Run, Don’t Walk

It has long been a desire of mine to write a scathing review of the inefficient and generally asinine nature of crosswalk signals. You know what I’m talking about.

Mene, mene, tekel, parsin.

This evening, on the drive home, I witnessed a mother and her kids attempting to cross a busy intersection via the crosswalk. I commend those willing to follow the law of the land and use the designated means of traversing the black-topped earth. All too often I see people, mere feet away from a nearby crosswalk, simply strolling out into the middle of the road expecting safe passage. Were I not a Christian or indifferent to incarceration, I’d happily make such people a permanent red and pink Rorschach test beneath my tires. But I digress.

This mother and her children waited patiently. When the crosswalk sign signaled it was safe to cross, they started walking. Not four seconds later, with less than a quarter of the distance covered by the intrepid pedestrians, the crosswalk sign reverted to its classic image of a red hand, warning of impending danger. While it’s nice to know this crosswalk signal and others like it function according to a realistic assessment of the current situation, it nonetheless leaves something to be desired.

Such as time. Enough time, that is, to actually cross the crosswalk. Consider if someone were to actually heed the signal’s cry? They’d be standing in the midst of oncoming traffic. It makes you wonder – did anyone ever test these things? Were they stupid? Are they still alive?

It’s just aggravating, that’s all. I’m fond of pedestrians like I’m fond of Leonardo DiCaprio… both can go bungee-jumping without bungee cords. But even still, it’s absurd to expect anyone other than Lance Armstrong to make it across your average crosswalk in less than the average allotted time (which is, on average, bordering on negative figures).

Well, there you go. Now that I’ve ranted on about a problem I can’t possibly fix, I’m even angrier than before. Where’s a good bicyclist to choke when you need one?

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