Do you have adblock enabled?
 
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(New York Magazine)   A bunch of signs in downtown New York are showing both Walk and Don't Walk at the same time. What could possibly go wrong?   (nymag.com ) divider line
    More: Stupid, New York, Upper West Side, modern  
•       •       •

10447 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Jan 2010 at 5:10 AM (6 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



114 Comments   (+0 »)
   

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | Last | Show all
 
2010-01-18 09:33:58 AM  
i.dailymail.co.uk

Sounds like Michael Jackson is having some fun from the gave...
 
2010-01-18 09:38:44 AM  
This is just like how NYC ALWAYS puts the residential parking sign with the little arrows that say "Park here" right next to the fire hydrant.
 
2010-01-18 09:49:56 AM  
no superman 3 reference yet?

must be getting old....
 
2010-01-18 09:51:14 AM  
Traffic engineers assure us that this cannot happen due to the interlocking switch system. In a nutshell, it's impossible as a matter of strict electronic logic. No further explanation is necessary -- they are experts, after all. So someone must either be lying or delusional.
 
2010-01-18 09:51:36 AM  

phaseolus: What a Lower East Side walk sign might look like:


That is FABULOUS!

What could go wrong? Tourists' heads asplode, maybe. But would that really be wrong?
 
2010-01-18 09:51:47 AM  

improvius: Schrödinger's crosswalk?


WIN.
 
2010-01-18 09:53:25 AM  

Oznog: Oh COME ON.
There's no "life cycle" limit which makes the controller turn on both at the same time!
Burned out LEDs, yeah, sure, bad, but that's how things go bad. The entire device going dead, it may happen.
But turning on, then powering up both displays? That's what we call a design defect.


Totally. 7 year cycle? For a traffic light? Somebody ought to get fired for this, but more likely they'll get a promotion. Accountability? In my government? It's a lot less likely than you think.

PC LOAD LETTER: From 42nd to 56th st on Park Ave there are NO Walk/Don't Walk signs whatsoever and has been that way since I was a zygote, so what makes that area magical?


The trouble is the street is built over the train tunnels going into Grand Central and the street isn't very deep on those blocks. In order to put in walk signals, whatever agency is responsible for crossing lights would have to coordinate with whatever agency is responsible for the train tunnels. Clearly, this is impossible.

I wonder if that had this much inefficiency in government in soviet era Russia?
 
2010-01-18 09:55:12 AM  

Alleyoop: I'm shocked...


blogs.nashvillescene.com

Why would anyone build a crosswalk that only Frodo Baggins can use?

Joe
 
2010-01-18 09:59:37 AM  
This is the first stage of the firesale. Better get John McClane on the case.
 
2010-01-18 10:03:15 AM  

Alleyoop: I'm shocked...


Being run over by a car feels more like five in the stink. :(
 
2010-01-18 10:03:41 AM  

Nakito: Traffic engineers assure us that this cannot happen due to the interlocking switch system. In a nutshell, it's impossible as a matter of strict electronic logic. No further explanation is necessary -- they are experts, after all. So someone must either be lying or delusional.


What's probably happened, and I've never seen the inside of a traffic box so this is an educated guess, is that the relay is rapidly switching on and off due to the coil voltage cycling. It looks like they're both on due to the logarithmic response your eye has to light levels. Perhaps someone's put 60Hz into the control by accident or by disgruntle.

A electro-mechanical relay would burn out really quickly under that kind of abuse, so it would have to be solid-state. They burn out in unpredictable ways, so that could also be it, with both channels locking open due to abuse (hey, look, it works anyway and this part is cheaper) or by design (we'll get a rework contract is 10 years.)

/EE
 
2010-01-18 10:04:37 AM  
Ooohh... too confusing for me. I'm going home to watch Judge Wapner.
 
2010-01-18 10:07:00 AM  
A bunch of signs in downtown New York are showing both Walk and Don't Walk at the same time. What could possibly go wrong?

It's a trick question: New York City was already wrong long before this happened.
 
2010-01-18 10:08:51 AM  
I was in Manhattan this weekend and saw some of these malfunctioning signs (so I'm really getting a kick out of some of these replies etc.)...

It's true, the only people who cared were brainless tourists. And a few brainless locals, if I'm going to be honest.

Oh, and improvius wins for the Schrodinger remark.
 
2010-01-18 10:12:42 AM  

SideshowRaheem: PC LOAD LETTER: From 42nd to 56th st on Park Ave there are NO Walk/Don't Walk signs whatsoever and has been that way since I was a zygote, so what makes that area magical?

The trouble is the street is built over the train tunnels going into Grand Central and the street isn't very deep on those blocks. In order to put in walk signals, whatever agency is responsible for crossing lights would have to coordinate with whatever agency is responsible for the train tunnels. Clearly, this is impossible.

I wonder if that had this much inefficiency in government in soviet era Russia?


In Russia, it was inefficiency. In New York, it's tradition.

/traditioooooon, tradition
//tradition
 
2010-01-18 10:34:43 AM  

JerseyTim: A tourist might get run over, because no one else pays attention to those signs.

/Nice to know the Upper West Side is part of downtown.


Hey, wait a minute... that's the very reason **I** came here to comment. Now anything I may say is unnecessary. ::sigh::

/Lived on the UWS for years. Never got run over.
 
2010-01-18 10:45:07 AM  

BlueDuckFarker: JerseyTim: A tourist might get run over, because no one else pays attention to those signs.

/Nice to know the Upper West Side is part of downtown.

Hey, wait a minute... that's the very reason **I** came here to comment. Now anything I may say is unnecessary. ::sigh::

/Lived on the UWS for years. Never got run over.


In my time in NY, I thought tourists were more likely to be shot by a cop for asking for directions than be hit by a car.
 
2010-01-18 10:46:41 AM  
LOL, I have noticed this too. The two together mean "walk" which is not hard to realize if you look at the opposite facing screen. Although, as mentioned above, no one who lives in NYC obeys or is even aware of traffic laws, so...not my problem.
 
2010-01-18 10:48:45 AM  
img695.imageshack.us

Did this guy do it?
 
2010-01-18 10:52:23 AM  
My aunt lives in Manhatten, I spent several summers there working as an intern at her design company, the first lesson I learned about walking in NYC was "Don't walk" is short for "Don't walk, RUN".

I've successfully used this in DC, Boston, Montreal, Quebec, Frankfurt, Atlanta, and all over the island of Okinawa. It's a good rule of thumb.

The signs, they do nothing.
 
2010-01-18 10:57:38 AM  
The walking guy is white? Isn't that racist?
 
2010-01-18 11:00:39 AM  

jdemartino: Why would anyone build a crosswalk that only Frodo Baggins can use?/i>

I thought that sign was a result of Wichita State fans having some fun and making the hand do the "shocker".

 
2010-01-18 11:21:15 AM  
This is a good thing. It'll remove people with poor judgment from the gene pool.
 
2010-01-18 11:23:08 AM  

Fano: This is a bigger walking conundrum than was (not was)


Actually, Don meant this (^)
 
2010-01-18 11:35:35 AM  

Garko: Don't Walk. Don't Walk. Don't Walk. Don't Walk.

(now try to get the siren sound out of your head.)


OH DAMN YOU TO HELL!!!

/one of my favorites, though
//I owe you one internets, sir
 
2010-01-18 11:37:28 AM  

Dances-With-Lobster: This is a good thing. It'll remove people with poor judgment from the gene pool.


Haha. The only ones who usually suffer consequences for pedestrian risk tasking are the cars who dare not to slow down.

/Saw a guy beat the crap out of a delivery truck once.
//yeah... i've kicked a taxi or 2, as well.
 
2010-01-18 11:38:03 AM  

RembrandtQEinstein: no superman 3 reference yet?

must be getting old....


www.psu.edu

you sick fuk
 
2010-01-18 11:56:34 AM  
this has been going on for years

though i did take a picture the first time i saw it happen because it was unusual

guess they're all farking up now
 
2010-01-18 11:57:37 AM  

improvius: Schrödinger's crosswalk?


The sign doesn't turn to exclusively "Walk" or "Don't Walk" until you step out into traffic and get hit by a car. Or not.
 
2010-01-18 11:58:03 AM  

improvius: Schrödinger's crosswalk?


is the pedestrian jaywalking or not, only the observing cop will be able to affect the outcome
 
2010-01-18 12:12:22 PM  
images3.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2010-01-18 12:20:00 PM  
...So it's not jaywalking in New York to ignore the lights? Cops won't ticket you?

Come to think of it, can you be ticketed for ignoring the lights anywhere?

hmm.. From Wiki:
At a signalized crossing, a pedestrian is subject to the applicable pedestrian traffic signal or, if no pedestrian signal is displayed, the signal indications for the parallel vehicular movement. A pedestrian signal permits a pedestrian to begin crossing a street during the "Walk" display; the pedestrian is usually considered to be "jaywalking" only if he entered the crosswalk at some other time. The meanings of pedestrian signal indications are summarized in Section 4E.02 of the national Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.[13]

Jaywalking is commonly considered an infraction but in some jurisdictions it is a misdemeanor or requires a court appearance. The penalty is usually a fine. In some cities (e.g. New York City and Boston), although prohibited, "jaywalking" behavior has been so commonplace that police generally cite or detain jaywalkers only if their behavior is considered excessively dangerous or disruptive. Penalties for jaywalking vary by state or province and, within a state, may vary by county or municipality. In Tempe, Arizona, as of June 2006 jaywalking carried fines up to US$118; a sampling of other U.S. cities found fines ranging from US$1[14] to US$750.


You see this is the kinda shiat that pisses me off. They normally don't ticket because it's so common place, but it seems they could if the cop was having a bad day/behind on his quota(if they have those)/whatever. So, to make sure you're not in anyone else's way, you risk getting fined. It might not be a high risk but that it exists pisses me off. I mean if it's OK, make it OK legally! Make it only a 'crime' when if it actually disrupts traffic or some shiat.
 
2010-01-18 12:33:23 PM  
Who cares? People don't use the signs anyway.

We have one of these indecisive signs a block from my office, and if you can't figure out whether it's appropriate to walk or not, chances are you have difficulty breathing on your own.

I've made it a personal hobby to walk early, late, and during "don't walk" signals to see how many people I can get hurt, because people then will follow me or come the opposite way without looking at the traffic, walk signs, or signals. It's incredible. (so far, I've gotten one person hit pretty good, two people grazed and several had to run/jump out of the way)

It's my own personal Darwin initiative. I like to think I'm doing the city a favor.

/If you're anywhere near Hell's Kitchen, and you see someone really awkward wearing glasses and a Yankees hat, you should probably look at the signals
//or perish
///slashies
 
2010-01-18 12:47:40 PM  

Cormee: mreuther: Try pushing that button on the pole a few times. That will fix it.

It also makes the lights change colour quicker.


I don't know if you're serious or not, but not in bigger cities they don't. They are a placebo, just like most close door buttons in the elevator.

Just look at the traffic lights as you get near the intersection, they give a better indication of whether you have time or not.

When I first moved to the city I used to jaywalk whenever I could, but now I just wait for my turn. Living in the city has made me in less of a rush it seems. This is ironic because I grew up in the suburbs and assumed that living in a city is hectic and fast paced, which just isn't true once you become acclimated.
 
2010-01-18 12:49:02 PM  

Oznog: But turning on, then powering up both displays? That's what we call a design defect.


Probably the enclosures are not sufficiently weatherproofed, and the logic line that determines whether to illuminate the walking-man graphic has shorted to "always show".
 
2010-01-18 12:50:33 PM  

gargeug: I don't know if you're serious or not, but not in bigger cities they don't.


Them buttons are pretty rare in Manhattan.
 
2010-01-18 01:11:08 PM  

TheGreatGazoo: The walking guy is white? Isn't that racist?


Yup. What's also racist:

www.oce.oregon.gov

Why can't blacks cross?
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2010-01-18 01:17:15 PM  
kevinshields: We have one of these indecisive signs a block from my office, and if you can't figure out whether it's appropriate to walk or not, chances are you have difficulty breathing on your own.

I have met a traffic signal that a police officer couldn't figure out. He was confused about why I stopped for "do not walk." He was there every morning directing traffic and hadn't yet figured out that when a car stops in the left turn lane it gets a green left arrow and the "do not walk" suddenly gains a purpose -- to protect pedestrians from traffic turning on a green arrow, which promises drivers the right of way.

95% of the time that do not walk is only a nuisance. I don't like pedestrian signals at low to moderate volume intersections because they have to be timed for the worst case instead of the average case.
 
2010-01-18 01:19:23 PM  

jfarkinB: ...the result should be that they light up ONCE, brightly, and then are burned out. This is safety-critical hardware; you don't just fark around with dollar-store Chinese-nightlight designs. Even, or especially, with...


safety critical? Not even close. Even with a "walk" signal, you should be able to see and dangerous conditions when you.. I don't know... look both ways before crossing the street?
 
2010-01-18 01:21:15 PM  

medius: gargeug: I don't know if you're serious or not, but not in bigger cities they don't.

Them buttons are pretty rare in Manhattan.


Here in Chicago they cover the major block intersections, and maybe the 1/2 major blocks.
 
2010-01-18 01:29:27 PM  

gargeug: Cormee: mreuther: Try pushing that button on the pole a few times. That will fix it.

It also makes the lights change colour quicker.

I don't know if you're serious or not, but not in bigger cities they don't. They are a placebo, just like most close door buttons in the elevator.

Just look at the traffic lights as you get near the intersection, they give a better indication of whether you have time or not.

When I first moved to the city I used to jaywalk whenever I could, but now I just wait for my turn. Living in the city has made me in less of a rush it seems. This is ironic because I grew up in the suburbs and assumed that living in a city is hectic and fast paced, which just isn't true once you become acclimated.


I'm not.
 
2010-01-18 01:32:32 PM  
People still walk to places?
 
2010-01-18 01:55:03 PM  

Probably_From_Texas: People still walk to places?


Outside of the desolate shiathole of texass they do.
 
2010-01-18 01:56:56 PM  

Voodoo_Stu: ...So it's not jaywalking in New York to ignore the lights? Cops won't ticket you?


Used to be (late 1970's through 2003 when I worked in NYC) that the ticket was a $2 fine for most forms of jaywalking and that was the problem. With an administrative cost of $40 or more, every ticket written cost the city a lot of money.

And I tried man, I tried. I wanted a jaywalking ticket so bad. And I almost got one too. There used to be a cop stationed outside one of the subway stops down near the battery and I guess in like 1983 or so he was going to finally write me one but his supervisor stopped him. Damn, so close.
 
2010-01-18 01:57:27 PM  

Probably_From_Texas: People still walk to places?


You think that there are still 'people' in NYC?
 
2010-01-18 01:59:28 PM  

garandman1a: Voodoo_Stu: ...So it's not jaywalking in New York to ignore the lights? Cops won't ticket you?

Used to be (late 1970's through 2003 when I worked in NYC) that the ticket was a $2 fine for most forms of jaywalking and that was the problem. With an administrative cost of $40 or more, every ticket written cost the city a lot of money.

And I tried man, I tried. I wanted a jaywalking ticket so bad. And I almost got one too. There used to be a cop stationed outside one of the subway stops down near the battery and I guess in like 1983 or so he was going to finally write me one but his supervisor stopped him. Damn, so close.


The folks in NYC have not thought to put the administrative charges on the ticket and make the 'law'-breaker pay for it?
 
2010-01-18 02:07:51 PM  

Voodoo_Stu: You see this is the kinda shiat that pisses me off. They normally don't ticket because it's so common place, but it seems they could if the cop was having a bad day/behind on his quota(if they have those)/whatever. So, to make sure you're not in anyone else's way, you risk getting fined. It might not be a high risk but that it exists pisses me off. I mean if it's OK, make it OK legally! Make it only a 'crime' when if it actually disrupts traffic or some shiat.


You're right to be concerned about the civil liberty implications of an unenforced law but honestly here in NYC the police cover this one just fine. They don't selectively enforce it by people, but by intersections. There are a few intersections, mostly in the outer boros, where it's really not safe to jaywalk because oncoming traffic can't see you and they're moving too fast to stop. So every once in a while (usually after a child's funeral) the cops will go on a spree at those intersections.
 
2010-01-18 02:11:04 PM  
fnord
 
2010-01-18 02:17:05 PM  

amanogowa: Probably_From_Texas: People still walk to places?

You think that there are still 'people' in NYC?


Yeah for 'people' you need to out to a red state and go find some Real Americans who fark there cousin for fun.
 
2010-01-18 02:21:16 PM  

amanogowa: safety critical? Not even close. Even with a "walk" signal, you should be able to see and dangerous conditions when you.. I don't know... look both ways before crossing the street?


Ooo-kay. By that same reasoning, traffic lights aren't safety-critical, either, because you should make sure your way is clear before you enter an intersection.

"Safety critical" does not mean "any malfunction will electrocute you where you stand".
 
Displayed 50 of 114 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | Last | Show all



This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
On Twitter






In Other Media


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report