Mystery zebras earn their stripes at ‘killer crossing’

A passer-by spots one of the zebras. Photo: Alan Boyles

Seven identical zebras have been stencilled onto a Hackney road in an apparent protest over a delayed pedestrian crossing.

The graffiti, which appeared in the early hours of Thursday morning, comes after years of community anxiety about the spot, near the junction of Lower Clapton Road and Downs Park Road, in Clapton,  locally known as the ‘killer crossing’.

Nearby resident Luisa Miller, 27, a student, said many local people believed the junction was dangerous. “Community groups and local councillors have been campaigning for a zebra crossing to be put in for the past three years, but nothing has happened,” she said.

Ms Miller added: “There have been a few car accidents, one a couple of weeks ago. Last year the council promised to put one in, and they made the same promise again this year. There was also a Transport for London (TFL) consultation but nothing has come of it.”

Local people have been supportive of  the “playful” nature of the stencilled images, Ms Miller said, adding that they had particularly appealed to children on the morning school run.

She called the novel protest  a “comment on local planning.”

“It’s citizens taking action in their own environment. People can’t wait endlessly for things to happen, they have to do it themselves.”

The campaign for a crossing has been led by the Clapton Pond Neighbourhood Action Group and Hackney police.

Councillor Ian Rathbone, chairman of the CPNAG said: “Although this is some horsing around by persons unknown, it is great what they have done.

“It is time for TFL to hoof it down to this road and complete the safety works we have been pressing them for.”

However, Coun. Rathbone pointed out that it was in fact a pelican crossing that was required, as a zebra crossing would be no use, “but it did make me laugh when I went past it”, he added.

The junction has been identified for investigation and was included in the 2007/08 Road Safety Programme as one of the worst junctions and sections of road in London with relation to personal injury collisions.

A petition for a crossing has also be set up and can be accessed here.


  1. ewebber November 12, 2010
  2. ewebber November 12, 2010
  3. Margaret Beck July 18, 2020

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