It’s unfortunate that Sigmund Freud, noted fan of Vienna, Austria, is no longer alive to analyze the city’s new fleet of traffic lights. While he would probably have a field day with the unconscious meanings behind why there are now gay couples depicted for “stop” and “go,” the rest of us are really just thinking: This is pretty fucking cool.
Vienna’s gay traffic lights, which feature both male and female couples letting you know when it’s safe to roll through an intersection, are meant to do two things: First, they’re intended to make motorists pay more attention due to the size of the lighted area and the novelty concept of seeing couples on their street lights; second, they’re meant to show the world that Vienna is a city of tolerant people who are down for LGBT rights and pride. There may, of course, be some detractors who claim that these lights are offensive because they’re using homosexual couples as a “novelty,” but it’s been far too long since traffic lights have been dominated by single green and red men telling you what to do. Friendly gay couples? You might pay attention to those. And yes, as much as I hate to admit it, the lights are pretty cute, too.
Here’s a picture:
The 120 gay-themed traffic lights aren’t the first development in road safety equality. The Washington Post reports that last year, many traffic lights that depicted male figures were replaced by female ones for scientific reasons.
As in Vienna, German proponents of female traffic lights have also cited scientific reasons despite their political objectives. “One advantage of the ‘traffic light woman’ would be the enlargement of the illuminated area,” the Green and Social Democrats argued in their statement back then.
The German daily newspaper Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung proposed a compromise on Facebook — the introduction of ‘traffic light couples.’ Such couples would furthermore double the size of the illuminated area in traffic lights and make it easier for pedestrians to see them.
That last part, according to the Post, was a joke, but Viennese officials have taken it seriously, because why not? More tolerance and potentially fewer traffic accidents? Who’s not winning in this scenario?
Lead image via AP
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