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Red Hand & The Walking Man

About ten years ago, the pedestrian traffic lights changed all over the city. Apparently a red “DONT WALK [sic]” and a white “WALK” sign were too sophisticated, too intellectually challenging for the non-English speakers and illiterate among us. Countless tourists must have been walking into traffic for decades, I suppose. I mean, there could have been no other reason for replacing all those thousands of WALK/DONT WALK traffic lights with the ridiculous pictograms of the red hand and the white walking guy which now assault New Yorkers and visitors daily. Right?

It’s bad enough for anyone who remembers the pre-Giuliani/Bloomberg city, or anyone who has an ounce of respect for the intelligence of their fellow human beings. It’s REALLY bad when you’re trying to teach your two year old daughter when it’s OK to cross the street and when it isn’t. I feel like such a tool every time I have to say to her, “Now honey, stay on the sidewalk until the red hand thingy turns into that white walking man….” I honestly think that’s MORE complicated than WALK/DONT WALK, whether or not you know how to read, which Weevy still doesn’t.

I know that longtime NYC-ers are always bitching about how much the city has changed for the worse over the years, but I’ve gotta say, when they replaced those fucking traffic lights, an important part of the city died. And I think it’s going to affect my child in the same way that, I don’t know, watching Barney would. Not that something like THAT would ever happen on my watch, but you get the idea.


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