questionsdoes the "push button to cross main st." button…

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Depends on the situation. Some do actually have an effect, but many are "feel good" buttons.

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At some intersections, there will never be a walk sign unless you push it.

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This is similar to the "close door" button on elevators, its there to make you feel like you are actually doing something...

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It's a dummy button, same with elevators (at least most of the time). With streets, the lights are on a timer...Giving people control would throw those off.

In most cases, the buttons are really just psychological validation. They're they're to give you a feeling of control, and the light will seem to have changed faster, or at the very least you'll feel responsible for your being able to walk.

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around here, it actually leads to a walk sign. If you don't push it, you'll just be standing at the corner forever or run over.

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Per the previous comments, the buttons are designed to signal the walk sign, not the light change. Stoplights are timed based on traffic flow observations and programmed, the push to walk buttons do not alter this timing.

The newer buttons in KC now beep to help the blind, pretty cool.

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Helps people who need more practice pushing buttons.

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@hossdawg97: It helped Joe (who works at the button factory) get a promotion.

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If the light is simply timed, it probably doesn't do anything, or maybe gives a slightly longer "green" in the walking direction.

When the intersection is triggered by traffic, the walk buttons serve as the 'trigger'.