Monday, October 24, 2016

Echo Park man has a message for texting motorists

Anti texting sign on Glendale Boulevard in Echo Park 6-25-2015 12-58-27 PM


ECHO PARK — Ricco, a U.S. Army veteran and artist,  is concerned about the countless motorists he has witnessed texting while driving past his Glendale Boulevard home. So, he created and posted a sign in front of his home that reads: “If You Must Text & Drive Please Make Sure You Only Kill U.”

“I was sitting there thinking to myself, if you really have to text while you’re driving, then promise the world that you will only kill yourself,” said Ricco. “I’m tired of seeing all these people texting and driving, it’s dangerous.”

Ricco’s home is located right in the heart of the traffic-jammed northbound section of Glendale Boulevard near the 2 Freeway. The corridor is undergoing incredible transformation with the addition of a yoga studio across the street, condos up for sale and vacant land that is ready to be developed.

As an abstract artist who specializes in florescent designs, Ricco (his full name) is no stranger to capturing a person’s attention.

He initially displayed the piece on his front porch, where he usually works on his artwork. At nighttime, a black light made the sign glow in the dark.

Over the Fourth of July holiday, Ricco wanted to increase the sign’s visibility,  so he reposted it on his fence that directly faces Glendale Boulevard. He also created two additional signs about drunk driving:

Drink + Drive = Road Kill


Happy 4th U Drink, U Drive U Die!

Ricco, a resident of Echo Park for four years, is also concerned about how drivers race up and down Glendale Boulevard past midnight with no regard of the red lights. “They sound like police, they are going so fast,” he said.

Ricco plans to leave the texting sign up for another month. He hopes that it will make motorists appreciate their surroundings while behind the wheel instead of focusing on their phones.

“Slow down. Pay attention. Smell the flowers of Echo Park,” Ricco said.  “We have a lot of beautiful scenery here in Echo Park.”

Cecilia Padilla Brill is a communications writer and journalist. She writes news, health, education and feature stories. Cecilia is currently working on her first novel. She has lived in Echo Park since 1999

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    Do you think the interchangeable use of “you” and “U” was an artistic decision or do you think he didn’t plot out the scale of his lettering very well prior to making his sign?

  2. i once saw a dude driving down sunset in echo park on his cell phone.
    Not that the area is important to mention.
    Oh yeah,
    He was riding a motorcycle.

  3. Another obnoxious Echo Park resident. And wait a minute, Ricco, you want us to slow down and “smell the flowers” of Echo Park and look at the scenery? I think if anything, that might cause me to crash! I’ve heard people describe Echo Park as many things, but somehow, beautiful isn’t usually on the list. I guess if you’re in the hills.

  4. I live on Silver Lake Blvd north os Sunset and number of people I see preoccupied with their phones while driving is insane. People are like little kids, they have to know whats happening on Facebook, looking up something, or texting. Just yesterday a guy slammed into a car so hard he caused damage to 4 other cars. I ride a scooter around town and can see into peoples car better than from a car and what I see is ridiculous, it really is…its lame…a bunch of lame people….I am calling you out.

    • I like this sign better:

      “Honk if you love Jesus. Text while driving if you want to meet him”

      • LoL! Love that!

        In all honesty, I am sometimes guilty of texting while driving. I hate doing it. I shouldn’t. But I think we need to reprogram ourselves into thinking that nothing is THAT URGENT. Even work. The texting I do is work-related, but even then, I know I should wait. This generation is about insta-everything. And I’ve become just like them. But if I saw this sign, I’ll just view it as another billboard with anti-something on it. Like “Don’t smoke” “Don’t have unprotected sex” etc.

  5. If they are texting, will they see this? Had to ask.

  6. He is right, this has been my neighborhood for over 17 years and texting has gone out of control. People are on their phones on red lights that they don’t even notice the light is green until the car behind honks. They’re distracted and slow down to text without knowing the car behind them is coming at the speed they should be going and they cause accidents. I’m tired of seeing people looking down instead of the road. It is only getting worse as young drivers are not paying attention as they should to the road and their surroundings because they are busy texting or on the phone. As adults we should set an example but sadly I see more and more older people on their phones texting. Just this weekend I saw a Caltrans worker driving and texting on the 110 freeway, seriously.

  7. Why can’t the sign just be what it is a small gesture for u to be careful. Is that asking too much?

  8. I live across the street right where the freeway ends and I’ve thought many times of posting a sign that says “SLOW DOWN PEOPLE LIVE HERE!” or something of that nature. The posted speed limit is 35 upon exiting yet cars are always going faster no matter the hour. Have you ever taken notice that there is a cross walk only two blocks away with no cross signal. If only you could imagine the close encounters I’ve seen especially at night!

  9. I would like to know more about Ricco and his neighbors. Those houses are unique and in a unique spot. Do they own or rent? I hope these somewhat oddly placed houses stay where they are and no big box condo operations smother the area instead.

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