The Seoul International Design Competition 2010 has an interesting and unusual short listed entry. It stood out amongst the more conservative entries. It is the ‘Ergo Crosswalk’ by Korean designer Jae Min Lim. Jae has tweaked the traditional shapes of Zebra crossing into curves to reflect the way people jaywalk on roads. And he has a very plausible and reasonable explanation for it.
Jae believes that by carving out more space for the pedestrians we might be able to reduce the number of accidents involving the pedestrians. He has built in LEDs in his curved zebra stripes, that glow red or green to indicate when it is safe for people to cross the road. His explanations are based on some research and real data. It has been observed that when people cross roads, they tend to take the fastest shortcut. They sometimes do it intentionally, but mostly it is an unconscious act and puts their life in danger as very often they do it in violation of the traffic regulations.
The ‘ergo crosswalk’ is a design that makes people follow the law, as well as consider their habits or unconscious actions. It will encourage them to follow the lines of the crosswalk. If the regulations can be amended keeping the safety and convenience of the pedestrians the roads will become much safer.