Placebo Buttons: Elevator Door, Crosswalk & Thermostats

October 31, 2016

© Photoz83 | Dreamstime

Unless there is an out of order sign across it, you'd expect buttons to do what they say they'll do, like close elevator doors, turn the A/C temperate down or activate cross walk signs.  Come to find out, many buttons are nothing but lies. For instance, cross walk signals.  While some actually do cause the traffic light to change, most do nothing at all and that's because of computer control traffic light timing.  In larger cities, like New York City, figures state that out of the 3,250 crosswalk buttons, 2,500 of them were replaced with mechanical placebos, or non-functioning mechanisms. ABC new conducted a survey in 2010 and found that in Gainesville, only one cross walk button actually works.  The reason the buttons are still in place is because it costs about $1 million to remove them.  The same is true for office thermostat.  In 2003, the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration News found that many offices install 'dummy thermostats', with 51 out of 71 people in the survey confirmed their office in fact has one.  As for the close door button on an elevator.  IT too is obsolete since the passing of the Americans With Disabilities Act in 1990.  The law means elevator doors must remain open long enough for someone with a physical disability, such as on crutches or in a wheelchair, to make it inside.  However the button comes alive during an emergency with a proper emergency key.

SOURCE: New York Times

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