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Source: The Illustrated London News, Jan. 3, 1857
We often hear that London is growing inconveniently large and populous. This we feel by the distances to be traversed in going to see persons in remote suburbs; but even in the heart of London we are made sensible of its inconvenient populousness. Any one who examines for a quarter of an hour the principal crossings, such as at the Regent-circus, must be struck with the great inconvenience to which passengers are subjected, especially in sloppy weather—a group waiting at the side until the road seems clear, then making a dash across at the risk of a slip and a fall, while a cab or carriage drives pelting past utterly regardless of the safety or cleanliness of the foot-passengers. Even grown men with firm legs may miss the proper moment in a crowded afternoon, and be spattered from head to foot by a conveyance going past their nose, or shaving their back. How much more a timid woman with a litter of children. "Then what exclamations—Good God. Sally, you will be run over!" "Bob will get himself killed some day!" "That was a narrow escape " says one. That was a close shave!' says another. Such are the expressions on the occasion of a cattle-show or a public gathering of any description which causes the streets to be more than usually crowded. Now, it appears to us that all this might be very easily avoided by the simplest clock mechanism conspicuous at the principal crossings causing a tin plate to revolve every minute; the side painted red might be a signal for vehicles to stop and passengers to proceed, blue for passengers to stop and vehicles to proceed. We recommend this to our police authorities. The evil exists, and we should be happy to learn if a better plan can be proposed by any member of the Society of Arts.