13. Poland (Public Infrastructure Post)

9 Oct

So I’ve had a couple of days to assess this new country and I have to say: I’m quite impressed. It very much reminds me of Germany. Many Germans have this unusual (by Canadian standards) habit of waiting for the don’t walk signal to change before they cross the street. They do this even if there are no cars around. I’ve written about this before.

Well, they do that here in Krakow, but they do it just a little bit different. It seems to me that the pedestrians and the motorists have some sort of strange understanding about how they are supposed to interact at the no-traffic-light crosswalks.

If you’ve never seen one of these before, they’re basically a crosswalk (usually in the middle of a street – not close to an intersection) that is marked by zebra stripes painted on the pavement and a triangular traffic sign with blue border and a symbol of a walking stick dude. Other cities have these, but the act of using one to cross the street is not the same as it is here in Krakow.

In other cities I’ve traveled to, the pedestrian makes eye contact with the driver and heads out into the street. That happens here but sometimes the pedestrians will do this thing where they wait and do a survey of the larger traffic situation before engaging the approaching motorist. They will then delay their crossing if it’s beneficial to the vehicular traffic. For example, if there are additional vehicles blocking the other side of the street, the pedestrian will stay put and motion the car through.

It’s a subtle thing but it has added a certain quality to my time here. Good on you Polish people (Krakow district). Keep up the good existence.

They also had a system for audibly presenting the streetcar timetables (for passengers with visual impairment)

They also had a system for audibly presenting the streetcar timetables (for passengers with visual impairments). I like.

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4 Responses to “13. Poland (Public Infrastructure Post)”

  1. shaheenseth October 9, 2015 at 15:13 #

    cool! you’re in my mother’s home town

  2. dEbs October 10, 2015 at 23:02 #

    In Japan, they also wait for the light to turn green before crossing….even if there are no cars passing. This I do not understand.

    • Die Hard Three October 11, 2015 at 02:06 #

      In Germany part of it is about setting a good example for the kids – you never know who might be watching. Monkey see. Monkey do.

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