In this current age of distractions, many people don’t know if they’re coming or going and wander about in a cloud of amazement. Adding to the amazement, while also creating a dangerous uncertainty, a record number of crosswalk markers are now malfunctioning on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. To cross or not to cross the street is the question as people stand and gaze at the friendly “crossing man”/“flashing hand” telling them to do both…whether or not the vehicular stream is stopped or speeding by on its counteractive course.

We’ve been getting more and more tips about broken crosswalk signals showing both the Don’t Walk symbol (“Red Hand”) and the Walk symbol (“White Man”) simultaneously. Today a reader e-mails: “My girlfriend and I have noticed an ongoing problem of the ‘Walk/Don’t’ walk signs actually ‘freezing’ in place when it gets cold out. Both a bright red hand and a walk sign stay up at the same time, presumably opening the city up to some serious lawsuits should something go awry. We must have seen it about 30 times in the last month, prompting my email.” Gothamist

The latest snafu is occurring at crosswalks in the 70s/80s blocks along Broadway, Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues; one of the the most affluent areas in  NYC. The Department of Transportation is in the process of repairing the confusion before it results in a catastrophe. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t hold my breath; if anything, I would certainly be more decisive in matters of whether to come or to go.