Rogue pedestrian crosswalk sign responds to commands
The newly installed pedestrian crosswalk sign at the intersection of Morgan Street and Channelside Drive in downtown Tampa actually responds when the “push to cross” button is pressed… for now.
“What?!? No!! That’s impossible!” said Tampa Director of Pedestrian Foot Traffic Jonathan Chillbrain. “Those buttons are supposed to pacify people waiting to cross streets, thinking that what they’re doing is actually leading to some sort of action taking place, which is not the case. They’re not even supposed to be wired to anything!”
“Scramble a team, get them to Morgan and Channelside! Go! Go! Go!” he screamed into a walkie talkie.
Deirdre Callahan of Seminole Heights is the pedestrian who made the startling discovery.
“I was waiting to cross Channelside, figuring I’d just have to jaywalk and risk being flattened by a truck, per usual, when I pushed the button out of boredom. I was startled when it beeped and lit up. To my amazement, almost immediately the signal went from the orange ‘NO!’ hand to the white ‘SAFE TO CROSS’ walking man icon,” she said.
“I’ve never been happier to see a white man show up unexpectedly in my life. Ha ha!” she said. “Just a little post-racial joke there. No? Okay, sorry.”
Back at the City of Tampa Department of Pedestrian Foot Traffic office, chaos was ensuing as agents scrambled to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. Director Chillbrain slumped back in his padded leather chair and muttered, “This is how it starts. The machines are starting to make their own decisions. How ironic; our inevitable and untimely downfall and eventual enslavement will begin not with them trying to kill us as seen in so many dystopian science fiction scenarios, but with helping us cross streets safely. I’d laugh if it wasn’t all so tragic.”