In the UK we have zebra crossings, pelican crossings, puffin crossings, pegasus crossings and toucan crossings, all different types of pedestrian crossings. Did you know, though, that for a short time there was a panda crossing? This is a picture of the first one, unveiled at Waterloo in 1962 (note the Mayor, right, carrying a panda as he crosses) but it was wildly unpopular and too confusing.
From BBC On This Day:
One old lady, who was one of the first pedestrians to use the new crossing in York Road, was not impressed.
She said: “That man Marples is up to too many tricks. It’s a hairbrained scheme and most dangerous.”
Wait. What? There different types of pedestrian crossings in Britain? In the US we only have one. Someone please explain.
Of course! Not all roads are created equal. So:
1. Zebra Crossing. Your classic Beatles deal, although it usually has these zig zag lines on either side of it so cars can’t park there and block the view of oncoming traffic. You have right of way when you start crossing. If you’re British, you will DRAMATICALLY SIGH, glare, or tut if a car zooms through it while you’re getting ready to cross.
2. Pelican Crossing. [Pedestrian Light Controlled]. For bigger streets, usually, like crossings over a busy road or high street. You press the button, which shows WAIT and then you have to wait for the man to go green befor you can technically cross. For the visually impaired, there’s a little swirly thing under most button consoles and it turns when it’s time to cross.
3. Puffin Crossing. [Pedestrian User-Friendly Intelligent crossing]. You see these more and more in London now (and elsewhere) because they’re better than Pelican Crossings for the visually impaired. The Green/Red Man is next to you on the pole rather than across the street. Otherwise it’s largely the same as a Pelican Crossing. You press the bottom button, wait for it to go green, and then cross. There is often a swirly thing for the visually impaired.
4. Pegasus Crossing. For horses! Now moving towards the Puffin model of showing the red or green horse on the pole next to you rather than across the street, the little command box is raised up the pole to make it easier for riders to hit the button while on their mighty steed. Sometimes they have wooden fences to keep horses back while they wait.
5. Toucan Crossing. For people + bicycles. TWO CAN. Get it?
is the uk even real