September 25, 2013
The ‘Little Traffic Light Man’ That Could

BERLIN — Perhaps motivated by his Communist surroundings, East German traffic psychologist Karl Peglau wanted a pedestrian traffic light for the proletariat. Everyone from the color-blind, to the elderly, to children uses sidewalks, he reasoned, so why not a “walk/don’t walk” symbol that makes sense to anyone—and, ideally, reduces traffic fatalities too.
In 1961, he devised a “walk” man in a straight-legged stride and a “don’t walk” man with arms outstretched like a cheerleader. He gave them noses and hands so as to “appropriately provoke the desired pedestrian behavior through emotion.”
Thus was born the Ampelmännchen, or “little traffic light men,” the hatted, purposeful-looking indicators that helped direct traffic in East Germany and have since gained cult status.
Read more. [Image: Flickr/scjody]

The ‘Little Traffic Light Man’ That Could

BERLIN — Perhaps motivated by his Communist surroundings, East German traffic psychologist Karl Peglau wanted a pedestrian traffic light for the proletariat. Everyone from the color-blind, to the elderly, to children uses sidewalks, he reasoned, so why not a “walk/don’t walk” symbol that makes sense to anyone—and, ideally, reduces traffic fatalities too.

In 1961, he devised a “walk” man in a straight-legged stride and a “don’t walk” man with arms outstretched like a cheerleader. He gave them noses and hands so as to “appropriately provoke the desired pedestrian behavior through emotion.”

Thus was born the Ampelmännchen, or “little traffic light men,” the hatted, purposeful-looking indicators that helped direct traffic in East Germany and have since gained cult status.

Read more. [Image: Flickr/scjody]

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    The ‘Little Traffic Light Man’ That Could BERLIN — Perhaps motivated by his Communist surroundings, East German traffic...
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    love this walking man
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    Found out today I’m going to Berlin and Munich for a week in November. Absolutely thrilled.
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