clock menu more-arrow no yes

Medford 3D crosswalks appear to be a first for Boston region

City installing optical illusions outside elementary schools

City of Medford/Mayor’s Office/Facebook

Medford has installed the first of what it says will be a handful of crosswalks that to motorists will look three-dimensional. The first debuted on April 22 at the intersection of a parking lot and Allston Street at Brooks Elementary School.

The crosswalk is not actually 3D, but appears so to oncoming traffic (who are mostly those dropping off and picking up students in the parking lot). The design is meant to grab drivers’ attention. Medford officials say that the city’s three other elementary schools will get such crosswalks.

They appear to be a first for the Boston region. Cambridge had considered so-called Iceland crosswalks—for that Nordic country started the trend—but decided that instead of slowing down, motorists might in fact swerve to avoid what looked like an obstacle.

Nate Swain, an artist best-known for photo murals in Boston’s North End, designed the Medford crosswalk. Two students at the school hatched the idea and worked with a teacher as well as the the Brooks Center of Citizenship and Social Responsibility to make it a reality.