#274: Eyes-right

In an urban environment, sometimes the amount of signage is overwhelming. When some of those signs are safety-critical, there will inevitably be problems.

One example is when crossing a busy one-way street. Assuming traffic is coming from the left, on the road surface, at one’s feet are often printed the words “LOOK LEFT.” This is all very well, but on the far side of the road, adjacent to the pavement, the words “LOOK RIGHT” can be seen -upside down.

Dan_Shirley_left631.jpg

For some reason, I find that I rarely look at my feet when about to cross and so it’s the far set of instructions I see. Interestingly, the fact that they are upside down usually fails to register and I end up, in these circumstances, looking right; ie in the opposite direction to the one from which traffic is coming. Given enough time and attention, I can take another look and avoid disaster but some people must fall foul of a moment’s indecision.

Today’s invention attempts to fix this situation. On the vertical face of the far kerb, the words “<– LOOK LEFT" would be stencilled in the normal, readable orientation (and vice versa on the presently invisible, vertical face of the roadside on which one is standing).

This relies on the kerb being of sufficient height to display the words, but at least only one set is ever visible, reducing the  scope for fateful errors.

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