An old woman, her hands holding onto a walker, stands on the curb waiting for the light to change so she can cross Amsterdam Avenue.
When the light changes, she slowly inches her way out into the street as dozens of people swarm past her and around her, some even cutting in front of her.
Less than half way across the street, the pedestrian signal turns orange and begins to flash; “9 seconds,” it reads, then “6 seconds,” then “4 seconds.”
She is only two thirds of the way across the street when the “don’t walk” light stops blinking its countdown warning and illuminates steadily.
When the light for the cross traffic turns green, cars and trucks instantly stream toward the old woman. She doesn’t seem phased; she just continues on her way, seemingly oblivious to the onslaught of traffic in the same way they seem oblivious to her.
The traffic slows, but the drivers seem impatient with her, gunning their engines and zipping around her the moment it’s possible to do without hitting her.