Do traffic light buttons really work? We went to the source
Do those traffic light buttons really work?
Anecdotally, I can tell you it seems like they don't do s**t. Every morning ,I sit at the same traffic light and watch people push the button provided on the pole that gives the impression that the light will change sooner. It never does, but that's during morning rush hour. Maybe at off-peak hours late at night, they might work.
But Here's what it says on the NJ Dept. of Transportation website:
Do the push buttons really work?
Yes, the buttons really work but they work more like pushing a button for an elevator than flipping a light switch. When pushing the button for an elevator, you expect to wait until the elevator gets to the floor you are on before the doors open. A pedestrian push button works much the same way. Motor vehicles have to be given enough notice to allow them to stop safely before you can safely cross the roadway much like waiting for the elevator to get to your floor before the doors open.
This week, I watched a guy push the button repeatedly, then he gave up and crossed halfway up to the Jersey barrier and waited there 'til the coast was clear. This was on a major highway.
Just because someone wants to cross a state highway quicker during morning rush hour, you can't expect traffic to be stopped on a major highway so you can walk across safely. We live in an entitled society where we expect the world to stop if we want to get to where we want to go.
If you want to cross when the light is green your way and it's the middle of the night, press away, but just about any other time of the day, you're just pressing the "wish" button. Wishes can come true, but not during rush hour!
More from New Jersey 101.5: