Canary Wharf's Traffic Light Tree switched on

By Rob Virtue on January 21, 2014 10:54 AM |

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The switch on of the Traffic Light Tree took place this week after it was installed in its new home on the edge of Canary Wharf.

Pierre Vivant's sculpture was previously at the roundabout at Westferry before the road was reconfigured. But thanks to the tireless work of Conservative Councillor Gloria Thienel it now has a new home next to Billingsgate Market on Trafalgar Way.

Cllr Thienel (pictured below) said it was important that the tree, orginally built in 1998, returned to its roots.

"It's iconic," she said. "It's part of the Island and when it came down the response was phenomenal.

"I'm glad I could help it return to a spot where it's appreciated. People travel from all over the world to see this. It's a big tourist attraction.

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"I proposed this as a site to install it at and it seems a natural home for it. It's seen from the DLR and Canary Wharf.

"It couldn't go back in it's original position but it's the next best place. Thanks to the support of The Wharf and Tower Hamlets Public Realm we were able to secure it."

The lighting up ceremony took place on Monday afternoon with mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman flicking the switch.

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Staff from the council's public realm team will continue work on the roundabout in the spring, including painting the electric box green, working on the soil and pruning the trees.

5 Comments

Mike Beattie said:

I (well my car actually) was nearly rear ended at this roundabout recnetly. How misleading is it to apporach this junction to see both a mass of red and gree traffic signals displayed to me and other drivers? This is an accident waiting to happen.

Was road saftey / health and saftely taken into consideration whan placing this Art? Would a pedestrian area be more apporprate for this mass of conflicting road signals?

Nick said:

Mike Beattie - You and anyone else who can't work out that it is not a real light need help and probably shouldn't be driving.
You're comments are a prime example of the nanny state we live in. There is far too much reliance on the state to hand hold us and remove the need for us to think for ourselves and actually use our brains!

Anonymous said:

We're conditioned to respond almost unthinkingly to traffic signals. They're designed to be unambiguous, because drivers usually haven't time to "work out" what they might mean. The moment of confusion caused by an array of signals giving contradictory commands can easily cause the driver of a moving vehicle to make a wrong move or fail to make the right move. Especially for drivers not familiar with the area or unaware of the existence of this art object.

dervoice said:

We're conditioned to respond almost unthinkingly to traffic signals. They're made to be unambiguous, because drivers usually haven't time to "work out" what they might mean. The moment of confusion caused by an array of signals giving contradictory commands can easily cause the driver of a moving vehicle to make a wrong move or fail to make the right move. Especially drivers not familiar with the area or unaware of the existence of this art object.

Anonymous said:

Should have been kept in storage and sold off to the highest bidder!