Hey, there! Log in / Register

You're going to have to be careful driving out of one Medford school's parking lot

Apparent concrete blocks at exit of Brooks School parking lot

Watch out for those concrete blocks!

Artist Nate Swain finished up a project at the Brooks School in Medford today that might help motorists remember to actually stop when driving out onto Allston Street: An illusion that makes them think they're about to hit large concrete blocks:

Here's the view of the "blocks" from the side:

Side view of concrete blocks

They're known as Icelandic crosswalks, for the country that gave them to the world, and they've proven controversial here: Last year, Cambridge officials actually looked at striping some intersections with them, but concluded they would prove a menace as drivers swerved to avoid them.

That may not be as much of an issue at the Brooks School, because Allston Street is a narrow side street that almost forces drivers leaving the school to go slowly anyway as they turn onto it.

Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 

Ad:

Do you like how UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

and some joker puts a real concrete block there, after everyone's gotten used to ignoring the perceived obstacles in that driveway. Should be fun.

up
Voting closed 36

is going to be approx 200 lbs and require at minimum 2-3 "jokers" to transport and place. plus it would never align with the painted design and would be immediately noticeable. and, please explain, what exactly would this merry band of "jokers" have to gain from this exercise?

up
Voting closed 32

The local jokers would rather spend their time rearranging the WRIGHTS POND letters to read DOG SHIT.

up
Voting closed 21

This is used in Europe in locations where people need to stop for pedestrians.

It works very very well. It'll be interesting to see how it works here.

up
Voting closed 32

for someone to post how they ' do it in Europe', and it's a spectacular success. If the Euros walked off a cliff to their deaths, there are Americans who would want to copy them,because, you know, Europeans are so superior to Amerikans. Well, there were those two 20th century wars that killed 100 plus million people, Marxism (Communism) and it's rightwing extremist fellow travellers, Nazis/Fascist,who both caused untold human misery, suffering, degradation,death. let's not forget Imperialism on an eplc world-wide scale.

Those superior, 'civilized' Europeans.

up
Voting closed 23

countries that spend half what we do on healthcare, and get better results. Countries that don't spend most of their budget on warfare. It's funny that you throw the term "imperialism" out as though you weren't aware of what the rest of the world thinks about your favorite exceptional country's foreign policies. Probably, you're not.

up
Voting closed 57

Where did I say the U.S. was 'exceptional'? Although, the fact it has become a modern day Roman Empire I would say is pretty exceptional. The fact the U.S., with 330 million people, has a GDP roughly the same size as the E.U., with roughly 2X the U.S. Population, is also pretty exceptional.

The U.S. Is also, essentially, the father of modern post-WW2 western Europe. Western Europe thrived in the post WW2 era due to Pax Americana. U.S. Policy was to pacify Europe. It succeeded too well; they are now smug. Warmonger? Me? I believe the U.S. Should leave NATO (which would collapse minus the U.S.), and cut-back on our many far-flung obligations. The U.S., in fact, has an incredibly envious geographical (and economic) position. The U.S. Is a huge,diverse nation stretching from the Pacific to Atlantic,from the Arctic to the sub-tropics. Incredibly rich in natural resources, #1 oil producer, the most economically competitive nation state on earth. Most industrial and medical R&D occurs in the U.S. The U.S. Is i addition to an economic and military superpower,also a social superpower; American movies, music, etc., is unparalleled. English is the #1 most important and influential language on earth because it's spoken in the U.S. All very impressive.

But seriously, enough with the gratuitous U.S. Bashing and gratuitous Euro ass kissing.

up
Voting closed 10

Your misguided expressions of dislike for anything European -- that's bashing.

up
Voting closed 14

My mom and dad were European immigrants. I am of European descent. I don't hate my parents, don't hate my ancestors. I don't hate the average European.

I do dislike a certain type of American who gets off praising everything Europe because they erroneously believe Europeans are better, more sophisticated vs Americans. Not true. The people do this really just narcissistically desire to come across as more sophisticated, superior.

up
Voting closed 5

But your mind-reading powers have failed you. No one here is "praising everything Europe because they erroneously believe Europeans are better, more sophisticated." Maybe if you pay more attention to the message, and give up ascribing strange motives to the messengers, you can be better informed.

up
Voting closed 14

Including myself and you. There are prominent posters on this site of every political persuasion, who clearly are driven by confirmation bias, and who are lacking in self awareness and / or more than a healthy dose of narcissism. I find myself questioning every nuance of their posts due to what I see as a consistent pattern of bias. One common m.o. Is they waste no opportunity to praise social democratic European nations as a kind of swipe at the U.S. This is the basis of my original post.

And ironically, in Europe and even the UK, many people are surprised when they find out I'm American. They say I don't act like one.They typically think I'm Dutch, South African, Australian.

up
Voting closed 3

Thats a lot of typing that amounts to saying very little, so heres a question:

What road safety solutions, other than the current status quo which isn't cutting it, do you think we can implement? Cause so far you've just poo pooed solutions that have worked elsewhere.

up
Voting closed 13

Here's some foreign policy for you : Sykes-Picot Agreement https://www.britannica.com/event/Sykes-Picot-Agreement . This thing really a piece of work, setting many stages of discord still felt today.

up
Voting closed 2

I don’t see how using a safety feature somebody invented in another country equates to “Europe is superior we should do everything their way”. First off Europe is a bunch of different cultures that disagree quite a bit (even drive on other sides of the road; see France v. England).
More importantly, every successful business and civil society improves by adopting best practices from others. Corporations spend crazy money to learn how similar companies do things better than them.
But somehow when we cite a success in Europe clowns react like you - that’s Europe, we’re so different”. Those are western democracies, the most “like” us on this planet besides Canada.

up
Voting closed 37

He just pretty much cemented the notion from many people from other countries that "Americans are stupid and arrogant"

Case in point.

up
Voting closed 27

So you're making this a stupid argument instead.

Maybe I said it because it works well for them. Nothing more, nothing else. Nothing about the nazi's, imperialism, facists... simply raised sidewalk crossings worked well for them.

But you cannot help yourself and make it a stupid arrogant argument instead.

Get over yourself.

up
Voting closed 20

Figured out a way to stop walking off cliffs, mouth-breathers would line up to say they’d never stop walking off cliffs because who do them damn furriners think they are? Amurka!

up
Voting closed 14

But your cones are very impressive. You must be very proud.

up
Voting closed 51

I think Europe's call them pylons.
Much better than the American cones, don't you think?

up
Voting closed 0

Is going up on the sidewalk to get around the painting.

up
Voting closed 12

If it had been painted on the main street that the school fronts on (High Street?), yeah, there might be issues. But this is a really narrow, two-way street that you're going to have to go slowly to get onto, anyway. And you can't get around the crosswalk on the left because there's a sign and a fence there, and it would be really hard to do it on the right without hitting another sign or a hydrant that's right there, even assuming there's nobody parked right there.

up
Voting closed 9

the idiot in Quincy who drove up on the sidewalk with signs,newspaper box, mailbox etc in the way.

up
Voting closed 4

Visit the Brooks School "lemming lane" before you comment again.

I rarely used it, even though I had at least one kid there for seven years, and I can tell that you have never seen it in person. But you do you.

up
Voting closed 6

They'll just build a better idiot.

up
Voting closed 14

Give it about a year.

up
Voting closed 7

"Optical illusions" are the last thing drivers need. These things can cause all kinds of problems.

up
Voting closed 24

How do we know you're not an illusion?

up
Voting closed 18

[citations needed]

up
Voting closed 17

"TO: Louis DePasquale, City Manager
FROM: Iram Farooq, Assistant City Manager for Community Development; Joseph Barr, Director of Traffic, Parking and Transportation
SUBJECT: Awaiting Report #18-102 dated 10/1/18, regarding the potential of utilizing an Icelandic crosswalk design in East Cambridge
DATE: November 9, 2018
...
In one formal study, between 10-14% of drivers swerved upon seeing the markings, perhaps believing them to be real raised objects in the roadway.
...
In another study, the addition of the three-dimensional markings did not produce significantly more yielding to pedestrians compared with regular crosswalk markings. In various studies, there was also no clear evidence that vehicle speeds were reduced. In addition, concerns have been raised about the perspective of these devices for pedestrians with impaired vision, since they may have difficulty assessing the markings when attempting to cross the street.
...
[Standard "zebra"] crosswalks have been shown to be most effective in terms of visibility for both motorists and pedestrians."

up
Voting closed 3

Shhh, don't confuse people with facts. This is new and exciting and therefore must obviously be better!

up
Voting closed 0

The drivers who use this parking lot regularly will soon figure out the optical illusion part, and will just drive over it like it wan't there. (And of course, the third dimension isn't there anyway.)

up
Voting closed 6

you bring in the real blocks.

up
Voting closed 9

The problem is that *some* drivers will know the blocks are fake and ignore them, while other drivers unfamiliar with the area will freak out and slam on the brakes when they see concrete blocks where they didn't expect them. If the latter is in front of the former, then we have a problem.

Meanwhile, neither driver is looking for pedestrians.

If someone has evidence that these are a good idea, please post it. Until then, I'm going to conclude that making drivers navigate an Escher painting in real time is not the way to get them to watch for pedestrians.

up
Voting closed 4

I wonder what Tesla Autopilot thinks of it.

up
Voting closed 24

My kids went to that school and I can honestly say that this is sadly needed given entitled driver behavior.

But now I'm wondering what it will do to my late model car with "Subaru Eyesight". Will robot "eyesight" be fooled like the human eye? Or will the lack of signal bouncing off the illusion just render it yet another traffic marking?

Going to have to go all empirical on that once the paint dries!

up
Voting closed 18

We need these in Boston. I'm skeptical Boston drivers will notice however. Or care.

up
Voting closed 5

And cost effective. Raising the driveway where it crosses over the sidewalk and narrowing mouth of the driveway and installing some bollards would probably be a better solution, but it will be interesting to see how this pans out.

Mostly unrelated story: My father attended the Brooks School for first grade in the late 1940s. One day after school, he and his friend were riding their tricycles along the sidewalk on High Street when they noticed smoke coming out of the dormer windows on the school's large hipped roof. He remembers standing on the seat of his tricycle to reach the fire alarm call box because the fire department hadn't arrived yet, and then watching his school burn. The school was eventually repaired-sans hipped roof, which accounted for probably a full third of its original height-and stood until about ten or fifteen years ago, when it was demolished and replaced with the current incarnation, which is a more modern interpretation of the original school (with hipped roof and dormers). He had brought a book to school on the day of the fire and left it in his classroom. After the fire, and subsequent cleanup, the book was returned to him with the inscription "this book survived the Brooks School Fire on [date], Medford Mass". He still has it to this date.

up
Voting closed 14

The new buildings, built in 2001-3, have that "hip roof" design feature because the construction committee and the neighborhood wanted it added as a nod to the original building's architecture.

I think it makes the school match the neighborhood better, and softens the institutional appearance of the rather massive building.

The building has excellent fire protection and accessibility features, too!

up
Voting closed 6

I like the crosswalk

up
Voting closed 1