walk don’t walk :: new yorker ampelsignale

new york wird eine spur ikonographischer: derzeit werden die alten ampelsignale „walk don’t walk“ gegen entsprechende icons ausgetauscht.

It is a startling yet stealthy change in the cityscape. Those signs were iconic, even if nobody but the Peck & Peck copywriters ever thought much about them. They were in a million photographs, all kinds of movies, and everyone’s memories. They seemed stern yet familiar, and I suspect that for children growing up in New York, they provided the opportunity for the first significant act of civil disobedience. Crossing against a red light was not the same as ignoring the sign–one was merely a light, but „Don’t Walk“ was a command.

The replacement signs have no words. There will be 85,000 of them when the city finishes the installation in midwinter. The new signs use pictographs: graphic symbols for walking (a striding figure in profile) and for stopping (a hand palm-forward, as a policeman’s hand might direct traffic). The figure is white, as the word Walk was; the blunt hand, of course, is red.

Walk Don’t Walk – paul goldberger, metropolis magazine 01/2004

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