Elvis Presley Traffic Lights

Today is the 46th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death on 16th August, 1977.

During his time in the U.S. Army, he was stationed at Ray Barracks in Friedberg (Germany) between October 1958 and March 1960.

To show their connection to the singer, the town has a square called “Elvis-Presley-Platz” which even has traffic lights showing his silhouettes.

Elvis-Presley-Platz, Friedberg
Elvis Presley Traffic Lights in Friedberg


… is another word for a set of traffic lights:

Ersatzneubau von drei Verkehrssignalanlagen

Why are there two red men?

One of the things that I’ve always wondered about in Germany, is why some pedestrian crossings – eg. in Nordrhein Westfalen – have two red men on them:

Pedestrian traffic lights in Cologne

Pedestrian traffic lights in Cologne

I have two theories:

1. It reinforces the red light by having two.  If one stops working, the other one should still light up.

2. It’s cheaper because the towns only need to buy one type of light and then use different filters on them, rather than buying 3-lamp and 2-lamp lights.  Surely it must use more energy, though?

Does anyone know the answer?

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