Pedestrian Crossings in England
Why keep something simple when you can make it effortlessly more complicated? Most
parts of the world have pedestrian crossings which are commonly known as Zebra Crossings.
The well known British love for animals (and birds in particular) drove them to divide
pedestrian crossings into: Zebra Crossing, Pelican Crossing, Toucan Crossing, Puffin
Crossing and Pegasus Crossing.
They all lead essentially to the same objective, but with subtle variations that only the
acute observer can fully appreciate. The trouble is that you are required to be this acute to pass your
One of these crossing gave enough trouble and therefore reasons, to the city of Brighton to
install a sign teaching people how to cross the road.
The sign was placed right in the middle of a roundabout, where you had to use the crossing
before you could read it; unless of course, you were born, raised and never left that roundabout in your entire
life. But I am sure they had a perfectly logic reason for doing such a thing.
The Puffin crossing is a novelty in town. This crossing no longer uses the world wide well
tested green man across the street to tell you that it's safe to cross.
So now when you are waiting to cross, looking across the street will give you absolutely no clue
if it’s red or green for you, as the traditional green man has gone for a long walk. There is absolutely
nothing telling you to either wait or cross and you have the clear impression that there is no pedestrian crossing
installed at all, as it often happens in this country (more on this later). Instead the green man appears on two different devices mounted on a pole on the pavement,
where nobody looks, because everyone - obviously - looks across the street: one device is positioned very
low, for children it would seem and one way too high for a normal height person... it makes you wonder if it
has been designed with horses in mind and "YES" they are all like this.
Back to the actual absence of crossings. This happens often in this country and mostly at very
busy crossings, like the one in London to cross Sloane Street right at Knightsbridge.
Basically the city’s officials do not want to take responsibility for a certain busy crossing,
so they decide to eliminate the crossing altogether. At that location people will cross the street anyway,
but theoretically they shouldn't, so if they end up being killed, the City is covered, as in theory it bears
no responsibility. Go explain this to the family of that tourist killed while crossing the road where hundreds of
people cross everyday.
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