How about a lawn sign on the most congested approach to the school that says: “If your child walked to school, s/he’d be healthier, happier, and already there.”
    “Be part of the solution: Unload here and walk the rest of the way.”

  • Eric B


    I won’t debate the specifics of the Watch the Road campaign, since I agree with you in general. In this country we’re pansies about actually showing drivers the consequences of their actions.

    That said, I do like the premise of “Watch the Road” BECAUSE it focuses on drivers. In concept, it is the only PSA that assigns even a modicum of responsibility to the captains of the 2-ton land yachts. As with everything LA/transportation-related, implementation is poor.

    That’s why Watch the Road and Safe Routes ought to stay separate. One is promoting the benefits of healthy transportation and the other raising awareness of the hazards of motorized transportation. They may be different sides of the same coin, but when combined in the above poster the message is thoroughly garbled.

  • Here is how the Dutch do PSA:

    LA needs to follow proven methods for PSA; i.e. more Madison Ave, less Dept. of Homeland Security.

  • Eric B

    And the Germans: “Brain on, motor off”


Behold the 1st Street Bike Lanes! Now Where Was the Outreach?

Bike lanes began to appear in Boyle Heights during November 2011.  It was a joyous celebratory occasion to many cycling advocates who have lobbied city hall for years.  The lobbying is a result of several thousand incidents throughout the city in which cyclists have been involved in automobile traffic collisions.  These incidents have resulted in […]

Long Beach’s Leap Towards Livability Part III

(If you’re not familiar with the infrastructure innovations in Long Beach, you should read this article first.  In 2009, Joe Linton wrote a two part series on Long Beach’s “Leap Towards Livability.”  Today and tomorrow’s stories are both part of our Annenberg School of Journalism Public Health Fellowship and a continuation of that series.) Sometimes, […]

Eyes on the Street: Bike Lane Closure Signage Gives Wrong Sign?

Streetsie winner Nathan Lucero encountered some irritating signage when bicycling north on the Main Street bike lanes near El Pueblo downtown. From his @onmybikeinla Instagram post: (lightly edited) After the bike lane on Main was closed twice, and blocked several times by multiple cars, these awful signs were at Arcadia. The left sign should read […]

Santa Monica: From Bike It! Day to Biking Cross Country

Owen Gorman and Rachel Horn, two friends who’ve known each other since their time attending Samohi, are embarking on a coast to coast bicycle tour combining their advocacy interests along the way. The two college graduates were both part of the early student led effort to host a bike to school event on the Samohi […]

Streetsies 2010: It Was the Best of Times

If someone had told me a year ago that we would be celebrating a Bike Plan that the cycling community loved, that Metro would have already received some 30/10 money from the federal government and that the LAPD was being praised for its bike-friendly efforts at the end of the year I wouldn’t have thought […]