Moscow's painted ponies

Zebra stripes for a police traffic safety campaign


Last week, Moscow’s traffic police announced they were going to paint horses and ponies to look like zebras. Why? To remind drivers to drive safely, of course. It’s a literal stunt: the city’s crosswalks are in a zebra style (like the one John, Paul, Ringo and George strode on for the Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover). The faux zebras are part of a campaign to draw attention to children’s safety during the start of the new school year. They will be stationed at five of the city’s busiest crosswalks in central Moscow, and children can ride the animals and learn about traffic rules.

Traffic is a huge concern in Moscow. Last week, Mayor Yury Luzhkov asked the Kremlin for a $130-billion handout to fix the capital’s clogged roads. One survey of 20 world cities found that Moscow had the worst traffic delays of all. The average reported delay was 2.5 hours, and more than 40 per cent of respondents said they had been stuck for over three hours—three times other cities’ averages. At least with the imitation zebras, the kids will have some way to pass the time.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.