E. Coli and Crossing Signals: What's Ruining Our Cities This Week

Berlin's "walking men" found at every crosswalk are too manly for some local feminists. And Portland has yet another issue with water contamination. It's What's Ruining Our Cities!

A crossing signal is ruining Berlin

The little "walking man" who greets pedestrians at Berlin crosswalks has become a beloved icon of the German city. But feminists are fed up with Amplemann—they think it's time for an Ampelfrau to join him. "Women need to be more present in the appearances of our capital's streets," says Martina Matischok-Yesilcimen, Germany's Social Democratic Party district leader, after signing a motion to introduce female walk signals."We're a diverse city, and that deserves to be seen." Other German cities have introduced their own versions of Ampelfrau in pigtails and a dress, but Matischok-Yesilcimen says those are too girly. "We don't want a woman with braids and a flowy skirt." [Businessweek]

E. Coli is ruining Portland

Poor Portland can't catch a break when it comes to its public water supply. A few weeks after a dude peed in one of its drinking reservoirs, the city has issued a boil notice due to the presence of e. coli bacteria found at three locations in its Mt. Tabor reservoirs. The water supplies have been taken offline, but Portlanders are still encouraged to boil all water for drinking or food preparation for one minute. Don't worry though, the risk of getting very sick is small, according to Dr. Paul Lewis, Interim Tri-County Health Officer. "The chance of any health problems related to this water test result is low. If any problems occur, we would expect diarrhea. We monitor cases of bacterial diarrhea and will be aware of any increase following this event." [Oregonian]

Photo by Chris Goldberg