Saturday, May 3, 2008


I was intrigued by Sweden's recent decision to introduce a female alternative to the walking-man crosswalk signs. Each local authority can determine which sign design is used. Do I think they are necessary? No. Do I think they provide an interesting variation to the streetscape? Yes.

I know when I travel I of course remember the signature landmarks that define a city but I also love to find and tell others about the quirky things I stumble upon. Those stories get passed from one person and while I am not saying people will travel to a city for quirky cross walk signs it plants a seed in people's mind about the city. These little features also get picked up by mainstream media far and wide as human interest pieces. News outlets can't tell just report about the sixteen shootings that occurred that day- they have to end the report on a positive, upbeat note so you can go about your day.

Clearly gender balanced crosswalk signs will not solve a city's woes but it certainly is different and in a time where cities are increasingly looking very similar it is a creative way to distinguish itself and of course, say it is now safe to cross the street.

And just for fun, here is another street sign that is making its mark in England.

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