Nonetheless, it's a pretty pervasive belief that pedestrians have the right-of-way at all times. People frequently cross against the walk signal, while the BIGREDHAND™ is displayed, then yell at drivers to stop for pedestrians or that pedestrians have the right of way. It makes me wonder; are traffic signals and crossing the street safely not taught in elementary schools here? It's one thing to not care, but it's oddly fascinating that so many people really think the crosswalks and walk signals are just there for no reason.
The thing though that I really can't understand is all of the drivers who will stop and motion me across while I'm waiting at a BIGREDHAND™with my preschool-aged child, many of whom will get aggravated when I don't cross against the light as they've suggested. I've had people with their windows rolled down tell me they're letting me go, and what am I standing there for if I don't want to cross, etc. I assume it's coming from a good place, but then why do they become more aggravated when I tell them "I appreciate it, but...", then gesture toward the HAND™ and motion toward the child next to me?
No, really, I think people don't know what the lights are for. I mean, sure, I will cross against the HAND™ when no one is coming and I don't have my child with me, but are other people really not teaching their children basic traffic light rules while the kids are at that concrete stage where rules are rules? What happens when their kids see a segment on Sesame Street about traffic lights and ask about it? Or those street-light/street-sign posters that decorate so many elementary school classrooms? I'm honestly curious; are these families telling their children that the lights in Boston are different and don't mean anything? Or that our family doesn't believe in traffic lights? Or just telling them to shut up and walk out in front of the dumptruck?