Cyclists were encouraged to slow down thanks to this crater-sized “hole” in the middle of a towpath.
But the hole is an optical illusion, a three-dimensional drawing of a canyon, in an attempt to make careless cyclists hit the brakes rather than ride dangerously and ignore pedestrians. The pavement art, the work of Joe Hill and Max Lowry, who specialise in three-dimensional images, was commissioned by British Waterways and was installed along the Regent’s Canal towpath in Islington, North London.
Mr Hill and Mr Lowry have been working on street art together for around five years. While cyclists slowed down to avoid the hole, British Waterways staff were there to advise on safe cycling. The company will keep the image, unveiled to mark national bike week, for use in other areas. Joseph Young, British Waterways’ towpath manager, said: “The majority of cyclists share the space amicably. “However, there are a handful who refuse to slow down. That’s why we commissioned this art – we hope it will shock.” Mr Young, who covers the city’s 100 miles of rivers and canals, said; “As a cyclist myself I can definitely say this isn’t about trying to restrict access to the towpaths for bikes – it’s about appropriateness.
“The towpaths are often narrow and are full of historic furniture such as low bridges, lock landings and bollards, all of which are part of the charm of the canal, but aren’t ideal for cyclists who need to get somewhere in a hurry.”