Ross: A creative fix for Seattle’s issues with crosswalks
Downtown Seattle continues to be clogged with traffic, and a lot of it is because of the eternal struggle at crosswalks between drivers and pedestrians.
I was walking with my posse on Capitol Hill over the weekend, and I noticed that some stores pipe music on the sidewalk. On 15th you have Uncle Ike’s piping classical, and on Broadway you have — I think a clothing store — playing some kind of techno dance music.
I found myself instinctively wanting to dance.
It immediately gave me an idea.
We all know the attitude that comes over us when we switch from being a driver to being a pedestrian, right? We act like we own the crosswalk. I’ve seen drivers who get stuck in the crosswalk being loudly scolded by pedestrians who seem personally offended by it.
Of course, drivers making right turns have to wait while pedestrians take their sweet time getting across.
Well, all the traffic signals have loudspeakers that play a loud tweeting sound to help the sight-impaired, so that when the walk sign comes on they know to cross, right?
Suppose we change a few software settings, or whatever you have to do, so that when the walk sign comes on, so does a danceable beat?
And we all dance! Now you’re not just loping across the street; you are dancing across the street at a decent clip. If there’s a stranded car blocking your way, you’re not ticked off — you’re just dancing around it!
I think SDOT could implement this by this afternoon just by reprogramming the walk signals from “tweet” to “techno.”
Listen to the Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5-9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.