The Suitcase Lady


May 7, 2019, 9:58 pm

What do you visualize if I say “zebra crossing”? My first impression at hearing this term was of a herd of zebras crossing a road. That, however, was incorrect. A zebra crossing is the name given a pedestrian crossing of painted white stripes on the roadway. We’ve all walked on them thousands of times.

Recently there has been an ingenious, eye-popping twist given to the traditional zebra crossing: it’s gone 3D. Credit goes to two women artists in India, and I’m guessing more than a few road engineers wish they had come up with this clever idea.

Saumya Pandya Thakkar and her daughter Shakuntala Pandyaand painted a 3D illusion of a roadblock on a highway in Ahmedabadas  in response to the alarming number of road accidents and fatalities in India. From a distance, their tromp l’oeil artwork appears to rise out of the street like roadblocks. However, the illusion begins to fade when the driver comes closer, an important factor so drivers won’t suddenly slam on their brakes.

Optical illusion zebra crossings are now being tried in London, Iceland,  New Zealand and China. Initial findings are that the tricky artwork is helping to make crossings safer for pedestrians. Drivers may get a benefit as well. Large “roadblocks” looming out of the approaching pavement tend to wake up tired or inattentive motorists.

Check out these variations of hybrid zebras.

3 Comments for this entry

  • A Weiss

    These are great. I would have loved to have one of these tonight at the Mayfair Collection. Trying to cross the street there is a real challenge even with their traditional white line crosswalk.

  • eve robillard

    Wow! I can see the value in them, but I wonder if there might be complications . . . then again, I’m a wimpy driver & usually don’t need these thingies . . . Someone asked me once why I don’t slow down for speed bumps, & I told him “Cuz I don’t speed!”

  • Elizabeth Levins