MOTHER NATURE NETWORK
By Matt Hickman
Iceland is a place of such dramatic, otherworldly beauty that many visitors have a hard time believing their very own eyes. Over the past several years, the island-bound Nordic nation has emerged, for better or worse, as the world’s preeminent blink twice and rub-your-peepers-to-make-sure-you’re-not-hallucinating destination. Double takes, audible gasps, and veering rental cars off of roads while gawking are all par for the course.
It’s that last reaction — distracted driving while speeding to get to the next awe-inspiring site — that’s problematic. To address this, Ísafjörður, a lively fishing and tourism hub in northwest Iceland’s far-flung Westfjords region, has embraced a novel approach to improving traffic safety: fighting rubberneck-inducing fire with rubberneck-inducing fire.
Dreamt up by town environmental commissioner Ralf Trylla and executed by local pavement marking company GÍH Vegamálun, a traditional, striped crosswalk in the center of town has been transformed into a pedestrian right-of-way that appears to be hovering directly above the asphalt.
The video has been access 2.6 million times on YouTube:
See our previous coverage of traffic safety and road innovations: