Workshops and Projects » Urban Intersections Cologne » Pedestrian street crossing



Scarlett Poon
Patricia Vidal

Initial Position

What are the limits for pedestrians? How do they tend to cross the streets? Do they obey the rules? Are this rules necessary?

We observed for one week two different points of the city with this questions in mind. While the days where passing by, more questions came to our mind. What makes people obey or not obey this rules? How about families? HOw do people behave while crossing?

We began in S├╝dstadt, in a little street called ... on the south of Cologne. The streets there are calm with not too much cars or traffic. We observed and took pictures of the people crossing this street. To our surprise, most of then don't care about the traffic light and mostly don't even look on the sides. Although the streets are almost empty (no cars), there is still a pedestrian traffic light. What for? Do they use it? Is it important?

The last day we went to DomHauptbahnhof and Neumarkt, two places on the center of the city. There we find plenty of cars, traffic, and many pedestrians making their own rules. Some of them make their own crossing-path, others use the pedestrian paths as a guide but still try to make their way shorter. Do pedestrians make their own paths? Are this paths limits or guides?

After a while we wondered what if there were no traffic lights for pedestrians at all? And so we found a train station with out them. The need of taking care of them selves was obvious. And so we observed the people and their interactions for a couple of hours. And more questions came on to our mind. What if there is no rule or traffic sign for pedestrians? How would that affect them? How do they react about it? 


Item Overview

#136 Crossing street with red lights

In this location, we observed for 3 days, each day for one hour. During the observation, a lot of people tend to cross the street with red light on. Everyone behaves differently when they cross: some look around first, some just look straight, some are listening to their music, some are talking on the phone or talking to their friends. Different people are crossing: kids, young people, old people, bikers. ... more

15 Jun 2010 by Scarlett Poon

#137 Obeying red lights even there is no cars

There was a family standing in front of the road, not crossing as the red light is on. But obviously there was no cars at all. The parents were standing in front of the kid, the dad was standing next to the traffic light and the mom was standing on another side while the kid is in between them. more

15 Jun 2010 by Scarlett Poon

#148 Crossing with out boundaries

On two different spots at the center of the city, we observed people crossing the streets way beyond the borders made for the pedestrians. Some people walk fast and looking to the sides, making sure there are no cars coming. Some others, walk slow and relaxed.

In many occasions we noticed that the pedestrian's paths were even next to the people crossing, still they cross out of them. more

20 Jun 2010 by Patricia Vidal

#149 An unusual crossing path

This train station is next to a big walking area, sometimes used for short-time markets or public events. There is always many people in this station but not all of them are there to take the train. Many of them just cross over it and keep on with their journey. There are no traffic lights that could help the pedestrian to know when to cross over the rails or not. At first sight, it seems to be a non... more

20 Jun 2010 by Patricia Vidal