What do I need to rant about, you ask?
These goddamn things.
Not the buttons/signs themselves, but the fact that like 98% of people are too stupid to understand how they work. Do you see the arrow on that sign? If you want to cross in that direction, you press the button. If not, don’t press the damn button.
These signs are even easier to understand up here. They specifically say “Push button to cross [insert street here].” But do people understand that?
THEY MASH THE DAMN BUTTON NO MATTER WHAT.
This wouldn’t bother me nearly as much if it didn’t screw things up with my timing at crosswalks.
Scenario: There’s an intersection* of a fairly busy road (let’s call it A St.) and a slightly busy road (let’s call it B St.). The sign to cross B St. is always set to “walk” unless someone pushes the button to cross A St.
I’m walking down the sidewalk along A St., heading toward the intersection. I want to continue along the sidewalk where I am, so I just want to use that “always set to walk” sign. However, some dude comes up and presses the button to cross A St.
No big deal. He wanted to cross A St., so it’s legit.
But now, as he’s crossing, another dude walks up and wants to cross B St., like I do. But instead of being patient and just waiting for the A St. one to stop flashing, he PUSHES THE DAMN BUTTON TO CROSS A ST.
And what happens? He gets across B St. fine, but his pushing the A St. button screws up the timing and the B St. sign goes red again by the time I get there (because someone pressed the button!), forcing me to stop.
Like…is this rocket science? Read the damn signs, people. They’re right there. It’s not hard.
This makes me so irrationally angry.
*Actually, there are a lot of intersections like this in Calgary.