Abbey Road Might Need a Crossing Guard
After dealing with several decades' worth of pedestrians clogging the crosswalk at Abbey Road, local officials are mulling over hiring a crossing guard to keep would-be Beatles from being mowed down by motorists.
The BBC reports that the Westminster City Council recently met to discuss the possibility, quoting a representative who cautioned that no decisions have been made. "Local Abbey Road ward councillors raised their residents' concerns about the number of tourists spilling into the road and traffic near the crossing at the height of the summer season, and put forward various suggestions, asking the city council to review pedestrian safety and crowd management," he said. "However, no proposals have been agreed by the council, nor the review completed."
As we previously recalled, the Beatles shot the cover photo for their 'Abbey Road' LP in that crosswalk on Aug. 8, 1969, inspiring countless others who've posed for their own version of the image over the years. "I come here all the time and it’s always been the same -- it really does annoy you," complained one cab driver. "All they’re doing is posing on the crossing. Someone’s going to get mown down one of these days, there’s no doubt about it."
In 2010, the British government designated the crosswalk as a landmark, a status typically reserved for historic buildings. "This London zebra crossing is no castle or cathedral," explained heritage minister John Penrose. "But thanks to the Beatles and a 10-minute photoshoot one August morning in 1969, it has just as strong a claim as any to be seen as part of our heritage."