LGBTQ Pride Month

Traffic Lights In Madrid Will Depict Same-Sex Couples Just in Time For The World Pride Festival

"I think it is great, I love it because that shows the diversity we have in Madrid and I think it is beautiful."

Dozens of traffic lights in Madrid are about to get an unexpected makeover just in time for the World Pride Festival, which is scheduled to take place in the Spanish city from June 23 to July 2 and attract upwards of 3 million people from all over the world. For the first time ever, Madrid's new pedestrian traffic lights will depict same-sex couples. 

Per Travel & Leisure, 72 different intersections in Spain's capital city will soon feature traffic lights with either two men or two women holding hands with a heart between them, and a handful are already in operation in the city center. The signals will change from red to green when it's time to cross the street, as seen below.

Though this might sound like a tedious effort, all it requires is for workers to change the lenses on the lights. 288 new lenses will be dispatched all together, and other new images include that of a man and a woman holding hands and a woman walking by herself.

"I think it is great, I love it because that shows the diversity we have in Madrid and I think it is beautiful," Manuel, a 33-year-old resident of Madrid's world-famous gay neighborhood — Chueca — told Reuters.

According to the Spanish newspaper, El Mundo, the new lights will remain in service permanently, even after the World Pride Festival comes to a close. This traffic light change cost Madrid approximately €21,747 (about $24,473) but that's nothing compared to the €300 million the festival itself is expected to bring to the city.

The publication also notes Madrid is the second Spanish city to feature same-sex couples in traffic lights after San Fernando de Henares, which celebrated Valentine's Day 2017 with lights featuring images of gay and lesbian couples. In 2015, Austria's capital city of Vienna similarly placed LGBT-friendly traffic lights throughout the city when they hosted the Eurovision Song Contest.

Madrid was chosen as the site of this year's World Pride celebration because the city is known for being fun, welcoming, and tolerant. Spanish legislation on LGBT rights is also one of the most advanced in the world, and Spain was one of the first countries to allow same-sex marriages.

In addition to the traffic light makeover, The Local Spain reports city authorities are also considering replacing typical black and white crossings with rainbow colors for the duration of the festival.

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