Chiquito de la Calzada (Gregorio Sanchez) died in November 2017. / SUR

Cost of traffic light memorial to Malaga comedian is no laughing matter

The huge price tag of the unique road signal and the fact that it could also endanger road users may lead to the plan being shelved


Last May the council in Malaga announced plans to install a unique traffic light memorial to honour Chiquito de la Calzada who died in 2017. The Spanish flamenco singer and actor was born in the city as Gregorio Sanchez, but he was more famous as a stand-up comedian.

The original idea was that the usual pedestrian silhouettes on a traffic light would be replaced by movements characteristic of Gregorio to alert pedestrians and also, when in the red or green phase, deliver some of the expressions that the comedian was famous for.

Put safety of users at risk

However, the plan has suffered a setback after a council technical report warned that the road signal would not be suitable for traffic regulation since the sounds could confuse pedestrians with visual disabilities and put the safety of users at risk. Therefore, it could only be placed an ornamental item in a pedestrian zone.

Additionally, according to estimates from a traffic light manufacturer, the design, prototype, tests and manufacture could amount to in excess of 100,000 euros.

"We are going to do everything we can, but what seems clear is that if the traffic light is installed, it would be on a route that is not open to traffic," says the Councillor for Mobility, José del Río, who considers the cost could be cheaper is it was only of an ornamental nature.