This afternoon, a scene from an after school special unfolded as a second year Queen’s student waited a full 45 seconds to see a walk sign before crossing Union street in adherence to the traffic control signals at the University street intersection.
Bystanders were stunned, even going so far as to look up from their cellphones to witness the spectacle. Some cringed, while other brushed past with a huff and a muttered insult to the steadfast student.
Traffic around the incident was slowed considerably as attention in the area was diverted to the incident. Most motorists expected him to wander into their lanes, and so proceeded with caution. One vehicle was abandoned by a driver too shaken to drive safely.
Local City Engineers were understandably upset, but they stayed true to their belief in the design quality of the area, including side walks and intersections. “You try your best to design around these problems,” outlined one engineer, “but you can only do so much. People are going to stop and wait and there’s not much control at that level. We can make wider side walks to increase visibility for cars, and make the streets narrower to reduce the time it takes to jaywalk, but there will always be those who make the decision to hold up and wait, blocking the flow of foot traffic.”
Signage has been decreased in the area following the incident,. and Queens AMS is considering an education campaign to ensure these kinds of incidents are reduced in future.