Mayor Bill de Blasio Announces New Signs Honoring Dodgers Legend Jackie Robinson

April 12, 2018

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today that New York City had installed signs along the Jackie Robinson Parkway that for the first time include an image of the Dodger legend himself. At the foot of the Parkway in Cypress Hills, where a major Vision Zero safety project is reducing crashes, City officials unveiled the new signage as Major League Baseball prepares to celebrate Jackie Robinson this Sunday, the anniversary of his first game in 1947. Officials also unveiled a new Vision Zero marketing campaign that Mets fans will see at Citi Field this season.

“With baseball season now in full swing, no one should ever forget the history that Jackie Robinson made at Ebbets Field more than 70 years ago,” said Mayor de Blasio. “It is so appropriate that the parkway that bears his name – a road that Mets fans in Brooklyn now take directly to Citi Field – should finally honor the man with his likeness. We thank the Jackie Robinson Foundation, his family and all of the state and City agencies that made this possible. We are also grateful to the Mets for being such great partners in getting our critical Vision Zero education message out to their fans this season.”

City officials announced the following:

New Jackie Robinson Parkway Signage: The new Jackie Robinson Parkway signs were unveiled today, and approximately 25 new signs have been installed this month by NYC DOT, both along the Parkway and at entrance ramps. The signs represent a true American icon: Robinson (1919-1972) was the first African-American to play major-league baseball — for the Brooklyn Dodgers, from 1947 until 1956. He was also the first to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Following his baseball career, he became a successful businessman and advocate for social justice. Among his many honors, Robinson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal. On April 15th each year, all Major League Baseball teams celebrate “Jackie Robinson Day” on the anniversary of his very first game at Ebbets Field.

New Vision Zero Safety Changes at Jackie Robinson Parkway Entrance: Today’s event was held at the terminus of the Jackie Robinson Parkway in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn. In April 2017, NYC DOT had unveiled major safety changes at the busy five-legged intersection. The intersection redesign added several crosswalks, pedestrian signals and brighter lighting, including on the north end of the intersection, where previously hundreds of pedestrians per day had crossed the parkway entrance itself — despite no marked crosswalks there. Pedestrians who use the intersection are often making their way to and from many nearby local transit hubs, including five NYCT bus lines, the Long Island Rail Road East New York station as well as the Broadway Junction subway station, with access to the A, C, L, J and Z trains. Between 2010 and 2014, the intersection had been the site of 373 injuries, including 7 severe injuries. Early data suggest the changes have reduced crashes at the intersection.

Vision Zero Marketing at Citi Field: The City will continue its high-impact Vision Zero public awareness campaign, “Signs,” with outdoor, television, and radio advertisements this spring. Vision Zero will partner with the Mets during the 2018 season in order to connect with fans attending games. Marketing at Citi Field will include 30-second pre-game ads on Citi Vision, on-field LED and concourse screen displays, and in-game PSAs featuring Mets players Jay Bruce, TJ Rivera, and Michael Conforto. Vision Zero messaging will be included on over 500,000 parking receipts issued at Mets games, concerts, and events. During select games fans may interact with the Vision Zero Street Team and take home co-branded promotional items.

“After a long winter, what better way to celebrate spring and the start of baseball season than to honor the man who literally transformed the game 71 years ago this month,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “I thank the Robinson family for helping us honor Jackie Robinson in the way he so richly deserves. We are also in Brooklyn to showcase some of our best new Vision Zero engineering and education work — from this safer intersection at the Brooklyn end of ‘the Jackie’ to the great marketing effort the Mets are showing at Citi Field – at the Queens end of this great winding parkway.”

“These new safety measures honor Jackie Robinson’s legacy by ensuring his mission of making our world a better place for all lives on,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “Amidst recent pedestrian deaths across the borough, these safety changes implemented at the Jackie Robinson Parkway entrance as well as the Vision Zero awareness campaign should be replicated across the borough to ensure that Brooklyn remains a safe place for pedestrians and cyclists alike.”

“Wow, these days we all could use more of the dignity, courage, strength, self-restraint and class Jackie Robinson demonstrated throughout his life, on the baseball diamond and off of it,” said Staten Island Borough President James S. Oddo. “We acknowledge Jackie the outstanding baseball player, but we honor Jackie the amazing human being.”

“Seventy-one years ago in the heart of Brooklyn, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball and helped change America forever,” said Congress Member Hakeem Jeffries. “He emerged as a hall of fame athlete and tireless advocate for social justice. This new sign will make sure his memory lives on in our great City. I thank the Robinson family for continuing to lift up the legacy of No. 42 and the city Department of Transportation for their efforts to make our roads safer.”

“I am pleased that the City has found a very meaningful way to honor one of the most beloved, inspirational and transcendent figures of all time–Jackie Robinson.” said State Senator Leroy Comrie. “On the baseball field and at the very vanguard and grassroots of the Civil Rights Movement, Jackie Robinson was both a leader and team player of the highest quality. It’s good to know that the Parkway named in his honor will be revitalized to serve the public more effectively by including additional Vision Zero components in concert with participation by our Amazin’ Mets in effort to keep everyone travelling to the ballpark safe, secure and well. “

“Jackie’s contributions were considerable. Who’s to say where pedestrian safety stacks up against breaking the racial barriers of sports, business and entertainment. Every time we drive the parkway we are reminded of Jackie’s deeds. I think he would be fine if we added helping to save lives to the list,” said State Senator Martin Malavé Dilan.

“Queens resident and Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson is a baseball legend and civil rights icon” said Assembly Member David I. Weprin. “Not only did Mr. Robinson break the color line in baseball, but also broke racial barriers in entertainment, business, and commerce well after the end of his playing career. By paying tribute to his legacy on the Jackie Robinson Parkway with signage that bears his image, we ensure that his memory will always be cherished. I look forward to seeing the great Jackie Robinson each time I travel on the parkway; and thank the Robinson family and the City of New York for making this possible, along with New York Mets for their efforts to improve traffic safety.”

“It is always a great day when we honor a legend as was Jackie Robinson whose legacy will stay with us for generations to come…”

“It is always a great day when we honor a legend as was Jackie Robinson whose legacy will stay with us for generations to come,” said Harlem Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, chair of the Council Committee on Transportation. “I commend the partnership with the Mets to help us further our Vision Zero goals and better ensure our message reaches New Yorkers.”

“The Jackie Robinson Parkway is one of the main arteries of our community and city, connecting Brooklyn and Queens,” said Council Member Rafael Espinal. “It is so fitting to honor the great Jackie Robinson with new images and signage, especially at the start of this year’s baseball season. What was once one of the most dangerous intersections in Brooklyn, it has been my pleasure to see the Jackie become a priority under the de Blasio administration for redesign and safety improvements to fulfill the goals of Vision Zero.”

“Vision Zero safety updates at the Jackie Robinson Parkway and upcoming updates at Citi Field continue to keep our city safe,” said Council Member Costa Constantinides. “Additional crosswalks, traffic signals, and lighting, combined with public awareness campaigns, make traveling to and from baseball games safer. I’m proud that we are using this public safety initiative to honor the legendary baseball player that the parkway is named after – Jackie Robinson. Thank you to DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and the Robinson family for helping to keep our city safe for all.”

“When Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier, he brought New Yorkers, and our entire country, together,” said Della Britton Baeza, President and CEO of the Jackie Robinson Foundation. “Since 1997, the people of New York have used the Jackie Robinson Parkway to connect its two largest boroughs – a fitting metaphor. Today, embellished with new signage and his image, this roadway links the borough where he played and the borough where the Jackie Robinson Rotunda stands at the Mets’ Citi Field. As representatives of his legacy, we could not be more proud.”

Opened in 1935, the Jackie Robinson Parkway was originally known as the Interboro Parkway, and serves as a 4.95-mile winding road that connects Brooklyn and Queens. In 1997, on the 50th anniversary of Robinson breaking Major League Baseball’s color barrier, New York State officially renamed the road. The first in a series of new clear and attractive signs being installed on City parkways and other roads, the Robinson sign was the result of collaboration among NYC DOT, NYS DOT, and NYC Parks. Graphic design proposals were received and adapted by the agencies in cooperation with the NYC Public Design Commission.

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