Creative ways to keeping pedestrians safe have popped up all over sidewalks and busy road crossings as of late (like this town in Iceland using 3D art). And the most recent iteration comes in the form of Elvis Presley traffic lights in Friedberg, Germany.
As truly dedicated fans will already know, Friedberg, a small town a little north of Frankfurt, is already quite proud about being the military home of the King of Rock n Roll. He was stationed there between 1958 and 1960 and lived in neighboring spa town Bad Nauheim. Bad Nauheim is equally competitive in its Elvis-related history, it has a golden statue and hosts an annual European Elvis Festival.
Friedberg has had an “Elvis Presley Platz”—Elvis Presley Square, since 1998. This week, they went one step further to cement the two towns friendly rivalry and with mayor and police backing, they installed three Elvis Presley traffic lights. The red signal shows Elvis standing on the mic and the green shows his classic hip swing in action.
Friedberg's First Councilor Marion Götz told German newspaper, the Wetterauer Zeitung, that the project has been in motion since 2016 and cost around €900 (about $1,025) to produce. The article also notes that first reactions from locals have been fairly positive with one passerby saying "I was a bit surprised, but as usual I went at the green." It's sure to be a tourist magnet for fans in town for the festival.
"Ampelmännchen" literally meaning "little traffic light man" is a beloved sign in Eastern Germany and after the fall of the Berlin Wall the "hat wearing traffic light man" became somewhat of a cult status. Recently, new, creative traffic light men have popped up around the country; there are Karl Marx traffic lights in Trier and Augsburg's created "Kasperl" traffic lights, an ode to a beloved puppet loved by the town.