Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Price Of Progress...

I know it's a small thing, but a new crosswalk where I catch the bus that takes me home made me wonder...just what is the price of progress?

When I left work yesterday I noticed the city had installed a shiny new crosswalk. It's impressive, too. Pedestrians can push a button and light will stop traffic allowing us bipeds and others to cross the street with in a higher degree of security.

So, what's the cost to install this safety device, and I'm not including the actual cost of labor, materials, and city council debate time? I know pedestrians will love it--another measure to help us win the war against the evil cars, trucks, buses, and motorcycles. Because every pedestrian knows, drivers hate pedestrians.

Of course, drivers are going to hate the light--just another thing to impede their forward progress. Drivers can never catch a break. It's bad enough they've got to look out for fitness-loving, earth-protecting bicyclists. 

So, is the new crosswalk worth the inconvenience? It's a philosophical question that can't be answered. Statistics will most likely prove it will save lives, but would those lives have been saved anyway? If drivers could be a little more patient, alert, and understanding, and if pedestrians could be a little more humble, patient and understanding, we probably don't need the shiny new crosswalk after all.

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