Do Not Press This Button in Downtown Rochester
You've probably seen them at various intersections in downtown Rochester, but we're not supposed to push them anymore.
I first noticed the sign alerting me about these now-meaningless buttons on a traffic signal at the intersection of 2nd Street and Highway-52 in Rochester while I was stopped at a red light.
But, I wasn't close enough to the sign to read what it said. However, I just noticed a similar sign on a traffic signal at the intersection of 4th Street and 3rd Avenue and was able to park my car and get out to take a picture of the sign-- which says we no longer have to push those walk buttons.
You know the buttons I'm talking about, right? They're on every traffic signal and are-- or used to be-- used to get the light to change and activate the walk sign, so you could then safely cross the street. But according to this sign, those buttons really don't do anything anymore.
The sign says:
No need to push the button. This signal has been programmed to activate the walk cycle automatically. Please wait to cross the street until the walk signal appears.
Which means pushing that walk button when you get to any intersection (or, at least intersections with a similar sign) is pretty much meaningless. It's kind of like this Mental Floss story that says the 'close door' button on an elevator most likely also doesn't do anything these days, either-- as most elevator doors are pre-programmed to close after a set amount of time.
When and why these walk buttons became meaningless in Rochester is still a mystery, though THIS Star Tribune story says that the city of Minneapolis automated its walk signals during the start of the pandemic last spring, thinking that the coronavirus might be further spread by everyone touching those buttons at intersections across the city.
I'm not sure if that was the thinking behind Rochester's now-meaningless walk buttons or not. But, if you're out and about walking through downtown, DON'T push that walk button-- because it doesn't do anything!
Speaking of intersections and traffic signals, Rochester certainly seems to have a LOT of them-- some of which even seem a bit unnecessary, if you ask me. Keep scrolling to check out the 11 Most Annoying Intersections in Rochester!