In the US there’s growing concern about the danger for pedestrians as they cross the street.
Safety advocates want drivers to be more alert and watch for people moving through crosswalks.
But they also want to change how we design those crosswalks, so people are more visible to those drivers.
And making those intersections safer might only take a little splash of color.
As My Modern Met reported recently, a team from Bloomberg Research and Sam Schwartz Consulting studied 17 sites in the United States that had painted murals around traditional crosswalks or in place of them.
Admittedly that’s not a big sample size, but what they found may be a big deal.
At those sites, the number of crashes involving pedestrians or cyclists dropped about 50 percent.
The researchers also analyzed video from a few of the sites, and those showed drivers yielding to pedestrians significantly more often than before.
The theory is that the brighter colors and more individualized designs of the asphalt art may help drivers stay more alert than they would at regular intersections.
We’ll have to see whether that’s the case in further research, of course.
But there is one other reason besides safety that advocates like these bright and eye catching installations: they’re really cool.
As long as we’re making intersections safer, how about making roads greener?
A team from two Australian universities is studying crumb rubber cement, concrete infused with old bits of tires.
Their testing shows the hybrid material works as well or better than standard concrete, while being more eco friendly.
And then they can paint a colorful mural on the surface!