Weirdest Things People Painted On Roads To Slow Down Speeding Cars
ZEBRA STRIPES WALKING AWAY
On this list, we’ll see a zebra crossing that was painted in an intersection in Ísafjörður, Iceland. The stripes were painted in a way that they looked as if they were floating at bumper height. Here’s a crossing that took that same idea but brought it to a whole different level. Well, the white stripes are painted much like the ones at the Ísafjörður pedestrian crossing, but the artist went a step further by making it look like these raised lines have legs and feet supporting them as they stroll across the street. The scene becomes a little more surreal when you add in a real pedestrian because it truly looks like anyone using this crossing is elevated, too. This creative crossing was designed so that traffic approaching from either direction will have their attention captured, which will cause them to slow down even if there’s nobody crossing the street. A lot of drivers will also slow down and crawl through the intersection just so that they can get a good look at this amazing design. Some locals claim that this crosswalk attracts visitors to the town who just want to see this fascinating work of art.
THAT’S A BIT CREEPY
Alex Maksiov is another uber-talented artist who has the uncanny ability to capture one’s attention and imagination through his often-surreal imagery. The veteran and in-demand Ukrainian art school graduate is considered a pioneer in street art and his awe-inspiring work can be seen in several countries throughout the world.
It’s artwork like this that’s earned him numerous awards and made him one of the premier names in street painting. The effectiveness of this piece is twofold. It features an open manhole that almost any driver will slow down and stop for.
Those that won’t will surely be aware of the enormous centipede that appears to have emerged from the open manhole and is making its way across the street. This combination is more than enough to get even a party-bound Justin Bieber to bring his Lamborghini to a rolling stop. Can you imagine driving toward a larger-than-life creepy crawly? Of course, as one gets closer to the artwork, it becomes clearer that this is just an illusion, as the image begins to distort and take on its true 2-dimensional look. You can visit Alex’s website to see some of his other jaw-dropping street art.
A REAL LOGJAM
We’ve seen a few weird things painted on roads that are there to make speeding cars slow down, but this piece of art might not just make people ease up on the gas. Instead, this detailed design might cause an approaching driver to stop completely and turn around in search of a detour. A driver who’s coming up to this picture on the road might be fooled into thinking that the street is impassable unless they risk walking across the log that spans the seemingly bottomless abyss. This painting is actually a clever way that a running club in Russia made a statement about putting off things such as a new fitness regimen or a diet. The excuses we make to postpone things until a later time are just obstacles that we conveniently invent. In other words, they’re merely illusions just like this road painting. German artists Marion Ruthardt and Gregor Wosik were invited to put their artistic 3-dimensional work in 5 parks throughout Moscow to make this point. Each creation is a subtle reminder that there’s really nothing to stop you from reaching the other side, just as there’s nothing really preventing you from exercising or dieting today.
LOOK OUT! THERE’S A BEEVER ON THE ROAD
Julian Beever is a very talented artist from England, and he’s left his creative marks in hundreds of places all over the globe. He’s quite selective when he chooses a surface to go to work on and says that “good quality pastels used on a good cement or stone surface can give an effect second to none–better than on paper.” Beever is in the habit of taking photographs of his work and often poses within the image for added visual effect. This is one of Beever’s many pieces of trompe l’oeil, which is a French term for “deceive the eye,” and it was drawn at an intersection in London. As per his usual practice, Julian has inserted himself into the picture and appears to be enjoying a beer with his friend as the pair prepares to get to work with some pastels. As effective as the illusion of concrete barriers, logs, raised crosswalks, and other inanimate objects are at slowing down speeders, nothing gets a driver’s attention quite like a human in the middle of the road. You can check out some of Julian’s other work in his book Pavement Chalk Artist or with a Google search.
ABBEY ROAD APPARITIONS
The Beatles were one of the most popular, influential, and successful bands in the history of music, and their album Abbey Road was one of their finest collaborations. It isn’t just songs like “Something,” “Come Together,” and “Here Comes the Sun” that make the Fab Four’s eleventh studio album such a classic. The album cover that features John, Paul, George, and Ringo strolling across a crosswalk outside Abbey Road Studios is instantly recognizable and often imitated. It should come as no surprise that the iconic album cover was used as the inspiration for this amazing piece of road art that was placed in a zebra crossing in Lake Worth, Florida. As a side note, Abbey Road is the only Beatles album cover that didn’t have the band’s name or the title of the album on it. The detail is astounding, and attention was even paid to the cigarette in a shoeless Paul McCartney’s right hand. Anyone who sees these guys crossing in front of them is sure to take their foot off the gas and admire the scene. In fact, this fantastic artwork could actually cause a traffic jam, just as the real foursome did with their rooftop performance in 1969.
3D PEDESTRIAN CROSSING
On this list, we’ll see quite a few innovative and eye-catching pieces of art that are designed to slow cars. The vast majority of these happen to be placed in intersections, which makes sense because these are areas where a lot of avoidable accidents and fatalities occur. The basic and boring zebra stripes that have been a staple at intersections everywhere is slowly being replaced by more interesting designs that have a purpose beyond being more aesthetically pleasing.
Back in 2015, the City of Lewiston, Maine, identified 5 intersections that were seeing an increase in accidents, and they decided to try placing clever illusionary art at these locations to bring speeds down. The intersection of Russell Street and College Street used the same trick, as we’ve already seen a couple of times, but these 3-dimensional-looking floating platforms look eerily real. Like all of the rest of the road art on this list, these images are merely there to get a driver’s attention and not scare them into slamming on the brakes or recklessly swerving into other obstacles. Anything that gets a motorist’s attention and snaps him or her out of a daydream is a good thing. Whether or not this approach will make an impact is open to debate, but you’d have to agree that it makes driving a lot less mundane.
SMALL CHILD CHASING A BALL IN THE STREET
Speeding through residential neighborhoods and in school zones is a very serious problem. We often read about avoidable tragedies in which children are seriously injured and even killed by thoughtless drivers who are in too much of a hurry. Most of these reckless menaces are aware of the speed limits and know perfectly well that they’re going too fast, but they don’t seem to care. They seem bent on putting themselves above the safety of others. A non-profit group from West Vancouver in Canada came up with a brilliant way to get the attention of these self-centered monsters.
They created and installed a 3-dimensional decal on the street by a school zone, the decal guaranteed to bring speeding drivers to a halt.
The decal looks like a young girl who’s running into the middle of the road to retrieve a ball. The image is very realistic. Anybody who inattentively approaches this at speed will surely be in for the fright of his or her life. Sadly, there are still many people out there who’d continue to speed through these areas and endanger lives despite all of the efforts of groups such as the one responsible for this.
CANYON BY THE RIVER
Let’s go ahead and include this wonderful piece of work on this list. Technically, this is a towpath that’s located in London, England, so that means that vehicular traffic uses it every once in a while. You probably won’t see any cars traveling at excessive speeds down this stretch of pavement and cobblestone since this ominous painting was completed a few years ago. In fact, this street art will have cyclists and those on foot looking twice before they proceed.
Three-dimensional art specialists Joe Hill and Max Lowry were commissioned by British Waterways to paint this deceptive image on the Regent’s Canal towpath.
According to a spokesman from British Waterways, “The towpaths are often narrow and are full of historic furniture such as low bridges, lock landings, and bollards, all of which are part of the charm of the canal but aren’t ideal for cyclists who need to get somewhere in a hurry.” The thought of plunging into the dark depths of this massive hole is enough to slow anybody down, and this street art looks so cool that most passersby will want to stop and appreciate what a convincing job the two artists did.
HOW ARE YOU GOING TO GET AROUND THAT?
A mother and daughter team in the Indian city of Ahmedabadas have a couple things in common. They’re both artists, and they’re both concerned about road safety. Saumya Pandya Thakkar and her daughter Shakuntala Pandyaand put their heads and talent together in a bid to improve road safety and slow drivers down at intersections in a country where the number of traffic-related deaths and injuries is rising.
What they came up with was this rather odd-looking optical illusion that was installed in the middle of a busy pedestrian crossing.
It looks a little askew and quite amateurish, but that’s not by accident. The creative pair fully intended to lay out a design that’s enough of a distraction that drivers will notice it and slow down but, at the same time, not realistic enough to fool them into thinking that it’s a real obstruction. There’s no hard evidence to support the theory that these deceiving pieces of art really save lives and reduce accidents, but they sure do a good job at breaking up the monotony of driving. Really, it would be hard to believe that the works of road art haven’t made things a little safer for pedestrians.
A HOLE IN THE ROAD
Road signs aren’t always the most effective way to get drivers to slow down. One reason is that there are so many of the things out there that it becomes impossible to see them all without losing focus on the road ahead. Seeing that your eyes should be paying attention to what’s in front of you, a well-placed piece of road art is an excellent way to get a driver’s attention and make them slow down. Take this painting as an example.
A driver who’s approaching this image of a hole in the road surrounded by pylons is almost sure to slow down.
There doesn’t even appear to be enough room for even the most skilled driver to skirt around it. It might not be the most realistic-looking example on this list, but it’s certainly good enough to fool most people who would find themselves going a little too fast as they approach it. This particular piece of road art is placed on a street somewhere in India and is likely responsible for keeping drivers well within the speed limit on this stretch. After all, who wants to risk driving into a sinkhole?
IT LOOKS LIKE A RAISED CROSSWALK
Icelandic environmental commissioner Ralf Trylla got to thinking of how inspired he was by some of the brilliant traffic calming road art that he’d seen in New Delhi, India. He decided that he would give it a go, so he hired Vegmálun GÍH, a street painting company in Ísafjörður, Iceland, to create this innovative piece of 3-dimensional road art at a pedestrian crossing in this tiny fishing village. Drivers that tend to go a little too fast will see what appears to be a raised crosswalk that obstructs the road. This forces people to slow down. This design is so clever and well detailed that pedestrians actually look like they’re walking on a set of raised platforms or ‘zebra stripes.’ Of course, the people of Ísafjörður know that this is just smoke and mirrors, but any visitors who are driving through will most likely be caught off guard and forced to ease up on the gas pedal or come to a complete stop. This type of deceptive artwork is becoming quite popular at crosswalks everywhere because it’s effective, although it definitely isn’t a completely foolproof method.