Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Can you see what I see? :)

Extremely cool optical illusion. Warning: Click mute before viewing as the music score sucks.

 A 3-D painted zebra crosswalk in Ísafjörður, Iceland

Ísafjörður's optical illusion of a crosswalk is designed to get motorists to slow down. And there's potentially more three-dimensional painted zebra crossings to come in this remote Icelandic town. (Video screenshot: Gústi Productions/YouTube)
Iceland is a place of such dramatic, otherworldly beauty that many visitors have a hard time believing their very own eyes. Over the past several years, the island-bound Nordic nation has emerged, for better or worse, as the world’s preeminent blink twice and rub-your-peepers-to-make-sure-you’re-not-hallucinating destination. Double takes, audible gasps, and veering rental cars off of roads while gawking are all par for the course.

It’s that last reaction — distracted driving while speeding to get to the next awe-inspiring site — that’s problematic. To address this, Ísafjörður, a lively fishing and tourism hub in northwest Iceland’s far-flung Westfjords region, has embraced a novel approach to improving traffic safety: fighting rubberneck-inducing fire with rubberneck-inducing fire.

Dreamt up by town environmental commissioner Ralf Trylla and executed by local pavement marking company GÍH Vegamálun, a traditional, striped crosswalk in the center of town has been transformed into a pedestrian right-of-way that appears to be hovering directly above the asphalt.

To be clear, this shifting 3-D optical illusion doubling as a run-of-the-mill crosswalk is a distraction (and disorienting, to boot). However, the town is confident it will slow traffic, if not bring it to a complete stop, without freaking out too many overwhelmed out-of-towners already dazed by the unreal-looking natural scenery of the Westfjords.

Imagine this in NYC. :) A crowd pleaser or crowd annoyance depending on one's POV. :)

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