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Kicking crosswalk button
Photograph: Time Out

Spray ‘n’ Gripe: Please stop kicking the cross buttons at traffic lights

I know it’s gross, you know it’s gross, so please… stop it

Rebecca Russo
Written by
Rebecca Russo

We’ve seen a lot of strange things coming out of last year (I’m not going to mention the CHO fanfic, but you all know it’s a thing), but here’s one thing I really wish the people of Melbourne would stop doing. Please stop using your dirty shoes to press the cross buttons at intersections.

Yes, I understand. You don’t want to use your hands because yeah, germs. We don’t want to touch a lot of things nowadays for obvious reasons. But do we really have to use the bottom of your dirty shoe to press the cross buttons?

Think of all the disgusting things you stepped in before you pressed your shoe against that cross button: naturally some dirt, regrettably some dog poo, maybe even some other form of excrement that’s just hanging out on the ground. I’m urging you to think of the people who DO in fact touch the cross buttons (and safely hand sanitise immediately afterwards) because even if we're washing our hands more than ever, it's still gross to put your hand on a button without the threat of a mysterious brown substance wiping onto our fingertips. (Yes, it happened to me today... yes, this is why I wrote this entire piece. IT WAS HORRIBLE).

How about we try some alternatives to the shoe trick? Maybe you could use your knee, your butt, the corner of your phone? I know it’s not as dramatic as an athletic roundhouse kick to the button, but it is a lot cleaner. Or just like use your damn fingers and sanitise them, or wash them properly when you get home. 

Also, fun fact! Did you know that in the city, pedestrian crossings are automatic between 5.30am and 12.30am? That means you don’t have to press them at all to cross the road. 

The days of hitting the crosswalk button like a Nintendo 64 controller to make the green man come quicker are over (also, that's not a real thing – sorry). But we can at least try alternative ways of pressing the cross button, right? 

Ever yours,
An annoyed Melburnian.

Read more Spray'n'Gripes: Put the Arts Centre inside the free tram zone, you cowards.

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