As an occasional cyclist, I love Michael Bloomberg’s aggressive push to put bike lanes all over Manhattan. But now that cycling in the city is easier than ever, the three-way traffic patterns between bikes, cars, and pedestrians can make navigating the average intersection feel like a dangerous game of Frogger. Ron Gabriel created a video showing a bird’s-eye view of one such intersection for his MFA thesis at the School of Visual Arts, which uses jittery motion graphics to highlight dozens of near-misses.
Modern traffic is a 3-way street, to use Gabriel’s coinage, but his video shows that old habits (like jaywalking, failing to yield, and running red lights) die hard. By putting bold graphic indicators around each wayward pedestrian, vehicle, and bike — and pulsing them in an angry red when a near-collision occurs — Gabriel’s video shows just how often we Manhattanites come to dying hard, too. After all, the Mad Max-esque deathtrap depicted in Gabriel’s video is just one of over 12,000 intersections in Manhattan. And intersections are where 74% of crashes occur.
Gabriel’s video is part of a campaign he designed called “3-Way Street” involving posters and a yet-to-be-unveiled website. With this chillingly designed video, he’s definitely found an effective way to preview his message. Are you watching, Mr. Bloomberg?