Have you ever stopped to notice the button that you can push before you cross the street? Nearly everyone at one point or another has attempted to press these buttons to cross the street, and most likely have been frustrated. Here’s where the frustration comes from:
In the book, The Works, by Kate Ascher, which was published in 2005, Ascher states that more than ¾ of NYC’s sidewalk buttons are reported as not working. The buttons were originally intended to speed things up. But, as more and more people flooded into the city that never sleeps, there was more and more traffic. This makes the buttons inefficient. But now, the buttons serve no purpose and actually slow things down because people tend to get frustrated. This can cause jaywalking, which causes accidents. Accidents slow things down. The reason that the city just doesn’t remove them is because it would cost taxpayers a fortune to do so.
What will you do when you see a crosswalk button? Will you press it? Or will you ignore it?