A Thought on the Pedestrian Crossing Button


A good person will accept this. A bad person will complain. Charles, come away from the dark side.
Or the people waiting for the crossing can just assume that the people coming after them want to press it too.

Perhaps many times. Like a ferret.
A little girl pressed a button repeatedly. She's child, Charles, not your enemy.

And fyi, sometimes the first person HASN'T pressed the button (didn't notice, too busy).
In other news, kids love to press buttons.
Charles is now just lifting material from Key & Peele.


Also, criticizing a child for pushing a button? What an asshole.
Is this article a post-election metaphor?
I feel vaguely trolled for having read that.
@7: Welcome to Mudede's contributions to the Slog.
I have come across many such buttons and people (crosswalks, elevators, etc.) and turns out the previous person had not pressed the button. Thus we wait longer than necessary. Me pressing it is extra insurance against stupidity.
Is this really what it has come to, oh Slogmasters?

I miss Goldy.
"For to press it under their eyes, instantly communicates to them that you think they as dumb as two rocks, that they have no idea what that funny thing is all about, that they are wholly ignorant of the desirable effect it may have on the robot hanging over the busy street."

I'd rather give someone the impression that I think they may be suffering from a horrific hangover, perhaps because of the thumping the Ds got last night, than spend an extra few minutes waiting for the light to signal us forward.
Yeah, it was probably all about you Charles, just like everything else.
That a black man invented the robot is cool.

Now, for the rest of it . . . Charles, please. The sympathetic dominance obtaining in lives of stress or want is everywhere displayed. These outbursts of button punching are cries of desperation--attempts to affect control over the otherwise chaotic and threatening conditions by which the 'punchers' are continuously battered.

These button punchers may believe black people to be ignorant and oblivious. That is their right, of course.

Their pounding on that fixture, however, manifests from their own disease, existing apart from your presence on that corner.

They need comforting more than counsel.
The buttons should be removed and the signals change regardless. It's very infuriating when the button is broken and you are forced to walk against the hand. Equally funny/annoying is to see the clueless bastard who doesn't push the button and looks around wondering why they aren't getting the cross icon. I always push the button when I arrive unless I see someone do it.
Apparently Morgan didn't just invent an improved traffic signal, he also invented marketing using red face in his demos of the fire safety hood.

For demonstrations of the device, he sometimes adopted the disguise of "Big Chief Mason", a purported full-blooded Indian from the Walpole Island Indian Reserve in Canada. He would demonstrate the device by building a noxious fire fueled by tar, sulphur, formaldehyde and manure inside an enclosed tent. Disguised as Big Chief Mason, he would enter the tent full of black smoke, and would remain there for 20 minutes before emerging unharmed.
I rarely press them so I appreciate it when somebody else does. I believe most of them are not connected to the signals at all so I feel like the joke is on me if I do hit it.
I guess you've hustled up a pretty good gig. Write an offensive blurb, hit send. I salute you for that.
Thanks, I needed a laugh this morning.
As I recall you didn't call the police while you watched your neighbor's house being robbed, but instead daydreamed about social issues while observing the obvious burglary, so yeah...I wouldn't assume that you'd already pushed the button either.
Placebo buttons. Most elevator Close buttons don't do anything either.

Like the old saying, "if you don't vote, you have no right to complain about politics/government" I feel that "if you don't press the crossing button you have no right to complain about the signal taking a while". Sometimes they're broken, but often they put a higher priority on crossing vs a more passive "just to be safe, we'll program a crossing every once in a while" signal.
I remember being pretty obsessed with buttons as a young'un. I just liked pressing them. Little electronic hand held football games were fun, as was that big old orange "fire" button on the original Atari joystick. But it was even more fun pressing buttons that had a real world impact, elevators in particular come to mind. Maybe this little girl was a similarly affected freak.
In unrelated, but almost, kind of, sort of related news: the Chipotle I frequent has a very frustrating bathroom handle-door. The handle doesn't turn, but the door doesn't lock (it's not a single...has multiple urinals and stalls). People not in the know inevitably try to turn the handle, assume it's locked, and then wait perpetually for the invisible man who simply won't get off the shitter.

This also results in numerous awkward conversations where I get to explain you simply have to push the door open. Anyway, sometimes doors are tricky, and sometimes people forget to push buttons. Who cares if someone comes behind you and pushes it again.
The winner of extrapolating the most excruciating trivialities into long-winded blogs certainly goes to Charles.
Charles's interpretations of life have sometimes opened my eyes to new ways of seeing the world. Let me return the favor by letting him know two things:

1) Kids LOVE to press buttons. Kids will press ALL the buttons, every time, for the sheer joy of it. That's all it means!

2) Sometimes the other person has in fact NOT pressed the button. Pressing it again is not rude and requires no apology. If anything, the other pedestrian and I are now united in a common ritual: the ritual of pressing the button and then waiting. It builds civic engagement. It is not rude.
I like the ones over in Redmond. You don't hammer on them because the button doesn't have much action (it might not even be activated by pressure, it might be a light beam or something) and once you press it ONE time, you are rewarded with a little vibration and a tiny LED illuminates.

Thus, you receive confirmation that the button is pressed, people coming behind you see this as well, and really the best part/whole point is that these buttons help blind people navigate the streets due to the vibration of the button and the fact that they emit a little clicking sound when active and a faster clicking sound when the walk signal is illuminated.

Those stupid steel dome buttons... I'm pretty sure they're like elevator door close buttons, just there to placate the masses and trick them into a false sense of control.
The nuttin' button!
Oh poor Charles is worried someone might think he is stupid. Who gives a fuck?

I have come into dozens of situations where people wait beside a door that is unlocked because the first person didn't check it or some inane social assumption scenario. People are dumb as shit and you are even stupider if you didn't realize this. Assuming that someone pressed the button is not knowing. I'll press the button exactly because I think you very well may be a stupid shit who didn't press it. And if you take offense, oh well. I'll probably never see you again in my life. And in any case, I won't have to be inconvenienced by your potential stupidity.
Street lights aren't robots.
It's well documented that a large percentage of these buttons are connected to nothing, affecting nothing. This is taken by some to mean that people pressing the button receive, in their ignorance, some false satisfaction in the notion that they have some kind of control. However, some buttons apparently do do something, and we have no way of knowing, so we must press the button just in case some benefit will occur, despite no evidence of effect or evidence to the contrary.

Now, within this, we have people who refuse to press the button because they don't want to be chumps. And we have people who judge others for not assuming that they themselves have pressed the button. How foolish, they say, these people who in navigating the strange sociopolitical context of these buttons cannot intuit my feelings and past actions as a matter of course, as children.

Fuck off.

You must be miserable to being you. It seems that everyone is constantly pushing your buttons.
Charles, I want to thank you for posting this pointless, worthless, infuriatingly obtuse drivel, as it gives me the opportunity to get worked up over nothing and distract myself from the sorry state of the country.
@ 30, "well documented"? Are you willing to back that up with a link or two?
"and her oblivious (no apologies) but happy family". Why the fuck would they owe you an apology?
The pedestrian walk buttons may have been disabled in a lot of cities that invested in extensive traffic light timing, but for the most part they're not just connected in Seattle but will make the difference between getting the walk signal and not getting one.
Partly it's because SDOT hasn't invested in timing for the traffic lights everywhere, so it's better to just let them prioritize cars until a pedestrian shows up and pushes the button. If you don't push the button you'll have to wait longer. Some of them don't change the timing unless people on both sides push the button.
Pedestrian only crossings like Phinney/73rd won't change at all until someone pushes the button, but even better that one has an audible response when the button is pushed so you know it's doing something.
Wow, so much grumbling about a clearly tongue-in-cheek post. Lighten up people.
I'm annoyed the SPD does nothing to enforce the rules on stopping at crosswalks. Plus, the new signs are confusing, and people stop even if there is no one in the crosswalk. There's something to think about, Chuck.

I'm thinking I'll send the city notice so I can represent the family of the victim who is inevitably going to be killed in the next few weeks on Green Lake Way since enforcement seems to be too much effort.
The best slog writers departed in an unfortunate wave and left us with...this.
I know the person ahead of me pushed the button but after ten seconds I push it anyway because that's the longest i can stand there without getting bored.
yesterday was an election day, and we got some twerp babbling on about dorks in ugly hats and now this bullshit.
I've been burned way too many times assuming the person standing there has pressed the button, only to not get the walk signal. Sorry if it hurts your feelings, Charles, but I'm not taking any chances.

Oh, and that little blonde girl is racist.
I've had the experience of pushing the button and then the light never changes. So like other commenters here, I push it a bunch of times, hoping that one will take.

Anyway, who the fuck cares if people want to press the button? Button-pushers deserve freedom too.
ugh, Charles you are, as always, insufferable
Here's what happened in the house of the "happy family" five minutes before their encounter with Charles:

DAD: Put your shoes on.


DAD: Put you SHOES ON!

KID: No!


KID: Can I push the button?

DAD: Whatever, sure, just put your shoes on now!


And then we got this post.

While the first person may have pushed the button already, they may not have held it down.

At modern crossings, holding the button down for more than one second triggers a longer crossing phase for slower pedestrians (elderly, disabled, carrying too many groceries, etc.)
I have had to deal with two push button lights on my daily commute for the last 5 years that won't change to "walk" if you don't push them more than once, and hard. And, even then, sometimes they still don't change.

More importantly, any time I have given the person already standing at the intersection the benefit of the doubt I have discovered that they did not push the button. If you want something done, do it yourself.
Charles pushes all of our buttons again. And again. And again. . . .
Hey Charles, I already think you're as dumb as two rocks, so why don't you stick that in your pipe and smoke it rather than whining about some little girl?
The fact that there are 47 comments confirms why Mudede writes these irritating posts. 48 actually, so far.
@49 For what, masturbatory glory on the internet?
Has the Oxford dictionary recognized clickbait as a word?
@ 36, "clearly"? If it were clear, few people would take issue. That's how you measure clarity of intent.
How exactly does one go about reading a post like this and take it seriously, let alone get upset about it?
FFS. This post is not only trollish but also racist. Little kids love to push buttons, she had been planning to push that button for the last half a block. I remember getting into fights with my sister when we were kids about who got to push the button in the elevator. You're a fucking caricature.
@52, Clearly they all missed the part where it's a post about pushing the signal button at a cross-walk.

Your belief is incorrect, especially when you're talking about the new-fangled ADA compliant walk signals. You have to press them, or you're not going anywhere.

And therein SDOT makes it clear what it thinks about pedestrian access.

There are many intersections in Seattle where there's no difference in timing for traffic between when the walk signal is lit and when it isn't. And yet, at these intersections, if you don't press the button, you don't get permission to cross.


Happened to me this morning, but fortunately in Bellevue, where, if you press the button when there's still enough time to cross, get this: you get the fucking walk signal. If you press it a half second too late in Seattle, you're SOL.
Charles, was that racist girl a republican?
@ 55, in what world does the triviality of a subject signal that it isn't serious? People flip their shit over trivial things much more than substantial ones in my experience.
It is better to assume everyone is dumber than you.
@59, "Trivial" and "serious" are antonyms my world. I understand that people lose their shit over dumb things all the time, I just don't understand why, hence my initial question @53.
@ 61, if Charles is serious (and I'm aware he probably is not), it's his presumptuous attitude. We're surrounded by these people, and it's not trivial at all.

Hope that helps.
Some people like the new walk buttons because it gets the response wait and if you continue to press the button it will say wait over and over and over and some people get a vicarious pleasure hearing the walk signal talk to them and implore them to wait. This is the only aural stimulation they will get all day.
Sometimes living in the city with others means sharing public spaces, it's surprising a man who posts about the assholes who take multiple seats on the bus presumes to own a public button. That button isn't yours or mine Charles, it's the city's so let the child of the city have their fun exploring the city. If you want to avoid children pushing crosswalk buttons get a car and move to the burbs.
So men digging up women's bodies to bury them beside other men = civilized
But little girl playing with street button = offensive and uncivilized.

Sorry Charles I once thought you were a philosopher but I now realize your just another mysgonist with a soap box.
This is an example of an extremely paranoid man. I'm white and have had this happen to me on more than one occasion. I've seen it done on several other occasions.
There's nothing more humbling than an intelligent human being standing at a crosswalk, watching the light turn green while the crosswalk remains red, and realizing that all of the strangers surrounding you assumed the other had pressed the button.

So now I press the button no matter how many people are at the corner. I press it repeatedly, knowing full well that only one push will do the trick. I do this in elevators, too.

Humans are humans are humans. It doesn't matter what color they are.
All I know is that I'm going to press the button every last fucking time.
One thing that no one has mentioned in talking about how much kids like to push buttons is how much ADULTS like to push buttons. We've been primed our whole lives to feel that pushing a button equates to something we want (even if it's small) occurring. That's why so many companies spend tons of time on the design of their buttons, making sure that they look, sound, feel, and respond in ways that are physically and emotionally satisfying to their customers. So it's no surprise that we want to push an already-pushed button...we want to push all buttons.
Email SDOT & ask them to change it to a dedicated ped signal. If there's significant ped traffic, they will do this. Scott Kubly said so.
If someone is already waiting at the crosswalk, don't push the button. If you are the first on the crosswalk, push the button ONCE. If I were a crosswalk button I would electrocute every person that stood there and pounded on the button.