New PSA Puts Friendlier Foot…errr..Face on Vision Zero

Los Angeles Rams punter Johnny Hekker (6) participates in organized team activities at the team's practice facility on Monday, June 5th, 2017 in Thousand Oaks, CA (Rams/Hiro Ueno),
Los Angeles Rams punter Johnny Hekker (6) participates in organized team activities at the team's practice facility on Monday, June 5th, 2017 in Thousand Oaks, CA (Rams/Hiro Ueno),
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It’s been a rough ride for advocates’ of safe streets the past six months. From the blowback on Vision Zero road redesigns on the Westside, to the politicization of road diets from conservative talk radio hosts demonizing anyone who dares suggest that maybe our transportation system needs to be made safer.

Yesterday, the City of Los Angeles kicked back with a somewhat hokey PSA featuring Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Rams pro-bowl punter, Johnny Hekker. The ad is not a hard-hitting defense of road diets or a call for increased traffic enforcement, but a light-hearted effort to encourage people to think more about being safe drivers and road users. The ad doesn’t even feature a crash, or traffic….or even a car.

But in a time when Vision Zero has become a punching bag for defenders of the status quo, there’s no time like the present to start putting a friendlier face on a program that many of us see as vital to the city’s future. On its own, the ad won’t do much besides put a smile on a Vision Zero advocates face. But if it’s part of a larger campaign, maybe we’ll remember this moment as the start of turning the conversation back to a focus on safety.

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