A German town has installed a set of Elvis-styled pedestrian crossing lights because why not?
There are a few things in today’s day and age that can be horrendously confusing. Bathrooms without a clearly labeled “Men’s” and “Women’s” (or the slightly less common “Family”) sign can be just awful if a bar prefers to label such places with novelty pictographs of a bull and a swan. Which one do you go to? The masculinity of the male swan is unmistakable if you’ve ever met one during breeding season, and some bulls look enough like cows that it’s equally confusing whether it’s the man’s or woman’s washroom.
So too can a similar problem happen with pedestrian crossings. Most crossings will show an upraised red hand for when pedestrians should hold fast, while a green walking man displays when pedestrians should walk. There are variations around the globe, such as standing red people or running green people, but by and large, this is a signage convention that is understood the world over.
And now a town in Germany is mucking it all up with a set of Elvis-styled crossing signals.
Friedberg, Germany, has installed three crossing signals featuring the late, great Elvis Presley in two of his signature poses. For stopping, he’s simply holding a microphone upright with his legs on either side in a sort of dynamic position. For walking, he’s shown performing one of his trademark hip swivels, with the exact position modeled after snapshot taken to advertise Jailhouse Rock.
Located just north of Frankfurt, Friedberg was the former home of Elvis when he was stationed at Ray Barracks during his stint in the US Army. The place has become something of an Elvis Mecca, even going so far as naming an entire town square after the famous crooner.
But here’s the confusing part: both positions shown in the crossing signal are technically stationary. While Elvis’s feet are nearly entirely off the ground, he returns to the same position while swiveling his hips and doesn’t actually go anywhere. So the only thing that actually notified citizens it's their turn to walk is the green hue of Elvis up on his tippy toes.
Maybe Friedberg will install some audible cues to announce when pedestrians should cross. Perhaps “Paralyzed” for when to remain and “You’ll Never Walk Alone” when it’s time to go.