I was cycling from Islington to Old Street this afternoon and saw a sign saying ‘Cyclists, push button for Toucan crossing’. Odd, as there weren’t any Toucans in site.
Joking aside, I realised I had no idea what this unusually named highway device is. So I look up Toucan crossing online to find out what that it is one of a menagerie of animal themed crossing devices. How many of the following have you heard of?
Pelican crossing – this is the pedestrian crossing that everyone has heard of. It’s name apparently comes from PELICON, a shortening of pedestrian light controlled. From which a whole ark of possibilities emerges…
Toucan crossing – this is one that both pedestrians and cyclists can use, so-called because ‘two-can’ cross. Clever.
Puffin crossing – no, this is not a crossing for children. This is the one that has the pedestrian signal at eye-level above the button. It also includes a pedestrian sensor that checks when pedestrians have finished crossing. Hence the name pedestrian user-friendly intelligent crossing.
Pegasus crossing – like a Toucan crossing, but this time for horses.