One of the Pride Edinburgh traffic lights | Photo courtesy of Siemens Mobility
As the Scottish Capital gears up for Pride Edinburgh this weekend, people should keep a look out for some of the city’s traffic lights – which have changed in more ways than one.
As part of this year’s Pride celebrations, a series of green traffic signals have been replaced with a series of images synonymous with the LGBTI community.
The lights represent gay, lesbian, trans and straight relationships using four recognized gender symbols.
A total of 35 lights will be dotted along the Pride Edinburgh parade route, which will march from the Scottish Parliament to the Meadows on Saturday (22 June).
The traffic light initiative, which was launched by Siemens Mobility, is designed to showcase and celebrate LGBTI diversity for the city’s 24th annual Pride Event.
Siemens Mobility will remove the LGBTI signs once the parade is over and the roads are reopened to traffic.
‘These special traffic signals drive home our message – we welcome everyone to our city.’
The initiative has been warmly welcomed by Edinburgh’s city council.
‘We’re delighted to be helping to display these diversity symbols through the Old Town as part of this year’s Pride Festival,’ said Councillor Karen Doran, Edinburgh Council’s Transport and Environment Vice Convener.
‘We’re proud to be an LGBT friendly Council and these special traffic signals drive home our message – we welcome everyone to our city.’
Wilke Reints, Managing Director of Siemens Mobility’s Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS) business in the UK, noted that the simple-but-effective idea had taken place in various UK cities in recent years.
‘Diversity and inclusion is very important to us and our employees, and this is a great example of a simple idea having a major impact,’ Reints said. ‘It is one that was first introduced in London in 2016 and since then has gone from strength to strength.
‘For the 2019 celebrations, we’ve worked with local authorities in six cities UK-wide to ensure more diversity symbols are on display than ever before to help raise awareness of LGBT issues.’
This Is Me
The theme of this year’s Pride Edinburgh will This Is Me, and will celebrate the Human of Pride which makes the community so diverse.
In the lead up to the big day, Pride organizer launched Humans of Pride Edinburgh, a photographic project designed to put a spotlight on the everyday lives of the LGBTI community.
This year’s event will also coincide with the 50-year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York. The riots are widely hailed as a turning point in the modern day LGBTI rights movement.
In the past, Edinburgh’s Pride events have attracted tens of thousands of attendees, and have become increasingly popular with each year.