Justice at the Crossroads

  • Lady Justice overlooks 5th Avenue to encourage safer choices by drivers.
  • Youth present an early version of the mural at the design concept pitch.
  • High on the scaffolding, youth use teamwork to complete this massive mural.
  • As demonstrated during a mural tour of Groundswell’s murals, the youth have become ambassadors for this issue.
  • The scale of this important message is shown at the dedication.
  • Lady Justice protects the community from a distracted driver.

Project Description

In New York City, approximately 4,000 New Yorkers are seriously injured and more than 250 are killed each year in traffic crashes. Because every New Yorker deserves to feel safe as a pedestrian, the citywide Vision Zero Action Plan aims for zero traffic deaths.
During the research stage, NYC DOT representatives educated the youth artists in the goals and elements of Vision Zero. The young people also met with street safety activists and families of community members killed by collisions. “It meant a lot to have a speaker that had actually been through something so tragic. It really hit home for all of us in the team and we’re all greater advocates,” said youth artist Daniela Umana.
The centerpiece of the mural is a grand image of Lady Justice, holding up her scales. There is a vehicle on one side of Justice's scales, outweighing our lost human lives represented on the opposing scale. Her blindfold has been removed to show that Lady Justice will not overlook injustice in car crashes. She stands at a crossroad, surrounded by protests, traffic signs, and several examples of recent Vision Zero initiatives such as new bike and bus lanes.
“Justice at the Crossroads” stands as a call to action against the injustices created in traffic fatalities and addresses the four key principles of Vision Zero: education, enforcement, legislation, and street modification. With this mural, Groundswell youth advocates urge all New Yorkers to consider their part in keeping streets safe by centering justice in the Vision Zero dialogue.

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Project Info

Fun Facts

References for the protesting crowd were based on photos we took at the Vision Zero Vigil in Union Square, organized by Families for Safe Streets.
Suggested Activity
Create your own traffic safety protest sign, and upload it to social media with the hashtag #VisionZero and #groundswellnyc.
Young Girl: On Justice's scale one of the figures was made in memory of Ariel Russo, a 4 year old who was killed by an unlicensed driver.