This YouTube video documents pedestrian advocates in Lisbon, Portugal replacing the white “zebra” stripes in a crosswalk with the stenciled names of 137 pedestrians killed by cars. On the curb, the tagline reads: “1/4 das vítimas de acidentes de automóvel são peões.” 1/4 of the victims of automoboile accidents are pedestrians.
The typographic crosswalks were installed in May 2007 at four locations by the ad agency DraftFCB Lisbon for the advocacy group Associação de Cidadãos Auto-Mobilizados with support from Liberty Insurance and JC Decaux. The action generated a bit of media attention to the issue during “Safe Street Week.” (via)
In the Concorde station of the Paris Métro, the tunnel for line 12 is decorated with tiles spelling out the text of the Déclaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, a foundational document of the French Revolution. See more photos on Flickr or this panorama.
This works in so many ways: as a beautiful display of public typography; as a visualization of the correspondence between human rights and public transit, between policy and infrastructure, between theory, practice, and everyday life. In its deadpan presentation, there’s also something of a memorial to it which seems appropriate given its proximity to Place de la Concorde, previously Place de la Révolution, the site of the guillotine.
Not to mention a passing resemblance to The Matrix.