An illustration of a 3D crosswalk, Source: City of Aarhus

Aarhus to test 3D pedestrian crossings in the city centre

Aarhus to test 3D pedestrian crossings in the city centre

The optical illusion will prompt drivers to slow down

Many drivers and cyclists often ignore pedestrian crossings, speeding over them and putting citizens at risk. This issue is prevalent in many cities worldwide that are now trying to find innovative ways of slowing down drivers and protecting pedestrians.

On 14 September, the Danish Municipality of Aarhus revealed that it will now experiment with 3D pedestrian crossings. In other words, it will assess the effects of using shadows to optically deceive drivers and cyclists, prompting them to hit the brakes and pay attention to the road. 

Optical illusions

According to a press release, the City of Aarhus will create the illusion of floating stripes that will make it seem as though pedestrians are hovering above the ground. As a result of this optical illusion, road users will be able to see the crosswalks from a further distance and a different angle.

Councillor for Technology and the Environment Bünyamin Simsek commented on this new experiment, noting: “You do not have to walk around Aarhus for long to discover that you can wait a really long time to cross the road at pedestrian crossings without light regulation. Too many simply do not hold back. Now, we want to try a solution with 3D that will make motorists and cyclists pay extra attention.”

The ‘floating stripes’ will be located in three places in the city centre: two in Mejlgade and one in Knudrisgade. As Simsek highlights, these locations have a large number of pedestrians, such as school students.

With this experiment, the Danish City seeks to assess the efficiency of using 3D effects and shadows in traffic. What is more, it is important to highlight that the crosswalks have been approved by the Danish Road Directorate and East Jutland Police.

Aarhus will begin working on the first 3D pedestrian crossing on 20 September and commence work on the other two shortly after. The experiment will run until May 2024.



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