• Austria's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Vienna gets gay-themed traffic lights

The Local · 12 May 2015, 10:08

Published: 12 May 2015 10:08 GMT+02:00

The traffic lights in central Vienna show male or female gay couples with hearts - in red for stop and green for go - replacing the usual single, gender-neutral figure.

One hundred and twenty pedestrian crossings will be equipped with the new traffic lights which are intended to show how open-minded Vienna is, Greens MP Maria Vassilakou said.

The new traffic lights will cost a total of €63,000 and are being introduced for a ‘test phase’ which lasts until the end of June.

It’s also hoped they will improve traffic safety as the unusual symbols will attract the attention of drivers and pedestrians, Vassilakou added.

Last year 22 children were injured on pedestrian crossings. Vassilakou said data will be collated to see whether the campaign has really helped traffic safety.

Readers of the mass circulation tabloid Kronen Zeitung have expressed their outrage at the move in the paper's comments section. "That's our tax money - not your private play money! Couldn't a better use for it have been found?" one reader fumed. 

"There's not enough money to help single parents or build new play parks but there seems to be plenty of money for senseless things," another reader complained. 

Toni Mahdalik of the right-wing FPO party called the initiative gender politics "gone mad", and said the money would have been better spent on reducing poverty and unemployment figures.

Singing sewers

Eurovision takes place in Vienna after bearded transvestite Conchita Wurst won last year's contest for Austria with the song Rise like a Phoenix and immediately became a gay icon.

On Vienna's busy high streets and squares, sewers have swapped gurgling sounds for musical tunes.

Cleverly hidden stereo systems inside the gutters play Austria's two winning Eurovision songs - one by Wurst and the other by 1966 champion Udo Jürgens.

They also promote this year's entry, I Am Yours by Austrian trio The Makemakes, currently ranked 21st of the bookmakers' favourites.

Story continues below…

About 40 countries are taking part in the 2015 Eurovision contest, now in its 60th year, and the final will be held on May 23rd.

Vienna also hosts the Life Ball charity event on May 16th to raise money for the fight against HIV and AIDS.

Hollywood actress Charlize Theron, French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier and Conchita will be among the guests.

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Border security tightened after Munich massacre
File Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Austria has "significantly" tightened security measures along its border with Germany and put an elite police force on high alert following the Munich mall attack, a government security chief said Friday.

Rampage shocks Munich leaving nine dead
Photo: Thomas Wolf, www.foto-tw.de

Elite German police were hunting for gunmen who went on a shooting rampage at a busy mall in Munich, killing eight people in cold blood in the third attack on civilians in Europe in barely a week.

Newspaper sellers attacked with iron bar in Vienna
Pfatter/Creative Commons

Three newspaper sellers in Vienna were assaulted by attackers with an iron bar in two separate incidents that took place over one evening this week.

Bank takes new €50 note on Austrian-wide tour
OeNB

Forget Beyonce or Muse - this is the tour you want to make sure you catch in 2016.

Austrian switched at birth unlikely to meet 'real' mum
Mahlknecht/LKH-Univ. Klinikum Graz

An Austrian who may have been switched at birth is unlikely to ever meet her birth parents after a call for hundreds of women to come forward and be tested failed to find another switched baby.

Austria ready for 100km border fence with Hungary
J. Ott/Creative Commons

Austria has finished preparations for building a possible 100 kilometre fence along its eastern border with Hungary.

Outrage after Nazi memorial used for Pokemon battles
Youtube screengrab/funstuffnthings

A memorial to victims of Nazism has become the latest controversial location for Pokemon battles after Pokemon Go hunters visited the site to play the app game sweeping the globe.

Brexit predicted to cut growth in Austria by 0.5%
Ed Everett/Creative Commons

Austria’s Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) announced today that Britain’s decision to leave the EU is expected to cut economic growth in Austria by half a percent by 2020.

Corruption charges against ex-Finance Minister confirmed
A fresh-faced Karl-Heinz Grasser when he entered office over a decade ago. Photo: BIG SHOT / Christian Jungwirth

Austria’s Justice Ministry is expected to announce corruption charges against the country’s former Finance Minister Karl-Heinz Grasser later today following a seven year investigation.

Austria summons Turkey's ambassador following protest
BMEIA

Austria’s Foreign Ministry summons the ambassador for Turkey to discuss the crackdown in the country following the failed coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Politics
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Gallery
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
National
Another 10 million Euros for fresh elections
Society
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Gallery
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
National
It's gonna be hot... here's how to cope
National
Europe's ice cream capital
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Travel
Best Austrian beauty spots
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
National
How to make friends in Austria
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Don't hesitate - break the window
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Sport
Ready to watch some football? Here's how!
National
Cake rules
Politics
Austria's choice for a new president
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Politics
Profile on Norbert Hofer, Freedom Party Presidential Candidate
Politics
Austrian politics explained. TL;DR: worry not.
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Features
Refugees need practical help
Lifestyle
All you need to know about Austrian Faschingskrapfen
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
Why looking good on the ski slopes has never been easier
Lifestyle
Live in Austria? You might develop some of these weird habits
National
How 'Silent Night' rules the carol world
2,477
jobs available