Monday, August 20, 2007

Pedestrian Friendlier

Ok, for the moment, no ironic essay on all those "x-friendly" items, systems, thingamabobs, etc., that litter our world. Rather, two hands clapping for civic improvements in the life of the pedestrian. They are definitely friendlier to the person on foot.

For instance, I kinda like those signals that actually spell out how far the walk cycle has proceeded; you know pretty well whether to try to beat the light or not. Of course, these devices, obviously very expensive, are only located in the middle of town, around the Square.

The city is littered with these tiny buttons that presumably allow the pedestrian to bring up a walk light at certain intersections.

Unfortunately, sometimes they are completely ratted out; even the buttons are missing. And, often, to my frustration, it isn't necessary to push the button, after all. If the walk light is automatic, why spend good tax money on a control system?

I have to admit a preference for the newer, bigger buttons I've seen lately at some corners. You can give them a smart whack with the palm of the hand and the signal is sent on its way. No fishing for the right approach that's necessary for the wee old-style buttons.

Further, a clarification of the ground rules is finally spelled out. Especially that flashing "stop hand" that always catches one in the middle of the street. So finish what you started, the sign explains. Makes sense, but sense isn't necessarily the law.


Avus said...

Over here you can "Walk" whether the light says OK or not. i.e. We do not have a "crime" of jaywalking as in the States.
I think your method is preferable - everyone knows exactly where they are with it.
(says he, as a retired Road Safety Officer!)

quilteddogs said...

Funny commentary. Does Prescott have the crossings that make sounds? I first heard those in Tucson.

Granny J said...

avus -- I wasn't aware of your pedestrian rights in the UK, even after all those fine mysteries on the tube...

QD -- no, but it sounds like an idea! Perhaps a flurry of trumpets for a successful last minute crossing, for example.

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