The Bizarre Legend Behind The Upside-Down Traffic Light in New York
A friend of mine told me about something strange you can find in a neighborhood in Syracuse. There is a traffic light that is upside down in the Tipperary Hill neighborhood. Yes, upside down, like the red light is on the bottom and the green light is on the top.
So, why was up out up the wrong way? Well, that's a bit of legend that involves Irish immigrants in the neighborhood.
As the story goes the original traffic light was put up at the intersection of Milton Ave and Tompkins Street back in the 1920s. Shortly after it was put up it was destroyed by Irish residents. They would stand near the intersection and throw rocks at the traffic light until the glass was broken and it stopped working.
The city replaced the traffic light several times and finally asked the "stone-throwers" why they were destroying the traffic light. The reason they were throwing rocks? Because a typical traffic light has red over green and the red light represents the English and the green light represents the Irish. The reasoning was that there was no way the Irish living in the neighborhood was going to let the English Red be over the Irish Green. The city decided that instead of letting the "stone-throwers" continue to destroy the traffic light over and over they would put up a traffic light with the green light on the top and the red light on the bottom to make everyone happy.
According to www.onlyinyourstate.com, for St. Patrick's day, they paint a huge green shamrock on the road right under the Tipperary Hill traffic light.
There is even a statue and a historical plaque depicting the stone throwers that made this the only upside-down traffic light in the country.