Seattle Crosswalk: Tap foot, Lights blink, Cross street
Along Seattle's historic waterfront I happened upon a unique pedestrian-activated crosswalk that blinks as people cross. Yes, I have seen over a dozen lighted ped signals before in myriad cities, but all required the user to press a button to manually begin the cycle. So, you ask, how is this one different?
Well check this out - as you enter the crosswalk make sure you touch the yellow rectangle on the sidewalk. This activates the lights that line the crosswalk. Drivers stop and it should be safe to begin your adventure: you'll feel a bit like an airplane coming in for a landing. Frankly, it's very empowering and a lot of fun!
Reason dictates that A) there must be a sensor contained within the yellow pad, or B) there's a helpful gremlin who lives underneath and throws a switch for pedestrians. Regardless, anyone else seen one like it in their town?
Clarence Eckerson Jr.: [00:08] Hey everybody, Streetfilms here in Seattle and we’ve stumbled upon something I’ve never seen before, I wanted to show it to you. Here we are standing on the road that parallels the Alaskan Way viaduct, which is below it along the waterfront, and here there’s a pedestrian crosswalk, and it’s a pretty cool pedestrian crosswalk. All the pedestrian crosswalks I’ve ever seen you press with a button to activate it. This one is foot activated. Here’s what you do, you want to cross the street, you just step right here on this yellow pad and then cars should stop in both directions, lights are illuminated on both sides.
[00:39] You’ll notice that not only is the pedestrian crosswalk rim whit lights, there’s a large yellow diamond that has two flashing lights that signals to drivers that there’s a pedestrian in the crosswalk, and so at night when the pedestrians are harder to see, the lights are easier to see, making it extra safe to cross. So the reason that this crosswalk seems to have been put in is because there’s a lot of residential housing on this side of the Alaskan Way.
[01:00] Over here’s the waterfront.
People probably want to get to and from the waterfront, to walk, bike
or maybe come for a bike, or go to the ferry, so they thought this was
probably a good idea as a measure to not put a full stop light in here.
This is, of course, my hypothesis, the truth could be further from that,
but that’s what we’re going with.