November 13, 2002

Pedestrian Crossing Flags

Category: Urban Planning

Berkeley: I love Berkeley, I really do. But sometimes I just don't get it. The City installed 3,000 orange flags in buckets at intersections around town for pedestrians to use when crossing the street. The idea is they take a flag out, walk across the street with it, then put it back in the bucket on the other side. I've always looked at this program as a very nice gesture, but could never see myself actually using one of these silly flags.

As for the program's success, very few people actually did use them, and second of all, they were all stolen within a year. Even funnier, and this still amazes me every time I'm in town, is that traffic almost always stops for pedestrians anyway. It's a truly amazing site to see a 4 lane road come to a polite halt because someone, even a jaywalker, is standing on the curb. So what's the use of the flags?

Anyways, Berkeley is now replacing the orange flags that were swiped with yellow ones and trying the project again. Oh well, I can't fault the effort, and it's not very costly, but it just seems a bit silly. If they must insist on having them, why not distribute the new flags directly to elderly residents and others who might actually take comfort in using them, instead of leaving them out on the street?

Relevant Articles: [New Yellow Flags][All Flags Stolen]

Posted by Nick at November 13, 2002 7:20 PM