Baron Davis Bounces Off Bikers and Dribbles on Taxis to Promote Streets Smarts

Thought everything was all about The Heat this summer? Well, for once, it’s not.

Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan has teamed up with Baron Davis—who can’t take his skills to the court due to injury versus The Heat, so we guess he’s taken his skills to the street instead—to lecture New Yorkers on proper road side etiquette.

It is the latest marketing effort by the city to use celebrities to get pedestrians, bikers and drivers to obey the laws and rules of the road and respect each other. (Last year saw Mario Batali telling everybody “Don’t be a jerk.”

Between the two of them, the message is clear: when you’re walking, biking, and yes, even taxi’ing, driving, keep your eyes up, heads up and pay attention!

“Heads Up” is just the latest of DOT’s multi-faceted effort to attempt to increase street safety with programs to set up pedestrian countdown signals, build pedestrian refuge islands and reengineer streets and intersections. To date, DOT has already distributed more than 50,000 bike helmets since 2006 and is on track hand out an additional 25,000 by the end of this year.

Speaking of bike helmets, the campaign is timed to coincide with the busy riding season that comes each summer, though it also happens to coincide with the current furor over bike helmets. That a number of the flyers show cyclists in all manner of dress but always helmeted (see the accompanying slideshow), could this be the city’s subtle way to get them into helmets without mandating they do so—something certain politicians would very much like to see.

“Whether it’s driving to the hoop or driving down the block, the cardinal rule of the road is to keep your eyes and ears open and your head up,” Ms. Sadik-Khan said in a statement. “Whether you’re on foot or on two or four wheels, New Yorkers need to stay alert and keep their heads in the game.”

Baron Davis Bounces Off Bikers and Dribbles on Taxis to Promote Streets Smarts