Thursday, 31 January 2008

Why did the Brightonian cross the road?


Why did the Brightonian cross the road? Or rather, how did the Brightonian cross the road?
Some might say the answer to the first question is universally ‘To get to the other side’ but I quite prefer the answer given by Capt James T Kirk of the Starship Enterprise: ‘To boldly go where no Brightonian has gone before’. I reckon he’s been watching us...

The art of crossing the road in this city is to wait for a space in the traffic, step off the kerb, stare straight ahead and walk purposefully to the other side. No matter that the space between the traffic is lessening by the second; no matter that you are in a 40 mph speed limit zone; no matter that a car has just whizzed out of a side-turning at great speed and is heading for you. Just keep staring towards the other side of the road - never left or right - and your devil-may-care attitude will get you where you want to go.

There is also a Brightonion road crossing strategy when crossing the road at pedestrian-crossing lights. This strategy is fuelled by the knowledge that at some time in the near (or possibly distant) future there will be a gap in the traffic. Whatever you do, Don’t Press the Traffic Light ‘Wait’ button. Even though you are standing in the main street in Brighton: even though the rush hour’s constant stream of traffic is thundering past you; even though it’s very unlikely that there will, in fact, be a gap in the traffic... Don’t press that button!! It goes against the grain. It certainly goes against the Brightonian grain.

So, when you approach your next traffic-lit pedestrian crossing in Brighton, just stand back and watch. You’ll see what I mean...

Hilary

2 comments:

Seeker said...

You forgot one that I see in Brighton all the time! It is....... go to the crossing and press the traffic light 'wait' button, then get impatient and run across the road anyway - completely ignoring the fact that a bus or lorry might come thundering around the corner at any moment!

I have seen so many people have narrow escapes in the town centre simply because they couldn't be bothered to wait for the lights to turn 'green' for them!

VisitBrighton: said...

The points you make, I am sure, are pretty typical of most cities, but this city is thankfully very aware of them and has launched a road safety campaign at:

See: http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/index.cfm?request=c1146605