Memorializing Pedestrian Victims in Portugal

In Lisbon, Portugal, pedestrian advocates have replaced zebra stripes in some crosswalks with names of pedestrians killed by cars. This action seems to have at least some government support, and it did gain media attention, but what of its effectiveness as a safety tool in and of itself? 

Obviously, the design speaks loud and clear to pedestrians (for better or worse, as their eyes are drawn to the road, rather than oncoming traffic). Though there is a small sign pointing out that many crash victims are not in cars, motorists passing at speed will never see the names as they drive over them — a sad, and probably unintended, metaphor.

How might memorials such as this be designed to get the attention of drivers as well? 

Video: thedlab/YouTube

  • niccolo machiavelli

    Props to KBA Flatso.

  • buford puser

    Here’s a link to a story (in Portuguese) about the dedication of the first ghost bike in Sao Paulo (Brazil); the event got pretty good coverage from local media according to friends who attended:
    http://luneluna.blogspot.com/2009/01/homenagem-marcia-prado.html

  • Notice that the pedestrians are now looking at the markings instead of oncoming traffic, while the drivers in cars can’t possibly read the text while driving. This is not a safe memorial.

  • Andy B from Jersey

    However well intended and poignant, I agree with John 100%. NOT SAFE!

  • Guido

    Rumble strips or a speed bump.

  • Notice that the pedestrians are now looking at the markings instead of oncoming traffic, while the drivers in cars can’t possibly read the text while driving. This is not a safe memorial.

    It’s definitely not any safer and probably somewhat less safe. I also think it will means that crosswalks have to be replaced more since they will peel more easily. I’d rather see memorials on sidewalks and on signs or… how about in the way we fund pedestrian improvements?

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