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City Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) is launching a new public service campaign with media organizations and the 109th Precinct to encourage residents to help make the streets of Flushing safer and cleaner.
The campaign is set to kick off Friday, and for now is geared toward the downtown area’s largely Chinese-American population.
“There are a lot of topics we can talk about in downtown Flushing,” Koo said at his district office Tuesday, sitting alongside members of the NYPD, the Downtown Flushing Transit Hub Business Improvement District and the World Journal, a Chinese-language daily newspaper. “We have a lot of problems.”
To jump-start the campaign, Koo asked another Chinese-language news outlet, the television station SinoVision, to produce several public service announcements that will soon hit the airwaves.
In one of the videos, Koo can be seen talking about jaywalking. Other short segments will address texting while driving, traffic lights and speeding, for example.
But Koo hopes that other media organizations will soon join him in trying to educate the public. The World Journal, for instance, will allocate a portion of its paper to periodically covering the campaign, according to Marco Liu, an executive editor at the paper.
The first subject Koo wants to tackle is jaywalking. Any driver who has braved the downtown streets knows that the stream of pedestrians crossing the road does not necessarily stop once the crosswalk flashes red.
The 109th Precinct also hopes to help raise awareness by passing out fliers at busy intersections, like Roosevelt Avenue and Main Street.
Some of the fliers were printed by the Flushing BID in both English and Chinese and warned pedestrians that jaywalking can result in a fine and a trip to court. One of the handouts suggests activities that can be purchased with the money that could be saved by avoiding a ticket.
Capt. Tommy Ng, executive officer at the precinct, said cops ticket jaywalkers if they are flagrantly walking out in front of traffic, but that a summons-blitz will not be part of the campaign, since it would involve extensive manpower and likely sour relations with the community.
That promise does not hold for some of the other problems the group wants to address.
After alerting the public about the rules governing double parking, for instance, the 109th will ramp up enforcement in an effort to alleviate the congestion and chaos that has long typified the downtown area, whose roadways are full of cars, buses and commuters trying to catch the No. 7 train or the Long Island Rail Road.
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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