How to Cross the Street

It should be a seemingly simple thing. As drivers, we know that green means go, red means stop. (Although yellow is still up in the air. Go faster? Stop? It’s a toss up.)

As pedestrians, it should be simple. In rural or suburban areas, look both ways before you cross the street. Hopefully we learned this as children. Children. Meaning by the time you are old enough to hold down a job in the Loop, you should have had DECADES of practice crossing the street.

Without fail, EVERY DAY, I see pedestrians who don’t understand the simple signals on a streetlight.

Screen shot 2013-12-06 at 6.43.32 PM

Red Hand = Don’t Walk

Typically, when cross traffic gets a red light, that means shortly thereafter, YOU will get a WALK symbol.

Every day … EVERY DAY … at the same interesections … people seem thrown for a loop by this crazy thing called a LEFT TURN ARROW. Guess what? That means you don’t get to walk yet.

Every day I see people dart into the street. Almost get hit by a turning car (or worse, bus). EVERY DAY. Commuters, I know you walk the SAME STREETS, and cross the same intersections, EVERY SINGLE DAY. Five days a week. For months, years … decades even. Don’t act like you don’t know about the green turn arrow.

Please stop darting into the street. Or … natural selection, whatever. Have at it.

And cars, please stop cheating the green arrow. When it’s gone, it’s gone, and as soon as that red hand turns to a white person (whoa, just realized how racist streetlights are), the pedestrians will stream into the cross walk, and you will get stuck, causing gridlock.

Sadly, I realize the people who read my blog are all super intelligent and I’m preaching to the choir. But who else cringes when walking in the Loop during rush hour? 

Share this post

5 Comments on “How to Cross the Street”

  1. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only person in Chicago who actually waits for the walk signal. Yes, even when the street appears empty, I wait for my light, because you just never know who’s going to quickly pull out of a parking spot and gun the engine to make it thru the intersection.

  2. YES! I cannot tell you HOW MANY times I have had this exact same thought. It blows my mind to see people dart in front of cars. I have always wondered (as I see it most in the am) – who is in THAT much of a hurry to get to work?! I was tapped by a car last year when I had the walk signal at an intersection by my office and I have been even more cautious since then!

    Ha ha. And I think yellow means slow down for cars. But I usually don’t!

  3. Ooooh, people who cross and block traffic with the green arrow really irritate me!! Both as a pedestrian and a driver.

    Although, I admit, there is one intersection where I routinely cross even though the hand is red. The only close calls I’ve ever had at that particular intersection are when I’ve actually had the walk sign in my favor!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.