#TIL: Green over red: a traffic light’s tale

Today I Learnt (TIL) is a weekly series by OMI that brings you interesting nuggets of information that you didn’t know you needed. Follow us on Twitter for regular updates.
On the left: Inverted traffic Light at Tipperary Hill. Source: Dawn Amsbaugh (Pinterest)
On the right: A statue installed at the intersection in 1996 depicting an Irish immigrant father pointing towards the light and explaining its significance to his wife and children. Source: Sandy Fillinghan (Pinterest)

We presuppose our public sphere to be a value neutral realm populated by ideologically sterile objects. Urban transport infrastructure can be stultifying in its conformity. But as this example shows, visceral notions of nationhood, belonging and communal identity can pervade even the most routine aspects of our civic life.

Infrastructure both reflects the inside lives of the community that surrounds it and fashions the way individuals think about the world around them. The traffic light at Tipperary Hill is a call for us to invert orthodox ideas about how urban infrastructure ought to be perceived. Maybe there’s an analytical pot of gold hidden at the end of the next traffic light intersection.

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Ola Mobility Institute

Ola Mobility Institute

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