Sunday, 11 August 2013

Pedestrian Crossings: WAIT

It's Summer holidays time, and I've dug deep into my early street photography archive and have discovered a nice selection of 'Pedestrian Crossing' photos that I took during holiday trips in France and Germany during the mid-1980s. Unfortunately I didn't keep a record of the exact locations, as I was mostly after the images of the signs, with an unexpectedly wide range of illuminated crossing people.
Today I'll begin with the red WAIT ones:
my jolly red giant

keep hands in pockets

gents in trilby hats must not cross road

don't stand in the road

minimal red

twins must wait

stop and count the dots

In the UK, these type of pedestrian crossings were originally given the name 'X-Way' - as in 'crossway', just like 'motorway' or 'subway'. The 'X' or 'Cross' was exactly what the driver could do when an illuminated white cross was showing on the signal. A red circular light meant 'stop - pedestrians crossing', amber was 'stop - unlesss unsafe to do so', and flashing amber was 'give way as pedestrians have priority'.

As for the pedestrian: the red figure - 'Wait, drivers have priority', the green figure - 'Cross, vehicles are stopped', and the flashing green figure - 'Give Way - pedestrians have priority'.

The new 'X-Way' was launched in 1967 by the Mayor of Lincoln, in the City of Lincoln's very own High Street. The following day the Sheffield Morning Telegraph reported:

"In time local motorists will understand them, but strangers from places where they are not in operation will be utterly confused".

the latest addition to the collection: Blois, France 29th August 2013

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