Unless you just never go outside or have to cross streets, you have probably used a crosswalk. At those crosswalks you probably notice little buttons and signs that give pedestrians instructions on what to do. Those buttons are there and they tell us to push them to cross but what do they really even do?
ABC 7 in Santa Rosa, California must have wondered the same thing about the crosswalks and buttons in the Bay Area so they set out to figure out just what the heck the buttons even do.
Paul Rose of San Francisco's Municipal Transportation Agency started out by saying "every crosswalk button has a purpose."
The purpose of these buttons is to either actually change the pattern of traffic to give people a chance to cross, like we all assume all of them do, or it simply makes the light light up and the voice box go to tell those who are hearing or vision impaired know when to cross.
Rose also says that pushing the button more than once doesn't really do anything or get you to stepping faster but if you feel like it, nobody's really going to stop you.
So basically either push the buttons or not, you should still be able to use your common sense to know where or when to cross, unless you're vision impaired, in that case the box will tell you and we'll all be on our merry way. Source: ABC 7