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Kansas City testing 3D crosswalk to slow down traffic

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Posted at 11:32 AM, Nov 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-22 07:31:03-05

KANSAS CITY, KS (WDAF/CNN) - A new and unusual traffic feature is getting a lot of attention in part of Kansas City.

At the intersection of Augusta and Northridge Drive, you’ll find a crosswalk that’s sure to catch your eye.

City engineers installed a 3D crosswalk in an effort to slow down traffic and increase pedestrian safety. It looks like it’s hovering over the street.

“Right now, it's kind of an attraction and then everything else was paint," said Lideana Laboy, the city traffic engineer for the unified government.

Her team has been working with neighbors in this area to improve pedestrian safety.

After seeing a similar design in Iceland, they agreed to try a 3D crosswalk.

"First, we tried in a drawing and then we tested it in our shop," Laboy said.

Street crews used the standard thermoplastic for the top layer and regular paint for the added effect.

"It's something new and people are just getting used to it," Laboy said.

This crosswalk serves two purposes: It maintains the flow and speed of traffic in this neighborhood and directs pedestrians to cross where the traffic unit would like them to, because, well, who's not going to check out an optical illusion?

“We drove by it a few times and we noticed something different about it," said Greg Bast, who lives up the street from the new installation.

He has two young children and said he’s willing to give anything a shot because the neighborhood’s 30 mph speed limit isn’t enough.

“We have a school up there on top of the hill, a lot of children live in the community and we have a lot of blind curves and hills all the way through this main road and you can’t always see to stop in time,” Bast explained.

Laboy admits the test design isn’t perfect. She says her team will conduct observations and collect feedback from neighbors before adding any future 3D crosswalks.

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