A picture of how it feels

Here’s a little homage to a classic image that blew our minds when we saw it, and now we see things differently everywhere we go

Artist Karl Jilg created this for the Swedish Road Administration decades ago, and it’s still super powerful today.

It was part of the “battle for hearts and minds” angle of the slow, comprehensive, strong shift the Swedes have made in how they see streets, roads and people.

Power in pictures?

In 1997 the Swedish government adopted “Vision Zero”, whose comprehensive and committed implementation (unlike our limp version) has halved – yes, cut by 50%, ERADICATED A WHOLE 1/2 – of their annual road deaths.


What about here at home, where our great “Road To Zero” version of the Swedish Vision Zero is in such a sorry state? One big reason why is the public unpopularity of things that make us drive slower, make driver licences harder to get, having tougher speeding penalties etc etc.

Karl Jilg’s picture inspired Mexican graphic artist Fran Alburquerque to make the amazing visual we bastardised into this article’s banner – see the real thing here. Alburquerque says he’s “visualizing in a different way how much space we’ve given to cars in our cities”.

So, how does Jilg’s image – or Alburquerque’s – make you feel about initiatives that would take street space away from motor vehicles (the chasm) and make it usable for people?

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