The cultural aspects of traffic lights
Another post about traffic lights…
Apart from the CBD, it seems there are some other places where you don’t need to press the button to get a green man. From what I can tell, this includes a number of intersections in the Caulfield area, such as along Glen Eira Road, on Friday nights and Saturdays. This is Shabbat (the Jewish sabbath), and orthodox Jews are forbidden from work, which includes lighting fires, using electricity and driving cars. I gather for the ultra orthodox, this includes a ban on pressing traffic light buttons.
So during Shabbat, there are a good number of pedestrians out and about who simply won’t press the buttons. Evidently VicRoads has wired these traffic lights so that during these times, the green man will come up automatically.
Clever stuff. (Apparently a similar philosophy resulted in the Shabbat Elevator).
It reminds me of the case a few years ago when the local council initially knocked-back planning permission for a synagogue on the grounds that it had inadequate parking. But, people pointed out, on Saturdays, the busiest day, the congregation didn’t need parking, as they all walked.