Could This Optical Illusion Save Lives?

published Nov 5, 2017
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(Image credit: Gusti Productions)

We know better than to play in traffic, but there’s an eye-catching 3D zebra stripe crosswalk in the Icelandic fishing town of Ísafjörður that hopes to better protect you if you were to do just that. Instead of the traditional, decidedly more boring white stripes we’re used to ignoring when we cross an intersection, these mesmerizing crosswalk lines appear to hover above the pavement. The floating illusion can be seen from above and street view; it is only when the crosswalk is viewed from the side that the creative paint job reveals itself.

(Image credit: Gusti Productions)

The city hopes the crosswalk will function not only as a captivating piece of artwork, but also as a form of protection for pedestrians that encourages drivers to slow down a bit on the town’s residential streets. Currently, the speed limit is set at 30 kmh (or 18.6 mph), which is deemed way too fast by Ralf Trylla, the town’s environmental commissioner.

According to Colossal, street painting firm Vegi GÍH and Trylla teamed up last month to create the 3D crosswalk. It’s being hailed as the first of its kind in the country.

Gautur Ívar Halldórsson, who manages the road painting company that created the quirky crosswalk, says the 3D idea came from New Delhi, India, while Trylla says he discovered it when researching ways to slow down traffic in the small town, which is currently home to 2,527 people. Apparently, similar crosswalks have been installed in Russia and China, but any plans to paint additional 3D crosswalks on the Icelandic town’s streets are contingent upon the success of the current one.

For photos and video of the “floating” 3D zebra stripe crosswalk being used by enthusiastic locals, check out Iceland Magazine.

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h/t Colossal