Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Traffic Light Update

Wondrous day!

There's a traffic light at the intersection of Tremont and West Newton where the 'walk' signal has never worked as long as I've been going by there (three years or so). I'd push the button sometimes, as a sort of ritualistic gesture, like rubbing a statue's toes for luck or something, but I long ago learned not to expect any result.

But today, without any outward signs of change in the light, the box with the 'walk' signal, or the pole with the button...somehow, the signal works! That little lighted walking person silhouette is displayed!

I was nearly too stunned to actually cross the street.

I salute the Boston Transportation Department for making this repair. I'd make some sarcastic remark about how it's good to see city maintenance done in a timely fashion, but honestly, it's not as if I ever reported that the light was broken, so maybe no one else did either. 'Walk' signals are more a suggestion than a rule in Boston anyway, so maybe no one ever missed it enough to call it in, and I suppose it's entirely possible they didn't even know about it until yesterday.

It's not exactly a lesson in the importance of civic participation, because I don't know that someone finally reported it and that's why it got fixed (although that's a touching story), but it's not exactly a lesson in the inability of a vast bureaucracy to fix a small pedestrian safety issue, either, because I don't know that they would have known it was broken (although that's an exasperating story).

So I guess in the end, it's a story with a very unsatisfactory lack of closure. Sorry about that.

The main thing is, I was excited out of all proportion to the meaning of the event when I saw that little walking person figure. And if something made me happy, that's good enough, right?

Of course right.

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