In the chaos of the urban environment crosswalks serve as a forced respite for hectic travelers who navigate the streets and avenues, often mindlessly traveling through time and space from one destination to the next with little awareness of the present moment.  In the words of Alan Watts:

"When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point.”

Whether or not one is fully conscious, crosswalks force one, ever so briefly, to focus on the moment, if for no other reason than self-preservation.