Earlier this year we noted how Bridgeport, Connecticut was asking pedestrians to wave silly yellow flags with pictures of pedestrians waving flags. Now Fort Lauderdale is getting into the act, suggesting that pedestrians pick up and wave a red flag as they cross the street at a busy intersection.
Now I would have thought that waving a red flag in front of a Porsche would be an invitation to drag race at high speed and would be totally counterproductive, but there you go. Instead, according to the Miami Herald, " flags are part of Fort Lauderdale’s plan to become a “multimodal city.”
The reasoning behind the process is to elevate public safety, make pedestrians more visible at an intersection that is not signalized,” [city spokesperson] Damiano said. “We’re shifting our focus from moving vehicles to moving pedestrians safely.
The Vice Mayor says much the same thing: "The idea of adding the flags was to add another element of safety and it’s a minimal cost to the city. It’s all part of the process of changing people’s ideas about transportation."
I noted in an earlier post that the City of Fort Lauderdale is really trying. Their website notes that "Creating a safe and accessible pedestrian and bicycle network is an important component to the City’s overall vision of creating a Livable City for all residents."
But waving red flags isn't sending the right message to pedestrians or drivers; red flags imply that people who walk are either commies or surrender monkeys. Or maybe the lifeguards on the Fort Lauderdale beaches should demand swimmers carry flags too, so that they are easier to see.
As noted before, they had the right idea 150 years ago: slow the cars down and make them carry the flag.