conversations with strangers #123

1.6.16

This particular street is very difficult to cross due to its high traffic levels and speed limit. Essentially, you have to wait for the light to change.There are four points of crosswalk entry, and at each one, the button to push that will allow you to cross is not the normal squishy kind. It’s stiff and has limited motion and the only way you know it’s working is if a little red light goes on. As far as I can tell, the red light only goes on if you’re the first pedestrian to register in. So, despite one’s insistent pushing, the red light might not go on because it’s on elsewhere or it might be that you haven’t found the right angle to trigger the system. All you can do is wait and wonder.

A woman walked up 30 seconds after I finished the routine of pressing, pounding, yelling at the light switch. After another minute of cars whooshing by, I stepped back over to the switch and tried again. No red light signaling it accepted my request, but there were people waiting at two of the other crosswalk entry points. After two more minutes, I prepared to either frogger my way across the street or start the whole light switch thing all over again. As I shifted towards the light switch…

Her: *half smiles at my efforts* Did it catch?

Me: Not yet. But the light doesn’t always go on. This is so temperamental.

Her: Let me try.

Me: Go for it.

*red light illuminates* *traffic light immediately flips to yellow*

Me: Yay! Nice work.

Her: Sometimes you have to work it.

Me: I’m glad you were able to!

And with the crosswalk signal lighting the way, I was one step closer to the office / work day.

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