Brian K posted about different types of people and their behaviour at pedestrian lights: those who don’t press it, then look confused when nothing happens; those who press it once; those who rapid-fire press it dozens of times, in the mistaken belief that it makes the lights change quicker.
(Ah. It seems I’ve written about the latter group previously.)
Brian takes the attitude that one should assume that anybody who has got to the crossing before you is not a moron, and has had the sense to press the button. Personally, I take the Trust, but verify strategy here, and if I haven’t seen them press it (and nobody is crossing in the opposite direction), I’ll try to subtly sidle up to the button and quietly, softly, press it myself.
Oh, and you know what? When I press the button, if it doesn’t have a light to indicate the button has been pressed, I’ll press it again. Just in case it didn’t register the first time. Just one of those slightly quirky traits that mean I’m descending into the life of an eccentric old man.
I’ll also look ahead of me as I walk, and will sometimes jog to the light and press the button if I know I’ll otherwise miss the cycle and have to wait. Yes, that probably does look really strange to passers-by.
(Why the button can’t have the green man jump into the cycle, if there’s still time, I don’t know. Traffic lights where that happens are very rare.)
Of course, sometimes you don’t need to press the button at all.
For instance, in Melbourne’s CBD. They obviously figure that there are so many pedestrians that there’ll always be someone who wants the green man. Fair call.
But there are some confusing exceptions. Where I used to work in Exhibition Street, the crossing next to Parliament Station would not require the button to be pressed, but only during business hours. Or maybe it was something like 7am to 7pm. Something like that. At other times, it would need pressing, which meant confusion for people who normally crossed when it didn’t.
Illogical. Hopefully by now they’ve fixed it.