a rendering of an intersection showing striped crosswalks and sidewalks

Designing for Pedestrian Safety

I am really curious what you think about this fundamental rethink of the pedestrian crossing. It was designed by an architectural firm in San Francisco where there is an average of 3 pedestrians hit by cars every day.

A firm called Ogrydziak Prillinger Architects is trying to reduce accidents by rethinking how people get from one side of the street to the other. The company … has come up with a network of pedestrian lanes and planters that blur the usual boundaries ­between walkers and drivers. Its ­radical idea: Blending the street and sidewalk might actually save lives.

I am trying to imagine the visual attention that would be captured by this design for pedestrians coming to the intersection along different paths. I just don’t see it. Am I missing something?

Image credit: FastCompany

2 thoughts on “Designing for Pedestrian Safety”

  1. I posted this on the Facebook link, as well, but I’m hoping others will join in on this discussion on this site, too.

    I just don’t see enough contrast to help the drivers distinguish the pedestrians from the surroundings. From my perspective, I think that this “blending” may actually cause more accidents. I think that this “blending” would actually increase the reaction time of the drivers in their decision-making processes, in which split-seconds could make the difference between avoiding a pedestrian or not. I think this “blending” would also desensitize the drivers to pedestrians, thus increasing the potential for injury. Just my opinion…

  2. This is my fear exactly. My first thought on seeing the design is that it is a great example of an architect with great aesthetic chops but who doesn’t know much about human perception, attention, or behavior.

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