NewsChannel 9 has uncovered new information that may surprise you. City traffic engineers say most of the buttons that pedestrians use to cross streets in downtown Chattanooga have not worked in years, and they say some push buttons are only in operation overnight.
Weave learned that city workers will soon remove those buttons from most downtown intersections.
On Wednesday, the weather was like spring and what better day was it for a nice bike ride or a run in downtown Chattanooga. But the traffic can be a mess, especially during lunch and rush hour. That's why many pedestrians rely on the push buttons to safely cross the street.
"I guess as long as I get the walk light, because I have been on streets where if you don't change it, you'll never get the walk light," said Chattanooga resident Jeff Coulter.
We found out between 6am and 10pm, regardless to how many times you push this button, it doesn't work.
"I'm a little irritated, why do they even have a button, if it doesn't work?" questions Chattanooga resident Ellen McNeal.
"I guess I would prefer to have the button, because I'm used to it and there are a lot of pedestrians, and a lot of people who run at lunch," said Jeff Coulter.
City officials say the crosswalk lights have worked on a timer for the past five years. So, essentially there's no need for the push button.
In the coming months, traffic engineers say they plan to remove the push buttons at 70 of their 85 downtown intersections - all to help downtown become more pedestrian and bike friendly.
"That's going to remove the indecision that some people would have at these locations on whether to push the buttons or not. We'll be providing the walk signal every single cycle irrespective," said traffic engineer Kevin Comstock.
But, almost everyone we found say, "One or the other, make the button work or take them down, I would agree with that," said Jeff Coulter.
Traffic engineers say they plan to remove the push buttons from many downtown intersections beginning in October.
By Jerry Askin