“Optical illusion” crosswalks are saving lives overseas. It’s time for Florida to consider installing them here in Miami too.
Florida has its fair share of optical illusions, but most of them are tourist attractions, from Spook Hill and WonderWorks to Ripley’s Believe it Or Not and beyond.
But what if optical illusions were part of your everyday commute?
More to the point, what if a simple optical illusion on the highway could save thousands of lives in Florida alone?
That might sound like science fiction, but 3D painted crosswalks are starting to catch on around the world. They look like art, but their primary purpose is more utilitarian: to slow down traffic and keep pedestrians from getting injured or killed while crossing the road.
As Miami pedestrian injury attorneys, we are keenly interested in the idea. Miami has the 14th highest pedestrian death rate in the United States. Meanwhile, Orlando is #1.
In fact, all of the Top 5 Most Dangerous Cities for Pedestrians are in Florida (including most of the I-4 corridor). Three more are in the top 10 (including the Jacksonville metro and the Tampa Bay). That makes Florida the deadliest state for pedestrians in the country.
So, if there is hope on the horizon, we want to know more. Let’s look at how 3D painted crosswalks may decrease pedestrian accidents in Miami.
What Are 3D Painted Crosswalks?
If you’ve ever encountered sidewalk chalk sketches where a two-dimensional image is made to look like it’s coming out of the ground, you already understand how 3D painted crosswalks work.
They’re like ordinary crosswalks, but with “shadows” painted beneath them at an angle, creating the illusion that the crosswalk is “floating” above the asphalt. And when people walk or bike across one, they look like they’re walking on air.
In other words, 3D painted crosswalks really get your attention. And that’s the point.
Distracted driving and speeding are among the leading causes of pedestrian accidents and injuries in Miami. While there is no excuse for careless driving, it is our hope that innovative approaches to road design — including 3D crosswalks — could catch an inattentive driver’s eye before it’s too late.
Could We See 3D Painted Crosswalks in Miami?
Unfortunately, you won’t find a 3D crosswalk in Miami just yet — or in any other Sunshine State city, for that matter.
Sadly, the State of Florida has shown considerable reluctance in even considering the idea. While Fort Lauderdale has installed at least one multi-colored crosswalk, and various combinations of flashing lights and colored pavers are in use at crosswalks all across the state, experts say a three-dimensional crosswalk might still seem too revolutionary an idea for Florida lawmakers to embrace.
Indeed, most of the work in this field has happened internationally. Iceland and China are among the countries leading the way with 3D painted crosswalks. In fact, it is precisely because those overseas crosswalks have been so effective that many Americans are now asking to have them here.
Alas, a 2017 assessment by the Florida Department of Transportation summarily dismissed the idea without much comment and absolutely no independent research.
In our view, failure to comprehensively investigate the potentially life-saving merits of 3D painted crosswalks in Miami is a failure to protect the very people the state is meant to serve.
Something Has to Change
If the alternative to installing 3D crosswalks in Miami is to preserve the status quo, then the alternative is unacceptable.
Too many innocent cyclists and pedestrians are losing their lives — or suffering serious, even debilitating injuries — as a result of negligent driving and poor crosswalk or intersection design.
The time for the state to make a change is now.
Injured While Crossing the Road in Miami? Schedule a Free Consultation Today.
Kaire & Heffernan, LLC is a Miami personal injury law firm with years of experience in helping Florida families claim the financial justice they deserve.
Our Miami pedestrian injury lawyers are here to help you understand your rights and options after a crosswalk accident in Florida.
While we are based in Miami, we provide our services to families throughout the state. If you can’t come to us, we will come to you.
We will not charge you an attorney’s fee unless and until we recover compensation in your case. And your initial, no-obligation consultation is absolutely free.
To learn more, contact Kaire & Heffernan, LLC and ask about scheduling a free consultation today.
Mark Kaire has been practicing law in Miami for nearly 30 years. He is dedicated to helping the injured people of Miami receive compensation. Mr. Kaire has been blogging on Miami’s legal issues for many years.