Protecting pedestrians looking to cross busy roadways isn’t a simple task. Even with marked crosswalks and lights guiding both pedestrians and drivers, cities often have to rely on drivers being vigilant when approaching crosswalks or intersections. However, one town used an optical illusion in an attempt to make drivers slow down.
Ísafjörður, a fishing town in Iceland, is working to improve safety by using painted crosswalks that are actually optical illusions.
Instead of the painted white lines merely being placed on the roadway, they use a technique that mimics shadows and creates depth.
The result is a set of crosswalk lines that look more like cement blocks hovering about one foot in midair over the road and is specifically designed to capture the attention of oncoming traffic.
From other angles, the design still has a 3D quality.
Raf Trylla, the Icelandic environmental commissioner, decided to add the crosswalks after seeing a similar project in New Dehli, India.
He hired Vegmálun GÍH, a street painting company, to bring his idea to life.
The hope is that drivers will be taken somewhat off guard by the unique design, increasing the odds that they will slow down and take a look around before proceeding over the crosswalk. This may decrease pedestrian-involved accidents in the area.