You probably never heard of it, but the Dutch town near Rotterdam is just the ‘talk of the town’ after a Silly Walk pedestrian crossing. Crossing is preferably done in as crazy a way as possible and that has attracted the attention of the media around the world, even in China.
The idea came from official Aloys Bijl, who read a similar initiative on Facebook about some jokes in Sweden. The man is a fan of Monty Python and found it a great tribute to a sketch from Monty Python’s Flying Circus from the seventies. In it, actor John Cleese can be seen while walking to the ‘Ministry of Silly Walks’ in a very eccentric way.
The man knocked at the city council of Spijkenisse and that turned out to be open to the idea. Last week the zebra crossing was officially inaugurated at Raadhuislaan, with the unveiling of a special traffic sign showing the profile of a crazy stepping Cleese. That must make it clear that from now on everyone will be allowed to cross the street in the most eccentric way.
According to ships Jan Willem Mijnans, the decision was taken quickly. “It’s a fun action to make people a bit more cheerful”, he says to the Dutch newspaper AD. “Also, in traffic.”
He warns that safety is paramount. “The traffic rules remain in effect. Cars must stop. If it would get out of hand in terms of road safety, we will of course intervene as a municipality. But especially see it as something playful.”
The initiative received a lot of international attention. Both in British and German newspapers, even in China. The British public broadcaster BBC, among others, found it a hit.
Walk this way: The town of Spijkenisse near Rotterdam has unveiled an official sign asking pedestrians to cross the road in a comic way. The new sign is a reference to a Monty Phython sketch. pic.twitter.com/mGGv8bjnkX
— China Daily (@ChinaDaily) October 23, 2018
Dutch ‘silly walks’ crossing is a hit https://t.co/RoHtsqOd98
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) October 22, 2018