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Vienna changed their traffic lights and how!

Vienna’s world-renowned initiative on LGBT got them eyes all over the world!

Have you ever came across ‘couple’ based pedestrian lights? Well, it does exist in this remarkable city of Austria.

People have come a long way with and still one of the most heated debated topics of human rights is the acceptance of the LGBT community. Though the response it received is undeniably diverse. But Vienna comes under the percentage of the population which showed and with an unlikely way promoted this minority community.

They set up gay traffic lights in their city. Yes, sounds weird but it’s true. Austria’s capital Vienna took this initiative and positioned those LGBT-themed traffic lights in 50 different locations within its city.

This Austrian city, one of Europe’s most visited places, is also known as “The City of Music” for its musical legacy. It also happens to be the origin of the classical musicians Beethoven and Mozart. It is visited by tourists all over the world for its popular tourist attractions such as The Hofburg, St. Stephen Cathedral, Vienna zoo Palmenhaus, Museum of Natural History, etc. And now, they have one more of the many good reasons to visit the city.

Eurovision performance

The pedestrian lights of Vienna unlike any other are tailed with Conchita Wurst’s invigorating powerful performance of Rise like a Phoenix in The Eurovision (Europe’s international song competition organized annually by the European Broadcasting Union watched by over 180 million people) 2014 final which primarily became an influential factor that initialized the city authority’s decision and in the honor of 2015 contest, in Vienna’s Stadthalle, May 2015 they implemented their plan with same-sex red and green traffic lights.

Though it received an overwhelming response, the majority of which were positive and has been accepted by the passersby. Regardless of the LGBT being controversial, it received acceptance in this city of Austria as the campaign symbolizes the effort showcasing Vienna’s openness towards the LGBT community. It promotes the acceptance of the existence of same-sex couples.

The city turned into a beacon of tolerance as well as acceptance as it is exempt from any discrimination in that regard. The decision led to a lot of discussion regarding the money spent on it. It received a heterogeneous response from the pedestrians. It not only shows the positive views towards the community but also, according to the officials the lights developed road safety as it draws the attention of the drivers and pedestrians. The artistry involved in turning the daily trivial traffic light into an attraction is commendable. The drivers are more alert, checks more than once, abide by the traffic rules and the same goes for the pedestrians. Results have shown fewer people crossing the road during the red signal.

The lights include a set of mixed, two female figures, two male figures in “stop” and “go” pictograms. The rules remain the same as red panel means to stop whereas green means to go. The lights initially were made to be temporary but with the overwhelming response and its increasing popularity, by Maria Vassilakou, the Deputy Mayor and Executive City Councillor of Traffic and Transport in Vienna, the decision was modified to keep them as permanent.

The Eurovision and its huge international fan base resulted in drawing media attention and became a massive tourist attraction. These traffic lights can be found in many tourist hotspots.

The exemplary initiative sets a quintessential point, not only it stretches the boundaries but also induces this sense of inspiration for many who long for blending in with the society and ponder about being an experiment that went wrong. The world shall do and can follow the example Vienna set. What do you think about Vienna’s decision? Was it unnecessary? Was it worth the money spent? I’d be glad to know.

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