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Street Light

Photograph of Streelight

Photograph of Streelight

Many European cities have extensive tram networks. While trams are an easy and efficient means of transportation, they do cause a few problems. The most noticeable of these is the untidy and often ugly wiring that must be put up. Trams run on electricity, so wherever the trams go, the wires must follow. On most streets there is just one set of wires travelling overhead, so the overall appearance is not too badly damaged. However at certain places (such as road intersections), the number of wires crossing each other can become so high that the wiring becomes a mess.

In Salzburg, Austria there are no trams. Instead, the overhead system of wires is used for buses. It is a strange system, since the buses do not have their normal flexibility, being connected to the wires. They cannot turn arbitrarily, and must follow the wires at all times.

I remember wondering what would happen if a bus driver accidentally turned at the wrong place. I concluded that the wires would break and the bus would be stranded in the middle of the street. As a pedestrian it is very interesting to watch the buses turn because when they do, the wire they are connected to stretches and strains, before finally regaining its original position.

The above photograph shows one of many busy crossings in Salzburg. It is located in central Salzburg, and is well connected to the rest of the city. While street lights are considered boring and ugly, they are very important for the proper functioning of city roads and the smooth flow of traffic.

(Entered in the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenges: “(Extra)ordinary” and “Connected“)

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