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Spanish City launches 'female' pedestrian crossings

Source: El Pais - Tue 8th Mar 2016
Spanish City launches 'female' pedestrian crossings

The city of Valencia has introduced new pedestrian traffic lights depicting female rather than male figures.

The lights were presented by the equal rights commissioner in the Mediterranean city, which is now run by the progressive regional party Compromís, on Monday on the eve of International Women’s Day. Located at 20 spots across town, the new crossings feature a male symbol on one side of the street and a female one on the opposite side.

“We want to make women visible as we build the city,” said Commissioner Isabel Lozano.

The initiative comes at no extra cost to taxpayers because the council had already released money to upgrade old traffic signs with new LED ones, the official explained.

Giuseppe Grezzi, Valencia’s chief of sustainable mobility, added that the 20 crossroads were selected on the basis of their high pedestrian density or because they were located near education centers.

Reactions to the move have been mixed. Former Socialist minister Carmen Alborch, a noted feminist, said she approved of the measure “as a way to make women visible.”

But two local residents, Beatriz and Mayte, ages 21 and 27, declared themselves “indifferent” to the new lights.

Another female passer-by called them “sexist” and said that “it would have been better to have installed traffic lights with sounds [for the visually impaired].”

The move is not unprecedented in Spain. Fuenlabrada, a city of 190,000 residents to the south of Madrid, has had female pictograms on four of its traffic lights since 2007. Closer to Valencia, the town of Sagunt has had similar pedestrian signals for the last nine years.

Elsewhere in Europe, cities such as Vienna and Munich also have dual-gender traffic lights.

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Comment on this Story

Apparently so David : And even then, should we assume that the skirted sihouette is indeed a woman and not a Scotsman in a Kilt ? Also, I am concerned that somebody at the Generalitat actually put this a Pedestrian crossing priority ahead of aids for the visual or hearing impaired.
Tumbit - Admin - Tue, 8th Mar 2016
Is it too simplistic to just have flashing green lights rather than male or female or transgender or disabled or righthanded or lefthanded or ginger or blonde or brunette or one-legged or one-armed or even those with odd-coloured eyes, special lights?
David - Tue, 8th Mar 2016

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