Beg Button

photo of button

Beg button: cynical term for pedestrian push buttons at intersections

Rather than build pedestrian phases into traffic light cycles, conservative traffic engineers can erect buttons at intersections. When people on foot pushes a button, they will eventually get walk signals. At large, pedestrian-hostile intersections, the wait might take more than one light cycle.

There are few beg buttons in DC. DDOT, in Washington, D.C, serves a progressive, dense East Coast city where a majority of commuters take public transport, walk, or bike, and policies support the creation of complete streets. Rural highway departments are typically much less friendly to pedestrians.