Rodney Brooks:

A few blocks further away from where I live is a somewhat different environment, a commercial shopping, bar, and restaurant area (with the upper floors occupied by M.I.T. spin-off startups), known as Central Square^{\big 3}. There are marked pedestrian crossings there, and mostly people stick to crossing the roads at those designated places. Things are a little less civil here, perhaps because more people driving through are not local residents from right around the neighborhood.
 People step out tentatively into the marked cross walks and visually check whether on-coming drivers are slowing down, or indicate in some way that they have seen the pedestrian. During the day it easy to see into the cars and get an idea of what the driver is paying attention to, and the same is actually true at night as there is enough ambient light around to see into most cars. Pedestrians and drivers mostly engage in a little social interaction, and any lack of interaction is usually an indicator to the pedestrian that the driver has not seen them. And when such a driver barrels through the crossing the pedestrians get angry and yell at the car, or even lean their hands out in front of the car to show the driver how angry they are.
 Interestingly, many pedestrians reward good behavior by drivers. Getting on the main street or off of the main street from or onto a small side street can often be tricky for a driver. There are often so many people on the sidewalks that there is a constant flow of foot traffic crossing the exits or entrances of the side streets. Drivers have to be patient and ready for a long wait to find a break. Often pedestrians who have seen how patient a driver is being will voluntarily not step into the cross walk, and either with a head or hand signal indicate to a driver that they should head through the crossing. And if the driver doesn’t respond they make the signal again–the pedestrian has given the turn to the driver and expects them to take it.