By effectively slowing down traffic, this 3D crosswalk in Iceland is making the streets safer – and more fun to cross.
Ísafjörður, a small fishing town in Iceland with barely more than 2,500 inhabitants, has shown how to use artistic illusion to help with public safety and traffic issues. The local government, in cooperation with Vegamálun GÍH, a company for painting street signs, came up with an excellent and creative initiative to reduce the speed of vehicles: painting pedestrian crosswalks in such a way that they appear to be floating.
The eye-popping illusion gives the illusion of walking on air as pedestrians move from one side of the street to the other.
The local environmental commissioner, Ralf Trylla, came up with the idea after seeing a similar project in New Delhi, India while researching creative ideas on how to slow traffic. She experimented with Vegmálun GÍH for several weeks to create the effect, eventually perfecting the technique and painting the crosswalk.
One of the reasons why the visual effect is so striking is that the optical illusion shifts as you change your perspective. Viewed from the air, the white stripes jump up, making them appear as a column of walls. Approached on the ground, the bars seem to be hovering just above the ground. The project is still in an experimental phase, with the town seeing what effect the creative crosswalk will have before deciding if they’d like to expand the project to include other locations in the future.
We hope the project works out well and other cities and countries follow suit soon!