Walking has proven health benefits for humans. For bone and brain health, as well as equilibrium. It sustains peace, it flatters your heart when you walk a significant part of each day. Especially when you vary your pace. It’s useful for writers who may feel ‘stuck’ with a piece, especially when a due date looms and a fresh word or idea is needed.

I like walking because there’s no sweat as with running. No special clothing, no hubris.

I don’t often walk in our suburban city, but when I do, I push the walk button. It’s safe, it’s convenient, it’s polite.

It’s more often that I observe ‘walk button’ behavior of pedestrians accumulated at a corner while I sit in the driver’s seat of my idling car until the stop light turns great and it’s my turn to go, go, go.

According to my experience-based tally, a large percentage of pedestrians stopped by a light view it as an inconvenience. The joggers run in place and/or check their heart rate monitor to assure that their health benefits accrue. The males among them impatiently poke the walk button that signals their turn. Multiple times.

Perhaps these people are control freaks, intent on bending this traffic tool to their will. Perhaps they are introverts or neighbor-haters. Maybe they’ve carved a mere twenty minutes before they must get to work. Maybe they’re hyperactive and full throttle is how they roll. Alternately they could be bored – and/or forgot they’d already pushed the walk button.

Perhaps they’re just impatient. Maybe, like the tykes I see, think it’s fun.

According to a source at Caltrans, the walk button responds with only one push.

Note the corners of sidewalks as you drive by, auto-addicted peeps. Note the swarm, the scrum, and who steps forward to push the walk button.

My guess is that every single walker pushes that button… with authority.

While it’s not appropriate to push other people around – or to push their buttons – the walk button is fair game for all.