Somebody at the Dept. of Conservation and Recreation has quite the sense of humor

Walk/Don't walk

At the brand-new crosswalk installed by the DCR on the Jamaicaway at Jamaica Pond, Carol Garfield ponders how, exactly, the state wants her to get across the road.

Photo by Steve Garfield posted under this Creative Commons license. Tagged as universalhub on Flickr.



Free tagging: 


Pretty sure it was there

By on

Pretty sure it was there before and someone just forgot to take it down. You used to not be able to cross there but everyone did anyway, if that's the spot I'm thinking of

This is the first time I've

By on

This is the first time I've ever seen the DCR post a confusing sign.

It might be the one time

It might be the one time where it is okay to "steal" the sign. It probably not coming down any other way (except maybe this post might actually manage to alert them).


By on

I can think of a lot of places to which I'd love to relocate that sign.

two bigger issues with that intersection:

By on

1)Depending on the time of day, you can wait for OVER A MINUTE for the #$@!ing thing to change for you. It's not as bad as the TWO MINUTE WAIT at the Pond (seriously, what the hell? Why do pedestrians have to wait so goddamn long? "The car is no longer king" indeed". During rush hour, the queue of people waiting to cross can grow to half a dozen or more bikers and a half dozen or more joggers)

2)The light will change red and at least 2-3 people will blow through it at 40mph.

Of course, the state police are too busy guarding tree-clearing crews 50 feet off the jway...only Boston Police are doing any kind of traffic enforcement on the jway.

Oh my god!!! Precious has to

By on

Oh my god!!! Precious has to wait one or sometimes two minutes to cross the street? I'll bet you were (are?) one of those noisy, whining brats who run around stores and restaurants disturbing everyone else while your over-indulgent butt-hole mother sits there and scratches herself.

Given that it's a major arterial

1 to 2 minutes is entirely reasonable. I have a longer wait than that where my street crosses Washington. It's okay,I can deal with the lost minute or two compared to the backups that on demand crossing of major streets might cause.

i'd really be interested to

By on

i'd really be interested to have adam open a discussion about potentially switching the site to one in which no one could comment unless they were a registered member. it would make this place a heck of a lot more civilized, i think. many other sites do it this way. just a thought.

It's comments like this

By on

that make me push the no-wait god lights at Forest Hills, on South Street and at the Monument with glee. Here's hoping I one day add a minute or two to your trip.

Knock yourself out,

By on

Knock yourself out, girlfriend

And hopefully one day

By on

you'll be caught in the act of intentionally delaying traffic for no good reason. Or better yet, you'll be sued by somebody who was rear-ended after stopping suddenly because you chose to activate the light "just to mess with somebody's day", and not because you wanted to cross the street.

If one or two people are consistently

By on

"blowing through" the light after it changes red, then perhaps there's something wrong with the design of the light to begin with.

The fact that pedestrians were specifically instructed not to cross at this location before the light was installed suggests to me that there might be serious visibility issues with the crossing, and that the hazard is not from drivers being MassHoles.

And all the enforcement in the world is not going to correct a badly designed signal.

Beep Beep

By on

Glad the crosswalk is in place. Given how popular the area is for relaxation and recreation having a lighted crosswalk here makes sense. But pressing the the walk signal button now is accompanied by a loud beep. You have to walk several feet away from the intersection before the beep is not audible.

There is too much noise in our world. This doesn't help. Hopefully the Dept. of Macadam and Mayhem will turn off the beep. Adding loud beeps from the intersection to the cacaphony of car alarms and car locks horns and screams motorcycles with eardrum blasting anti-mufflers and boom-boom cars just doesn't seem to fit with the idea of relaxed recreation.


By on

Blind people have no business trying to cross the street!


By on

Right on! The blind have it too easy these days. They have a 6th sense that tells them when to cross, right?

I guess in your world, blind

By on

I guess in your world, blind people should stay home?

Havens forbid people standing up to 6 feet away hear a beep.

Read the Beep More Carefully Please

By on

Please read my post a little more carefully. Otherwise you are suggesting that a blind person walk into oncoming traffic.

The beeping sound is generated when the button is pressed - NOT WHEN THE WALK SIGNAL IS PRESENT. If a blind person crosses when they hear the beeping sound he or she will be hit.

The question of when it is safe for a blind person to cross is another question. An automated voice announcing that you can cross is not the same as another annoying high pitched electronic squeal.

Allow me to suggest that you replace your weak wit with putting energy toward the problem of drivers who, as another poster stated, rush through the red light at 40MPH. No visible or audible walk signal is going to stop a driver who is determined to speed through the red light because they shouldn't have to stop just for a pedestrian, blind or not.

Have you reported it?

By on

Because if you are correct on the timing, than something is broken, because all over the rest of the city that beeping is used to indicate that the walk-light is lit.

It's probably a different

By on

It's probably a different type of beep.

When there's a walk light, crosswalks make a chirp or cuckoo noise. When there's a don't walk light, sometimes only after someone pushes the button, some crosswalks make a short beep.

Who has weak wit?

By on

I'm confused.

You should re-read what you posted in your earlier post:

"But pressing the the walk signal button now is accompanied by a loud beep."

So you are saying that when the "walk signal button" is pressed, a loud beep occurs? If you did not mean the "walk signal button" than you should have been more clear in your first post because most people assume that when the "walk signal button" is pressed, the walk light is lit.

If it does not light, then you should report the problem.

And noise happens, adapt.

One beep at a time

By on

I don't think it is meant to indicate that crossing is safe (a relative statement in the Boston area anyway). Press the button and there is one chirp. But there is no sound when the white walk light appears. I'm guessing it is feedback to let you know that yes you did indeed press the button. How else would you know that you pressed the button? (I wonder the same about cars that blast their horn when the keyfob locking device is pressed - since the old fashioned manual way of trying to open to door after it locks is, well, so old fashioned and manual.)

My main point is that the flood of electronic noise is a form of pollution. In addition to trash polluting streets and parks, and street lights polluting the night sky, we now have noise polluting the heard environment. The auditory environment is becoming a wall of noise punctuated by moments of quiet.

A different interpretation of the Flood story is that God(s) was fed up with noise generated by humanity and so replaced the flood of noise with a flood of water. Not moral depravity but just plain Bablish noise.

There is one positive thing about noise. Folks on the subways and busses, or just walking, who play their MP3 players at volumes that are audible by people around them, are ruining their hearing. That means lots of demand for hearing aids. Buy stock in hearing aid companies!

*One* beep?

By on

You're complaining about one beep? You do realize that this is a city, right? A single beep that confirms you've pushed the button and it is active is actually a good thing, given how often there is no response when hitting a walk light button.

You're spot on with your complaint about cars that beep loudly when the keyfob is hit, and I regularly complain about car horns. But I'd say that it easy to understand why so many of us misunderstood your original post; complaining about one beep in a city is just nutz...

No, when you push the walk

By on

No, when you push the walk button, you wait around watching a don't walk light (supposedly for 2 minutes, according to another comment), and *then* get a walk light.

Language can be so confusing

By on

When the button that is used to get the walk signal is pressed there is a single beep (the use of beep in the previous statement was also singular). Where there is an auditory signal that crossing is "safe" it is more than one beep (and sometimes a calm friendly voice with a sweet southern accent).

In addition I don't know of any walk signal that changes as soon as the button is pressed. There may be a few but there is usually a delay. Even when the response is "immediate" there is a moment when the light for stopping vehicular traffic changes to yellow (the speed up signal?) and then to red.

Go to the intersection. Press the button. You'll hear what I mean (unless it was changed).

Justifying unnecessary noise by saying "noise happens" just does not seem to have much weight. I think my logic instructor of many many moons ago would suggest that just because something happens is not a justification for it to happen. But what do I know?

Try other cities

By on

I just got back from Berlin.

Berlin is a big, busy city. And yet there seemed to be much less gratuitous noise there is in that city. Fewer car horns. Fewer gratuitous electronic noises. Fewer radios being played loudly. People talking to each other rather than bellowing. PA system on the subway at a level that is plainly audible, but not painfully loud. Quieter air-handling equipment on office buildings. Years ahead of us in the adoption of quieter road construction equipment

It all adds up, and the difference is striking. It's no one thing, it's a million little things.

I just got back from

By on

I just got back from Berlin.

Berlin is a big, busy German city. So obviously there seemed to be much less gratuitous noise in that city.


pedestrian crossings seem so random

By on

- the button beeps once when touched to give the person some confirmation that their action has been registered. This obviates the need for repeatedly punching, kicking, and smacking the typical walk light buttons because you don't know if they work or not (but see below...)
- a light also comes on; Yay! But after standing there for 1 minute or more (and seeing that sign up), you wonder if the thing is working or not and start to jaywalk against the death race 2000 jway circuit
- the lighted crosswalk at Faulkner hospital on Centre street across from the Arboretum is an instant-signal light

It amazes me how random these things are. Just like bike racks--it appears that the particular technology deployed in any given situation may be determined by someone who has never used that type of thing before and has no knowledge of alternatives. The Jway crossing would have been a great spot to deploy RRFD lighting too

I don't mean to criticize this crossing too much--but my point is that all over the city you have a variety of crossing concepts and no standard approach.

Oh, and by the way...did you know that downtown, the pushbutton signals are all DISABLED during the day? It makes no difference when you press the button--the walk lights are on a preset timer schedule because traffic engineers found that allowing pedestrians to trip the lights (or allowing long periods without a red light in one direction) cause the traffic flow to be disrupted

The beeps are mandated by the

The beeps are mandated by the ADA. The beep after a button is pressed is commonly called "call recognition." This is a bigger issue in the elevator industry. The subsequent chirping when safe to cross is another required audible tone for those with impairments.

The reason that European cities are quieter (in terms of electronic noises and such) is that they don't have as severe a disabilities requirement as we do in the USA. If you're putting in a new crosswalk in the US now, you must install ADA-compliant hardware. The same applies to building access, egress and elevators. The standards are different and a lot looser in the EU.

That's not why European cities are quieter

By on

The amount of noise made by assistive devices is a tiny, tiny part of the overall noise, and couldn't possibly account for the reduced amount of noise in Berlin vs Boston. The German market favors quieter household appliances; the laws against excessive noise (e.g. from air conditioners or construction equipment) are stricter, and the culture frowns upon people making too much noise; people talk more quietly in public, etc.

I know of only one intersection in boston that makes chirps

By on

...and it's the one right at the corner of Boston Common. The buttons make a "clunk" when tapped, say "wait!" if you hit it again, and there are chirpers that activate with the crosswalk signals.

Not a single intersection in JP has these hey-its-okay-to-cross chirpers, including the brand new intersection just installed on the jway.

Same with kenmore. Indeed

By on

Same with kenmore.

Indeed there seems to be some magical correlation with newly installed signals and beeping.

Hm, I wonder why that is. I demand my local (fenway) 1950s walk signal (displaying the actual words walk/dont walk) be made to beep with magic.

You're not getting around much

By on

Much of Comm Ave has the chirpers, as do several of the intersections along Boylston. JP does not have them but, as established earlier in this thread, JP doesn't care about blind people.

Not quite in Boston

By on

But the light in Coolidge Corner says "walk like a dog across Beacon Street."