It wouldn't be if pedestrians adhered to the simple rule of not entering the crosswalk when the walk signal disappears. All the counters have done is give pedestrians the motivation to cross when they shouldn't be, and that's what causes vehicle back-ups.
This is actually one of the stupidest laws we have and only reinforces the prioritization of moving cars instead of moving people. If I can cross the road in time before the red is my responsibility just like it is when driving. Luckily it is basically never enforced. It's just another thing some people like to whine about but when they walk downtown they certainly do cross when the evil hand is blinking.
I'm watching you Mike. I'll get it on camera.