This is more me thinking out loud than any kind of profound bit of knowledge. Not that I ever really deliver that. But I’m genuinely curious here. What is the point of crosswalk buttons? Imagine your town without them. All the lights just flip to walk when walking is safe, and flip to not walking when not walking is safe. What changes? Motorists must still yield for pedestrians, pedestrians must still wait until they are allowed to go, and nobody has to press a button.
I’ve missed so many lights for no better reason than I didn’t click the button in time. It seems like an antiquated system that has no purpose anymore and it’s a supreme waste of resources. All those buttons could be scrap for other projects. That’s a lot of metal when you consider every city and town in the US (let alone any other country that might be using these strange things). If we are adamant about extraneous materials being strapped to our light poles we should just install motion sensors.
If the light swaps because a car is going by that’s fine. If nobody was there the car would just do whatever it was going to do. If a squirrel walks by, a dog, etc, it doesn’t change anyone’s life. The only thing it would do is make something more convenient for everyone and save time.
Anywho, just something that has been on my mind for a while. I can’t fathom any situation where these buttons improve lives. At best, currently, if you live somewhere that lights don’t cycle this could be a nice manual way to force a cycle. But the crosswalk lights should still automatically change. There you go, that’s what’s been bothering me today :p. Nice life to live, I suppose.