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Walking Woman

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Haarlem: Walking Woman

I just got back from a trip to Europe, where I saw the first example I’ve seen of a walking-woman signal, in the Dutch town of Haarlem (I’ve seen pics of walking man-and-woman signals before, but not just a woman). I like the way her sex is indicated, not by the traditional skirt typical of washroom signs, but by a jaunty ponytail. It’s also clear that her body has a more female shape than the traditional walking man.




  1. She has a North American figure. Go figure.

  2. This is wonderful. I wish there were more instances like this of a female being presented as the default sex. This seems so strange but it shouldn’t.

  3. With this example in mind, why doesn’t Toronto adopt a Michael Snow “Walking Woman” standard for its signals?

    I’m being serious. (And being “art”, it sidesteps the need to be “gender non-specific”.)

  4. Mr. Leschinski: They were cool enough that they’ve been posted to a blog on the other side of the world. How do you consider that “waste” ?

  5. Thanks for posting. Terrific! Love the idea that we can mix up these signs… Reminds me of the signs in the Vienna subway and streetcars which tell people to give up their seats for older people, people with accessibility issues, pregnant women – also fantastic graphics worthy of T-shirts.

  6. Adam – I love that idea. I was just in the AGO tonight and saw Snow’s various Walking Woman variations again. Imagine a Canadian art icon all over the city.

  7. Next, a person walking his/her dog on the Green, with the dog seated beside her/him on the Red?

    Ditto with a baby stroller, bundle buggy, etc.

    It IS a nice change, regardless.

  8. “Imagine a Canadian art icon all over the city.”

    …and less haphazardly obnoxious than when Mel went all Pachter on us with the fiberglass moose in 2000.

    Wonder if Michael Snow himself would be game to it?

  9. Mr. Valueformoney; You think it’s a good use of public money if something gets posted on a blog? I bet all the tourists will be flocking there now to see them, and the countries exports will double!!!!

  10. Leschinski, those traffic lights save money because they are made of LEDs instead of normal lightbulbs, so they use a lot less energy and they last much longer. In many cities in Europe, we are in the process of substituting traffic lights, as they die or become defective, with LED ones.

    Besides, a LED traffic signal has a circle of dots that are programmed to be lit in full (for cars) or with a design (for pedestrians). It’s easy to program a signal to have any figurine that you like.