Most of the time the red glowing crosswalk hand is stern, yes, but polite and considerate, like a warning from a loving father: "I really understand you want to cross right now. And I do want you to be happy, Daniel. But your mother and I care about you very much, and if you keep walking in the direction you're going, without stopping for a while, you're liable to get hit by a car or, worse, pregnant."
One exception: this crossing sign near Maple Street.
Lately, that sign is more like the hand of a loving father who just got cut off by a tractor-trailer going 90 on a rainy stretch of I-5.
That sign appears to be flipping gentle pedestrians of Spokane "the bird."
KXLY has the full story, quoting city spokesperson Marlene Feist, who insists that the appearance of a middle finger raised aloft to Spokane drivers and pedestrians was "clearly unintentional."
The thinking is that compacted snow has obscured the pinky, index, and ring finger of the "Stop" hand, and with city workers busy plowing streets and moving cars, nobody has returned the sign to its regular, non-obscene gesture.
For now, pedestrians and drivers will have to take matters into their own hands (or fingers), letting loose a loud "Well, same to you buddy!" every time they pass it.