Council’s clever plan to get drivers to slow down

·News Reporter

Melbourne motorists might be left questioning their eyesight after an unusual obstacle popped up in the middle of a road in an inner-city suburb.

After residents in Fitzroy North raised concerns about the safety of pedestrians last month, the City of Yarra Council responded by raising the road, with the help of a crafty optical illusion.

Located outside Piedemonte’s IGA supermarket on Best Street, the design creates the illusion of a floating crossing to trick drivers into slowing down to check for pedestrians.

“We identified an opportunity to improve pedestrian safety and worked with local supermarket Piedimonte’s to develop the concept,” a council spokesperson told Yahoo7 News.

The floating 3D crossing was installed outside an IGA in Fitzroy North to try and alert drivers into being aware of their surroundings.
The 3D crossing was installed outside an IGA supermarket in Fitzroy North to try and alert drivers into being aware of their surroundings. Image: City of Yarra Council

While impressed with the design, people on social media questioned what sort of impact it will have on motorists.

“Looks amazing, but is likely quite dangerous. I can imagine this being the sort of thing where car drivers marvel at the image without checking the surroundings,”

“It doesn’t look quite as effective now it’s been there a few days and got some dirt on the artwork which diminishes the 3D illusion,” another wrote.

The mind-bending design, which has featured on streets throughout India, China, New Zealand, Malaysia and Iceland, made it to Australia earlier this year in an outback town in western Queensland.

Boulia was the first town in Australia to install a 3D illusion of a zebra crossing to slow down drivers. Source: Facebook/Remote Area Planning and Development Board
Boulia was the first town in Australia to install a 3D illusion of a zebra crossing to slow down drivers. Source: Facebook/Remote Area Planning and Development Board

Boulia Shire Council painted their own 3D zebra crossing on the road earlier this month after spotting the concept on social media.

Spokeswoman for the Remote Area Planning and Development Board, Kristine Arnold, told Yahoo7 the crossing was “a great initiative”.

Cairns followed suit in July, when they installed a similar design linking the Southern Esplanade Carpark with The Pier Cairns shopping centre.

“It really is a melding of art and infrastructure,” Mayor Bob Manning said.

“It shows us that even something as mundane as a zebra crossing can be transformed with a little creative thought.”