Vision Zero Hero: L.A. to Hire an Artist for Traffic Safety Work

Applications are due on November 6 for a novel position in the world of traffic safety: artist in residence at the Los Angeles Department of Transportation.

2 minute read

November 1, 2015, 7:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


"Mayor Eric Garcetti is looking for an artist who has what it takes -- not just to create something of beauty or that provokes feelings and thoughts, but to save lives," according to an article by Mike Boehm.

More specifically, Mayor Garcetti has plans to hire a new position in the Creative Catalyst Artist in Residence Program, placing an idealistic and ambitious artist in the city's Department of Transportation. There, according to Boehm, the artist will "focus on how to save bike riders and pedestrians from being maimed or killed by automobiles."

The city recently launched a Vision Zero initiative and also recently approved the Mobility 2035 plan. The latter would assign greater priority to alternative transportation on the city's streets.

Amidst those more traditional approaches to traffic safety, an artist could bring innovative and, yes, creative thinking to the large and challenging project of making streets work well, and safely, for all users. LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds is quoted in the article describing the potential for the new position: "It's going much deeper into the way we think about designing the streets. Art has the power to get people to sit up and pay attention and jolt them out of their normal ways of thinking. We can infuse unexpected elements into the design of the streets and the way of moving through the streets."

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 in Los Angeles Times

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