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Eye-catching markings aim to make roads safer

Three-dimensional crosswalks have been painted on roads in Iceland and in Montreal, and now they've come to Ottawa
These road markings on Othello Avenue, in Elmvale Acres, are supposed to make drivers slow down. (Jason White/1310 NEWS)

The city is testing out a new type of road marking to see if they make drivers slow down.

The road marking is made up of large, white squares with a black U-shaped marking painted over top. It's a design employed in England, and the goal of the 3D road marking is to get drivers to take notice and slow down.

Crosswalks that involve 3D illusions have been painted on roads in Iceland, as well as in Montreal. The wide bars on the pavement marking the crosswalk appear to be made up of large blocks, either laying on top of the pavement or floating a few inches above it. 3D crosswalks were studied in a 2012 thesis at Western Michigan University, which found little evidence 3D crosswalks actually make drivers behave differently, long-term.

The Ottawa road marking is not a crosswalk, but the city is testing it as a temporary traffic calming measure.

The road marking will be formally unveiled Friday afternoon on Othello Avenue, behind the Elmvale Shopping Centre.


NOTE: This is an updated story, to clarify that the road marking is not in fact a crosswalk but a traffic calming measure.


Jason White

About the Author: Jason White

Jason is an award-winning reporter on 1310 NEWS.
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