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Miami Beach Is Done With Saying 'No'

“Let’s direct people to what they can do, instead of can’t,” says one city commissioner.  
Everybody just go home.
Everybody just go home.Courtesy of Michael Grieco

Michael Grieco has learned again and again that clear, positive reinforcement is the best way to communicate with his autistic son. “You're taught early on not to say no,” he says, which helps make comprehension and behavior skills stick.

As a city commissioner of Miami Beach, he thinks the same logic can be applied to street signs. If you frame directions for using public space in affirmative, rather than negative, terms, people might be more likely to respond. That’s why Grieco is on a mission to rid the town of superfluous and overly forbidding signage: Miami Beach is now engaged in a full-fledged audit of its official public language, counting up and analyzing the content of every park entrance, parking pole, school safety notice, and anti-smoking post.