With the mayor kicking off the new Vision Zero project, a plan to reduce traffic fatalities to zero, road safety is a hot topic. But with bikes, cars, pedestrians, and buses all competing for New York City’s streets, how can we avoid fatal accidents? Where do we start?

In the Spring of 2014, Yelena Boroda’s Urban Studies class at the Academy of Urban Planning and Engineering, along with CUP teaching artist Aaron Reiss, set out to explore transportation safety in New York City. They saw a lot of unsafe things going on at the Myrtle/Wyckoff intersection in Bushwick, and wanted to know how to change them.

The class interviewed representatives of advocacy groups, people on the street, a Community Board district manager, and staff from the NYC Department of Transportation to find out who is in charge of transportation safety. The class made a booklet to show what they learned.

Get your own booklet here!

What People are Saying

“We made art because it’s an easy way to show a complex problem. When some people don’t get a problem they get it from visually seeing it.” — Jean Colón, student

We got to go out and investigate further about the intersection by photographing, interviewing, and mapping. I have never experienced this kind of project in any regular classroom.” — Rosanny Peralta Lopez, student

CUP infuses a classroom with a fresh energy, focus and excitement – which may seem goofy, but really can mean a lot. It’s a really wonderful opportunity to bring art into the classroom. It also gives the rare opportunity for class work to culminate in a glossy finished project that lives on outside the school in a meaningful way.” — Aaron Reiss, teaching artist

Resources & Links

The Academy of Urban Planning and Engineering (AUPE) is a public school in Bushwick with an urban planning theme-based curriculum.

Transportation Alternatives’ mission is to reclaim New York City’s streets from the automobile and to promote bicycling, walking, public transit.

Right of Way’s mission is to assert the public right of way and turn the streets into vibrant public space for all.

NYC Department of Transportation provides for the safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible movement of people and goods in the City of New York.

Funding Support

This project was made possible by the Bay and Paul Foundations, public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Special Thanks

Mei Ling Chua, Ellen Hailey, Aisha Haynes, Kyleema Norman, Miller Nuttle (Transportation Alternatives), Jose Ortiz, Natalie Pardo, Keegan Stephan & Michael Mintz (Right of Way), Jorge Sandoval, Nadine Whitted (Community Board 4), Kim Wiley-Schwartz & Chris Brunson & Kessia De Leo (Department of Transportation), and all our interviewees at the Myrtle/Wyckoff intersection


  • CUP
  • Teaching Artist
  • Aaron Reiss
  • Project Lead
  • Pema Domingo-Barker
  • Project Support
  • Valeria Mogilevich
  • Academy of Urban Planning and Engineering
  • Students
  • Nadeen Ayala, Christian Beltran, Destiny Carr, Jean Colon, Arjay Cosme, Jeffrey Cradle Baily, Kimberly Garcia, Rodney Grandstand, Yisneiri Guzma, Sasha Harper, Justin Hollis, Deandre Johnson, Imani Mack, Jayvon Mccall, Lakeem Mccray, Brandon Morales, Brandon Murray, Paris Murriel, Jesus Negrete, Amari Primus, Tania Ramirez, Patrik Reichel, Gilbert Sanchez, Nicholas Singh, Johnathan Vega, Aminata Abdouramane, Destiny Alonso, Jadea Campbell, Natasha Diaz, Esmerelda Figueroa, Gassambrosia Gassama, Hosmeily Gil, Shanakay Gordon, Destiny Hernandez, Joseph Lantigua, Henry Mallol, Aleidy Martinez, Adiana Mcdonald, Maria Melendez, Chynna Moore, Alejandro Nunez, Rosanny Peralta Lopez, Rosita Ramales, Jairo Ramirez, Yianna Richey, Freddy Rivera, Kevin Roa, Domingo Rodriguez, Wilmer Roman, Jazmin Valdez, Katherin Vizcarrondo, Napria Wilson

    • Classroom teacher
    • Yelena Boroda