In a street near the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, passers-by could recently see a green traffic light turned to a green heart. Another one could be found in Žerjavićeva Street, at the intersection with Gundulićeva Street. Yet another one was at the intersection of Ilica and Sveti Duh Street. Green hearts have spread throughout the city, shining for a few seconds and then disappearing. In order to see they again, you would have to wait for a red light to turn to yellow, and then finally to green again, reports Jutarnji List on February 17, 2017.
This week, an unknown person – or persons – placed black tape on several traffic lights in Zagreb, modelling the green lights into the shape of a heart. It was done during the night, so the surprise in the morning was complete. The motive is not yet known. Was it to provoke a brief smile on the face of passers-by, to become famous on social networks, or to make a gesture towards that special someone on this Valentine's Day, we do not know.
However, the police are not too happy. According to regulations, “it is forbidden to place on road signs anything which is not in connection with the meaning of the sign”. The penalty for the offenders is 2,000 kuna. However, the police so far do not have any suspects, so it is assumed that the “culprits” will remain unpunished. “Police officers will visit the relevant locations and notify the authorities to remove the tape”, announced the police officially.
The authorities in question is Zagrebačke Ceste (Zagreb Roads) municipal company, which takes care of traffic signals in the city. They say that they suspect some artist did it. “When someone reports any irregularity on road signs, it is our job to remove it so that traffic is not impeded”, said Vlado Suša, spokesman for Zagrebačke Ceste. “If it is just a black tape, then it is enough to peel it off, but if the traffic light is damaged, then we need to remove the glass and put in a new one”, said Suša, adding that in the last ten years they had two similar cases of people taping something over traffic lights.
Situation such as this does not occur only in Zagreb. Four years ago, green hearts appeared in Zadar as well. The person who made the hearts was never found. Similar scenarios took place in other European cities as well. In Brussels in 2008, a group of citizens also created heart-shaped traffic lights. The self-proclaimed “commandos of love” used cover of night to rapidly climb the traffic lights and tape their patterns.
So, it is possible that such a network now exists in Zagreb as well, or that the culprits are just people who want to insert a little bit of love in everyday life. The case remains a mystery for now, until the next year’s Valentine’s Day when we may again see hearts at traffic lights.