The signs, which depict a silhouetted woman crossing the road, were from a batch of images outsourced by independent designers that were rejected by the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) for running afoul of the agency’s policies.
The woman on the sign, known as Fru Gårman (‘Mrs. Walkman’), is a gender-sensitive version of her male counterpart, Herr Gårman, a name that translates both as ‘Mr. Walkman’ and ‘This is where you walk’.
The signs erected in Uppsala, however, show a seemingly younger and bustier woman, with a shorter skirt and a somewhat sprightlier step compared with the design that was eventually approved.
According to a report in the local Upsala Nya Tidning (UNT), the female silhouette’s breasts were “too perky”.
The mix up has left staff at Uppsala municipality stumped as to how the signs made it on to the city’s streets.
“Somehow, a rejected variant of the accepted prototype from several years ago was produced and erected on the streets of Uppsala,” Tina Hallin of the Uppsala municipality told The Local.
The 2008 unveiling of the ‘Fru Gårman’ signs was preceding with a great deal of publicity after several designs were rejected for being “too feminine” and for not following the regulations that a new road sign may not erected if it could be confused with an existing design.
The Fru Gårman signs featuring the rejected design have now been taken down around Uppsala, even though there have been no official complaints from the residents.
“Individually, one may think it’s rather dashing, but of course we follow the regulations and will replace it with the original design,” said Christer Åkerlund of the traffic department in Uppsala municipality said to UNT.