I suppose that in a Utopian world, there would be no highways running through fragile wildlife ecosystems at all — and we’d have done away with the impossibly dangerous individually driven vehicle long ago anyways, and made way for safer, more efficient modes of transit like high speed rail. But for now, it’s a a very real, unfortunate result of our current highway system that animals who wander upon its path are pretty often made into roadkill.
And though it’s no mystery why nobody’s come forward with ways to better protect wildlife (and drivers) from highway traffic — nobody has a vested interest in protecting random animals; no one can make any money doing so — it’s still a little odd that we haven’t seen more efforts like that of the Animal Road Crossing Competition.
The ARCC is a design contest aimed at finding ways to meld our highways (and I suppose later on, our high speed rails and so on) with the surrounding environment to better protect both animals and drivers (hitting deer on the road often leads to fatal accidents). Here are some of the top designers’ visions for what that would look like:
Regardless of practicality, or the possibility that any of these might actually be built, it’s interesting to consider how we might better build our infrastructure to coexist with nature — as our built frontier press ever-outward, and the need to preserve habitats grows more acute, we might indeed start seeing more design like this in the mainstream.
Learn more about each of the design projects at the Globe and Mail, where all images are credited.