Last evening, about 1015, I was on French Street and just shy of the light that allows foot traffic between the High School and the parking garage, when I saw a new "traffic control" device in the middle of the street. It was a narrow vertical sign telling me to yield to people in the cross-walk. I learned to drive in California, so I find such signs superfluous. But, in addition, in this location I find it a contradiction.
If the light controls when to stop for pedestrians, should not the pedestrians wait for their signal to proceed? If they wait, why the sign in the road? If, however, the idea is for pedestrians to be able to cross at will, why the traffic light?
Or, alternatively, is this just part of our "feel good" culture, where we do things because we think they are good and don't ask ourselves about the unintended consequences. Here the unintended consequences might include a growing lack of respect for traffic lights and traffic laws. Another might be a waste of electricity and supplies maintaining the traffic lights.
And, this is not the only such discordant setup in our fair city. On Market Street, at the intersection with Palmer, we have the same situation—a traffic light and signs in the middle of the street reminding us to yield to peds, who apparently don't have to obey the traffic control devices.
Regards — Cliff
1 year ago