Is it illegal to scrape with Gludo?

Flares are "illegal" : A city fights for the traffic light woman

So this is her, the femme fatale from Sonthofen. Glowing from within, as every woman should be, she holds her arms wide open, but whoever walked towards her now might not survive. Every femme fatale is latently fatal. And this traffic light in Sonthofen is clearly red.

At the beginning of the year, an envoy from the district government of Swabia must have been standing at the traffic lights Richard-Wagner-Straße at the corner of Grüntenstraße. He had an appointment diagonally across the street in the Oberallgäu district office, couldn't get any further, and in this precarious state of mind the detained officer noticed something incredible: The one who showed him red was a woman! But not in Bavaria, actually nowhere!

A traffic sign, everyone knows, must not contain any disruptive or distracting elements. So no bulges and indentations. Nothing that does not belong to the thing, that is, to the essence of man. This is what it says in the “Guidelines for traffic light systems”. Women are illegal, period. And the officer knew: It has to go!

The traffic lights at the corner of Richard-Wagner-Strasse / Grüntenstrasse were probably not at all surprised by this hostile road user. Ever since the traffic light was born in London exactly 150 years ago in December, it has been used to the sight of angry, angry, cursing people. The first traffic light was in front of Parliament. The London coachmen raged: a lamp wants to force them to stop? Horses shied away, passers-by got under their hooves, deaths were to be lamented. Finally the light exploded, probably with grief and insight. But their colors remained: red and green.

Isn't a guideline a recommendation?

“Red and Green. Yes, that's it! ”Shouts Sonthofen's mayor with irritating passion through his office. Christian Wilhelm wants to keep the traffic light woman and the whole place stands together like a man, no, a woman, behind him. Wilhelm is a child of Sonthofen, 44 years old. The mayor would also pass as a ski instructor, one involuntarily looks for something imperfect in his appearance, while he formulates that a traffic light system is essentially defined by the colors red and green.

The lush green plants look confidently. Indoor plants in men's offices belong to the acutely endangered species, but Christian Wilhelm is clearly a sympathizer of the living. So the never quite normalized. So the variants. So of growth. In a slightly tinted Bavarian language, he lets the phrase “guidelines for traffic light systems” melt on the tongue, tasting every single syllable. Richt-Linie: Isn't there a recommendation in it? The recognition of the responsible citizen's freedom of choice? Of course, mountain people are among the most difficult forms of humanity to standardize.

On the other hand, the Oberallgäuer have never been noticed as the avant-garde of feminism any more than the Upper Bavaria have, not even in traffic.

So how did the traffic light woman get to Sonthofen? The legitimate sister of the Ost-Ampelmann also comes from the east. They didn't even want Berlin, but here, as everyone knows, the ex-GDR traffic lights regulate pedestrian traffic.

The cradle of the traffic light man is Zwickau

Christian Wilhelm can still remember exactly how city and district administrators considered five years ago whether they should not set an example for International Women's Day 2013. Everyone was for it, but which one? We could set a traffic light! Thought the equality officer. These Ostler have recently also had traffic light women, for example in Zwickau and Dresden, but also in Bremen or Cologne.

700 kilometers further to the northeast, the inventor of the east traffic light woman is looking for a bill next to his three Erzgebirge Christmas angels. The "VEB Signaltechnik Zwickau" had once produced all traffic lights in the GDR. That is why the company still calls itself the “cradle of the little traffic light man”. Immediately after reunification, Joachim Roßberg bought his old company for one million Deutschmarks. Nobody knew then that there would soon be Eastern companies for one mark.

Somehow the inventor of gender mainstreaming in road traffic had been imagined a little differently. Joachim Roßberg is almost seventy, a large, autographed photo by Jürgen Möllemann greets you on the wall of his Zwickau office. Guido Westerwelle is standing next to Angela Merkel, who is lounging in a beach chair, and it is completely clear who is wearing the swimming trunks here. An oil painting, slightly fictional, explains Roßberg, and one thing is clear: If this man should ever be inclined to a confession, then it applies to the FDP, the liberal democratic party of Germany, and by no means to gender mainstreaming. And yet, while still in the GDR, he had drawn the red traffic light woman.

She should be a yellow warning light woman

As with the Ampelmann, the wide open arms are not an invitation, but a barrier. It's even a double barrier, because the braids stick out almost horizontally from the head. Rossberg was always very satisfied with his red traffic light woman; but the same in green, no, the same in green would not succeed him. That was probably why he had suggested a yellow flashing warning traffic light woman between the red and green traffic lights to the Saxon Ministry of Transport. Yellow like jealousy and anger of all kinds? The automobile clubs were enthusiastic, but Saxony's transport minister refused. Too expensive. Pedestrian traffic lights with three fields would not be financially viable. That was in September 2004.

At the beginning of the following year, the first women's traffic light in Zwickau at the junction of Werzeit / Crimmitschauer Strasse was shining red and green. “My son drew the green one,” explains Roßberg. Even as a little boy he saw nothing but traffic lights and now runs the company together with his father. Of course, the new traffic light met with not only a lot of sympathy but also hostility from the start.

They probably have no other problems! Said the old white men, preferably, when traffic lights were regulating pedestrian traffic in Dresden within a very short time. Soon there were forty of them. Also a downfall of the West. At the end of 2005 a Japanese delegation appeared in the former "VEB Signaltechnik Zwickau". Yosuke Kurokawa, envoy of the southwestern Japanese prefecture of Ehime, had seen a report about the traffic light women on Japanese television and now wanted some for Ehime too. Japan is a very centralized country, incredibly conservative, but Yosuke Kurokawa was optimistic: “Commitment is everything!” These are the global liberal democrats, Rossberg senior thought. Möllemann and Westerwelle or Hildegard Hamm-Brücher would not have spoken differently. Roßberg could never forgive the GDR for expropriating his family, who had been grocery and liquor dealers for almost 200 years.

In Prague an artist was fined 3,300 euros

Maintaining a traffic light is a completely inexhaustible activity, as opposed to creating it from scratch.

Of course, that doesn't always turn out well. When the Prague residents were standing at their traffic lights as usual more than ten years ago, one-legged people, drinkers and pissers suddenly gave them the green light. For more diversity on our crossroads! But the city sued the author Roman Týc for “damaging and endangering a public facility”. Finally, the Robin Hood of the Prague traffic lights was sentenced to 3,300 euros in damages for the reassembly, of which he served 2,500 through alternative prison stays.

Not a good omen for Soho. In the case of the mayor of Sonthofen, should one even have to speak of resistance to state power in office? Especially since the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior in its “Introductory Decree” to the Rilsa, the “Guideline for Signaling Systems”, of December 2, 2015 expressly decreed that only official symbols should be used in the Free State, i.e. Western men. The district government was also able to justify this: "Only if the traffic lights are designed in accordance with the law are they binding administrative acts in the form of a general decree."

In Christian Wilhelm's eyes it shines as if he wanted to doubt that the essence of a traffic light is to represent “a binding administrative act in the form of a general decree”. Rather, what is decisive is something that an old man from Sonthofen, vis-à-vis the femme fatale, later put it like this: “Has an accident ever happened here because of this Woib? ... So what! I like her! She remains doa. "

Superior to the man: a larger illuminated area

The traffic light woman not only does not cause accidents, adds Christian Wilhelm, but prevents them. Studies have shown that the east traffic light men and women are clearly superior to the west men due to their much better visibility and their larger illuminated area.

And Sonthofen's mayor is not alone. The district government recently discovered 21 illegal traffic light men in Neu-Ulm. And then there is the case of Augsburg. Right under the eyes of the district government, Spitalgasse, at the corner of Milchberg, has been blinking green since July 2017. Isn't a Punch even more dubious than a woman? The government put up bitter resistance, but in the end could only get the usual traffic light to appear when it was red. She withdrew to the point of view: We don't care what our citizens do when it comes to green. Wilhelm notes it with satisfaction.

We don't care what our citizens do when it comes to green, the city elders of Friedberg must have thought when they just put three Elvis traffic lights into operation at the end of November 2018. It was once stationed there. On green it looks like the King of Rock 'n' Roll is falling, but that's just the swing of the hips. And as he stands on red, no, stalls!

In general, it was a good year for traffic lights that are absolutely not binding administrative acts in the form of a general decree. Worms probably installed the most beautiful one. Martin Luther red and green, waiting and running: Here I stand ... I can do it differently! In 2021 it will be 500 years ago that Luther had to explain himself to the Reichstag in Worms.

"No contemporary image of women"

And Berlin will most likely be the first city next year to introduce March 8, Women's Day, as a public holiday. Actually, this would be an opportunity to contrast the thousands of traffic light men with one or even two traffic light women. Solidarity with Sonthofen!

But Berlin tends towards Teltowism. The Teltow parliamentary group leader of the SPD, Christine Hochmuth, flatly rejected the request in 2012 to introduce the traffic light woman in Teltow. A woman “with long pigtails and a swinging skirt” does not convey “a contemporary image of women”. Berlin followed her.

Joachim Roßberg in Zwickau raises his eyebrows to the resigned height of a silent comment. Didn't Christine Hochmuth see that she was a girl?

People follow those in whom they recognize themselves. Rossberg wanted to design a signet for children. Of course he could have drawn a boy, but he made a girl. Braids protruding at right angles do not symbolize obedience, Pippi Viktualia Rollgardina Peppermint Efraim's daughter Longstocking proves that.

Teltowists of all stripes consider a gender-neutral traffic light symbol to be more contemporary. The bear is already being talked about in Berlin. But isn't that - a man? It's called the lion, the fox, the wolf. All the big, clever animals are male, but it's called the ant, the snipe, the cockroach, the mountain hat. You can't do anything about that until now.

In Oberallgäu, the district government has indicated that it will no longer inquire about the progress made in dismantling the Sonthofen traffic light women. “Let them come and dismantle them yourself!” Christian Wilhelm had said last.

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