Doing stuff in Innsbruck and Austria - one of a series of pages for Americans abroad:

Walking the streets

      For an American, the most striking fact of being on the streets of Austria and Germany is that most people strictly obey the "Walk" and "Don't Walk" lights at intersections. Americans who are tempted to follow American custom, which is to ignore such signals, should remember two things. The first is that Americans commonly don't understand the complexity of traffic in busy European intersections, leading to embarrassment or injury when one doesn't follow the rules. Secondly, foreigners who ignore the "Walk" and "Don't Walk" lights set an example for young natives and thus erode the local culture. "When in Austria, do as the Austrians" is thus both a safe and culturally sensitive rule.  

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