Friday, October 17, 2008

Venetian Traffic Light

photo by Sean AntonioliSean sent me this rare shot of the oft-talked about but rarely seen traffic signal in a canal on the west side of Venice.
Click on the image and look closely to see the signal - suspended above the water.
I don't know if boaters actually yield to the signal.
What do you think?


Anonymous said...

Nope. No one stops for it. As you know, bringing a boat to a stop and then starting again uses a lot of energy. The best I've observed is a little slowing for those who have the red signal.

The light is at the intersection of Rio Nuovo and Rio de Santa Margherita. While passing through that area dozens of times this past summer, I never saw the light change. The light is always green for Rio Nuovo.

The traffic is much heavier (perhaps 20 to 1) on Rio Nuovo and is mostly taxies coming from Ple Roma and Ple Ferrovia, going toward S. Toma. The occassional boat on Rio d S. Margherita approaches the intersection, ignores the red light, and turns left toward Ple Roma, slowing and giving the usual two blasts.

That small hut in the background is right at the edge of one of the corners. Perhaps it is the place where the signal operator once worked. It is constantly empty now, just as the signal is unchanging.

Gondola Greg said...

Bob, somehow I just KNEW you'd have some good input on this post. :o)
Any idea if there are any other traffic lights governing water traffic in Venice?

René Seindal said...

There's a traffic light in the Rio di Malpago in Dorsoduro. There's no crossing canal but it seems to be connected to a sliding bridge at street level, probably put there for somebody in a wheel-chair to cross the rio.

There's a photo here:

I've seen a photo of it red, probably because somebody pushed the button for the street level bridge.

I've never seen the traffic light in Rio Novo, but then I rarely paddle there with my groups, due to the traffic there. I have always told people that the one in Rio di Malpago was the only one :-)

René Seindal
Venice Kayak

Gondola Greg said...

I'll have to get a photo of that one when I'm out there next.