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Posts Tagged ‘optical illusion’


Photo: Ralf Trylla / Town of Ísafjörður, Iceland
Ísafjörður, Iceland, recently installed a 3-D crosswalk on a centrally located street.

Optical-illusion speed bumps are getting to be a thing. Matt Rocheleau writes about the concept at the Boston Globe.

“A handful of cities around the world have painted optical illusions on roadways — think raised beams and even images of children — that appear, at first glance, to be blocking motorists’ paths.

“The idea is to get lead-footed drivers to put on the brakes. After all, if you think you’re going to hit a steel beam or a little girl chasing her ball, you’re going to slow down.

“Popular from New Delhi to a tiny town in Iceland, the most prevalent of these illusions are the striped lines made to look like [3-D] blocks floating in the middle of the road. …

“Officials in the other countries say the markings have contributed to better driving. And while they can add an element of surprise, officials in other locations said they haven’t seen any reports of drivers stopping so quickly that they’ve caused an accident.

“Initial measurements by the city’s traffic police found speeds dropped by 15 percent in the areas where 3-D crosswalks were installed last year, according to Yogesh Saini, founder of Delhi Street Art, which painted the crosswalks on the municipal council’s behalf.

” ‘As people got accustomed to seeing them, the speeds appear to have crept up some,’ Saini added in an e-mail. …

“In Western Canada, officials took the optical illusion even further when a nonprofit called The Community Against Preventable Injuries installed a 3-D decal on a road near a school to raise awareness about speeding in school zones.

“The decal, called ‘Pavement Patty,’ looked like a girl was in the street chasing a ball. It was installed temporarily.”

Thank goodness for “temporarily.” I’m all for any trompe-l’œil speed bumps that slow drivers down in areas with pedestrians, but please, no pictures of people! Once drivers get used to the images, do they then get used to charging fast at people? I hope communities will stick with floating blocks and steel beams.

More at the Boston Globe.

Photo: The Community Against Preventable Injuries
In West Vancouver Canada, a nonprofit installed a 3-D decal on a road near a school. I sure would worry about leaving this one out long enough for drivers to get used to it.

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Art: David Zinn

Here’s something fun from the reliably intriguing website This Is Colossal: playful chalk drawings on Ann Arbor, Michigan, sidewalks.

Kind of makes a person want to try it.

Christopher Jobson writes, “Michigan illustrator David Zinn (previously) has brightened the streets of Ann Arbor with his off-the-wall (or technically on-the-wall) chalk drawings since 1987. The artist works with chalk or charcoal to create site-specific artworks that usually incorporate surrounding features like cracks, street infrastructure, or found objects. Over the years he’s developed a regular cast of recurring characters, including a bright green monster named Sluggo and a ‘phlegmatic flying pig’ named Philomena.”

More about Zinn here. Lots more drawings.

Update 10/10/17: John sent me another link to this artist. Check it out for more great pictures. And the coolest part is that he learned about it from his son’s Highlights for Children magazine, which my husband has beeb sending.

Art: David Zinn

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