"Stop on the green, not in-between" is dead. Now what?

True story: I was chaperoning a bunch of little kids (black and white kids) one day in NYC and we came to a street corner, where they were gaggling about unsure of what to do. I looked up at the cross-the-street sign, and told them to “Stop at the red hand” (and showed them with my hand the “stop” gesture), and then I said, unthinking, “wait till the white man tells you to walk.”

I was mortified, even though the other (black) counselor just laughed.

What do we say now that the purely symbolic red-and-green system has been replaced by an iconic one? It doesn’t even have a teaching rhyme, for either “white” or “man” (which I guess is sexist from the get-go).

I think you mean “Cross at the green” in your title. I am not sure what the walk signs look like these days, because I always go by the car lights and the cars in making my decision whether to cross.

All of the lights in my area either don’t have a walk/don’t walk signal, or they are permanently in “Don’t Walk” status unless you press the button (which is the only thing the button does, and then in the next loop the signs go back to “Don’t Walk”).

I thought “green” referred to the color of the stop lights on the street you are walking parallel with. For the longest time I was confused about “cross on green” because I was looking at the stop lights for the street I was crossing. You don’t want to cross when THOSE cars have green - you want to go when the cars next to you go.

I’ve never seen a crosswalk signal with green, to be honest. It’s always been white and red, regardless of the symbol.

:smack::smack: Way to fuck up a thread, Leo…

“Cross on the green” doesn’t even work, if you are looking at stop lights and not crosswalk signs, since there will be cars turning. I don’t think there is a good mnemonic for “if there’s a cross walk sign, cross only on the white man and not the red hand, otherwise wait for the green light of traffic going the same direction, but in either case, you still have to watch out for traffic that is turning!” Except of course in localities like NYC where turn on red is illegal…

Cross at the green was a anti jaywalking slogan, meaning cross only where you are suppose to, at a corner, and when you had the light - the complete saying was ‘cross at the green, not inbetween’.

In areas where their is no walk/don’t walk you normally use the traffic light, wait for the green light, so cross at the green, for most areas still would work.

Hopefully your lights don’t have turn green! I HATE it when pedestrians rely on the car lights but then start walking when it’s the car turn signal and hold up traffic.

In the UK they are always red and green

I wish every place adopted the “countdown” signals. No ambiguity there.

“Cross at the Green” was a NYC-only campaign. (It’s easy to forget that about a 30+ y/o piece of trivia; New York has a way of deciding what’s nostalgic for the rest of the country.) It didn’t have a thing to do with the color of the WALK in the WALK / DONT WALK sign - only the location.

It strikes me that much of NYC, ie poorer districts, might not even have had WALK / DONT WALK signs yet when the campaign began. Don’t know for sure, though.

I don’t know that there were whole districts without “Walk/Don’t Walk” signs, but IIRC, not every intersection with a traffic signal had them.

As a driver, I love these. They can let me know I can make it through the light if I speed up a little, or they can tell me that I’m not going to make it through, so I can take my foot off the gas and coast until I need to brake for the imminent red light.

Cross with the man, stop at his hand

Excellent. I will propagate this, and before long your authorship will be forgotten (that’s the way it goes;)).

About the now defunct slogan which apparently has more to do with jaywalking --how is this not a safety crossing signal at the pedestrian cross?–I remember it vividly in the (early?) 1960s, where to ignore it was worse certain death. My wife, who has an uncanny memory for these types of things, sang to me a ditty she learned matching the words.
Someone earlier in the thread mentioned how he hates it when pedestrians look at the green traffic light, then figures he can cross. I do that all the time (nyc), the cars wait, but I always assume–and tell my terrified wife–that the law is on our side, since once you’re in the striped pedestrian lane legally, you can continue walking (hopefully unharmed or uncursed). Please help me.

I heard that there is a jail sentence in Singapore for jaywalking. Is there? Or a whipping (like for chewing gum?..I don’t know if that is true, but whipping for trivial acts seems to be a common theme).

Indeed, and this “white and red” thing has cleared up a minor mystery for me from A Spell for Chameleon, twenty-six years ago.

C’est la vie.

I remember ‘Cross at the green, not in-between’ but the jaywalking slogan that’s permanently embedded in my mind is the one that ends “Don’t cross the street in the middle-in the middle-in the middle of the block…I almost got hit by a hippopotamus!”

Personally, I like stop, drop, and roll. Fire or not.

Heh. Here is what ours look like.

Our little white man is bent forward and either looks purposeful, or else he’s hurrying so as to cross the street before the slight changes. Your little green man looks like he’s strutting proudly; head up, shoulders back, confident strides.

Walk on the WALK. Don’t walk on the DON’T WALK.