Virtual Speed Humps: Effective or Ineffective Traffic Calming Tool?
Mike Spack, PE, PTOE
Recently, I was contacted by the New York Times Upfront magazine, to comment on a 3D speed hump being used in Iceland. (Click to view the article). The question was, are painted virtual speed humps effective?
The goal of speed humps is to help calm traffic, making it safer for pedestrians. I have written extensively on the topic of traffic calming in its various forms. However, in a majority of accidents involving pedestrians, the cause of the accident is the pedestrian themselves because they are distracted.
Virtual speed humps are not a new concept as can be seen in the images below. Many countries have tested them and some, including China, have implemented them. But the question still remains: are they effective in slowing traffic and reducing pedestrian accidents?
What do you think? I’m throwing this question to my readers. I’m not aware of any specific studies with proof that 3D crosswalks help. In some situations, the optical illusion can create motorist confusion, which has the potential to create an accident. Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Want more information on speed calming? Check out these articles:
- Traffic Calming Resources: How to Handle Speeding
- Speed Kidney: The Ultimate in Traffic Calming Devices?
- Temporary Traffic Calming Example
This 3D art of a girl playing in the road was used in Canada in an attempt to increase driver safety. (Click to view the article)
This crosswalk in Venezuela was pained by artist Carlos Cruz-Diez to increase driver awareness of pedestrian crosswalks. (Click to view the article)