Peatónito (or little pedestrian) could be the most beloved figure in the transportation world. After all, how can you not love a superhero who protects pedestrians from cars?! Since donning the cape and luchador mask three years ago, he has become a media sensation in his home country in Mexico. And now he's in New York City this week for Transportation Alternatives' Vision Zero for Cities 2016 conference, and Streetfilms was lucky enough to squeeze in this exclusive visit with activists walking the streets of Brooklyn & Queens to get him in action.
Jorge Canez, the man behind the mask, has been a pedestrian advocate for quite a while and in Mexico City and he's been involved with many tactical urbanism types of interventions like painting crosswalks with cans of spray paint he buys himself. But it's as Peatónito fighting for a safer city that gets him the most notoriety: gently scolding drivers, escorting pedestrians though dicey intersections and pushing vehicles (or occasionally walking over the tops of cars) to get drivers attention to their bad behavior.
Come along with us for what we promise you is a fun short as Peatónito meets with advocates near Brooklyn's horribly dangerous concrete expanse surrounding the Barclay's Center and Jay Street's constantly blocked bike lane near MetroTech. From there he talked with community members in Jackson Heights, Queens while assisting children crossing a few of the extremely congested streets surrounding the many schools there.