Questioning the Crosswalk

On my neighborhood walking loop, there are now several signs on one block about ducks crossing.  I have never seen any ducks in this area, but there is a tiny pond nearby so maybe I’m just missing them.

When I first spotted the sign, my first thought was how would the ducks know that they were supposed to cross there.  Was the sign somehow guiding them to the safest place (in this case at the top of a hill with good vision from both directions).  After ponding on this for a few minutes, I decided that if the goal of the signs was to guide the ducks, then probably they would be lower to the ground and in whatever language ducks can actually read.

My second interpretation was that the sign was to encourage drivers, bikers, and I guess walkers like me to keep an eye out for ducks.  This theory made a lot more sense but still had flaws.  On one side of the street was the tiny pond, but the other side was a series of houses and a church with a large lawn.  Why would this spot be more likely to have ducks crossing than from farther down the hill, between the un-mowed hill and a large church with flowering lawns.  Was the tiny pond such a big duck draw?  If I were a duck, I think I be more into the little stream on the other side of the hill, which was surrounded by cherry blossoms.

At least a mile of my wandering yesterday afternoon was filled with questions about this sign and the unseen ducks who used it.  Maybe I’m doubting the signs value because I have seen so many pedestrians ignore crosswalks to jaywalk across the street, even if the corner is only 20 feet away.  Or maybe its because every time I go for a walk or run, I am almost hit by at least one car because the driver is not looking both ways (Every.  Single.  Time).  Or maybe its because I can’t imagine these unseen ducks chilling out long enough in urban Portland to develop a walking pattern.

Or maybe, just maybe, I am spending way too much time wondering about a bunch of ducks who don’t give a quack about me.

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