New Kind of traffic light

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  #1  
Old 03-25-13, 03:30 PM
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New Kind of traffic light

I just received an e-mail from my city councilman in College Park about a new kind of pedestrian traffic light designed to show drivers that a pedestrian wants to cross after a button is pressed. The idea is interesting and is supposed to make walking on the streets a bit safer. They have a new traffic light already and I think they want to add this because the intersection in question is also a school zone so hopefully it will be safer for the children to walk. Has anyone else seen this in their area? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBltx0Argag
 
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Old 03-25-13, 03:35 PM
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I know when we go to myrtle beach the intersections have a button for pedestrians to push that will make the light change so you can walk across. I know I'm a little slow these days but it barely gives me time to cross before the light changes again.
 
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Old 03-25-13, 04:55 PM
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I like that idea. It lets you know when a pedestrian is actually going to cross. So there is no guessing as to what their intention is.
 
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Old 03-25-13, 05:47 PM
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Before the traffic light they had something like this but they were just a flashing traffic light above the pedestrian sign and the light would only be turned on when children were crossing the street. I assume that this will be tied into the street light and go on when someone presses the walk button. We have always had two cross walks in North College Park and I imagine they might add another sign like this at the cross walk that doesn't have a street light.
 
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Old 03-25-13, 09:40 PM
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There is one community nearby that, when you push the button, yellow strobes actually mounted in the street, light up and outline the cross walk. Very effective.
 
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Old 03-25-13, 10:25 PM
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So what keeps a prankster from just standing there and hitting the button repeatedly thus tying up traffic. Would the law actually require traffic to stop? Would the law require pedestrians to hit the button before crossing?
 
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Old 03-26-13, 01:12 AM
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"ray2047
So what keeps a prankster from just standing there and hitting the button repeatedly thus tying up traffic. Would the law actually require traffic to stop? Would the law require pedestrians to hit the button before crossing?"

Good question ray2047 I doubt that in my neck of the woods that a prankster would do anything with the button. While we don't have a police force we do have contract police officers who work for the county and they patrol the street in question every day. One of their hangouts is the 7-11 right around the corner from the new traffic light. While on patrol they go in for coffee and something to eat and then leave soon after. Same thing for the state police that has their barracks real close to the intersection in question.

The police would actually make sure that everyone stops and take any pranksters away in cuffs. Anyone who didn't press the button would be fined for crossing illegally if caught. Been a great deal of talk about a police force being started as the county has a great deal of places to patrol but that is all it ever has been. More talk about having crime cameras in certain areas as a red light camera was tampered with recently. Also the intersection in question has cameras so I doubt anyone would want to play pranks.
 
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Old 03-26-13, 02:41 AM
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We only have one traffic light in our town, but several of these crosswalks, mainly because of the college's presence. We, too, have the college police force to do our traffic work in the city, and right where there are 3 of these crosswalks, sits a policeman all day long Not very budget conscious, IMO. I think something more optical like these lights may help garner the attention of motorists and help slow traffic at the same time.

Of course it is a state highway, and it would all have to be approved by GDOT, which, I believe takes 4 deaths at an intersection to install a traffic light, so maybe fewer at a crosswalk, I don't know.
 
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Old 03-26-13, 03:32 AM
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I will have to look over our councilmans e-mail news letter and see if the price was in there I didn't pay that much attention to it. Be interesting to see how much it is but probably worth it if it continues to work right all of the time. I will post a price on this later if he says how much. I am sure everyone would be interested in the price.
 
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Old 03-26-13, 07:59 AM
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I think I would want to know if they are really needed. Are there that many pedestrian in a crosswalk accidents to warrant their cost or is it just another boondoggle to separate the taxpayer from their money?

Cost of product, cost of install, cost of maintenance? The next time that you're in a big city that has pedestrian crosswalk demand switches check out how many are broken.
 
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Old 03-26-13, 01:40 PM
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I just looked over the e-mail from my councilman and the total cost for two of these is going to be $33,460. To me now that is an outrageous price and to be honest I didn't pay too much attention to the price I have had a great deal on my mind lately. If this will save lives though and require very little maintenance then I guess it is worth it if it continues to work the way it should. Knowing my city council like I do after having lived here all my life I know they will not budge once they make up their minds. Anyway we shall see how it works, I guess this is the cheapest they could find as they are great at collecting taxes but when it comes to improvements don't want to spend much money except on street repairs.
 
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Old 03-26-13, 03:48 PM
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That's our town's entire yearly budget, so No thanks. Speed limit is 35 anyway, and you can see the people at the crosswalk, anyway. They may have the right of way, but it's always good to make sure you aren't going to argue the point with a 5000 lb. dually.
 
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Old 03-26-13, 11:33 PM
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The speed limit is about the same here too but there are some people who are heavy footed and don't really care how fast they go. I know before the traffic light people used to speed through the intersection and never stop for a pedestrian. I used to have to run across the street on any walks I took so I assume that is another reason why the extra lights as many others were running too. I agree though this isn't for just every town or city only a city that has a great deal of problems in one area. If it were up to me though I would have voted it down as the light is enough in my opinion.
 
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Old 03-27-13, 11:57 AM
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It isn't feasible in every location, but there's a better solution to be had... pedestrian tunnels and bridges. I've come across multitudes of them, in cities and on college campuses that are laid out around busy roads.

They're a hassle to plan, fund and build, but they're a perfect solution... you don't have ANY pedestrian-vehicle interaction and the flow of both is totally uninterrupted.
 
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Old 03-27-13, 12:53 PM
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The first commandment of highway safety - tonnage rules!
 
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Old 03-27-13, 01:28 PM
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Seventeen thousand dollars per crosswalk sounds pretty darn cheap to me. In Seattle the cost would be upwards of $100,000 per crosswalk. Even in the suburbs where I live the cost would be in the neighborhood of $50,000 and up.

Nick, pedestrian tunnels and bridges are way too expensive to be used in all but a few places. Many pedestrian tunnels have been closed due to illicit drug deals along with muggings and rapes.
 
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Old 03-28-13, 03:41 PM
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I agree with you Furd about the tunnels not any near here but there are a few in the District of Columbia and from what I have heard they have plans to do away with them as they just attract the wrong element. Trails without traffic have been a problem both in the District Of Columbia and Maryland and to some extent Virginia. Too many Rapes,stabbings and robberies so the trails have to have more police surveillance. The cops now are on bicycles and sometimes in plain clothes to disguise who they really are so they can catch the crooks.

Good math too Furd just a bit shy of Seventeen thousand but very close. I have heard Seattle is very expensive to live at and I don't doubt your estimate at all as to the cost there. It will be interesting to see if they do work well and if they install them. If they do then I will try to snap a picture of one once they are put up. I will also give my opinion as to what I think of them too. Might be a while though as the city can be kind of slow about getting things done.
 
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Old 04-16-13, 03:23 AM
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Well, kiss my grits. I'm driving through town the other day and what do I see??
I hope it is motion activated as most of the college kids are texting as they approach the crosswalk, totally violating the "tonnage" rule.
This is across the street from an eatery we frequent. The sidewalk with the yellow dotted wheelchair access was rebuilt 4 times. It was totally amusing knowing these guys get paid for their mess ups.

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  #19  
Old 04-16-13, 03:47 AM
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The photo in the OP isn't showing for me. Could just be my connection.

In Toronto Ontario (lived there for school many years ago), they have a string of lights that go over the road that are activated by pushing the button on the sidewalk. It worked really well when I was living there. Here is what they look like (sorry for the crap photo, it's the best I could find online).



We do not have any traffic lights in my town.
 
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Old 04-17-13, 10:47 PM
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Larry I haven't had much time lately I was switching laptops as one can get dial up better which is great for stormy weather so I thought I would look here now. So I guess these lights are becoming fairly common now. Still no lights like this at the intersection in question in my area but as I said my city is kind of slow. Looks like a good place to have the sign though. From what I understand you need to press a button to walk.
 
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Old 05-02-13, 08:01 AM
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Another waste of money. They won't stop for red lights in front of a firehouse when the equipment id trying to respond. Hell, yellow just means speed up so you can get through without having to wait.
 
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Old 05-02-13, 01:30 PM
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They installed a lot of red light cameras around here. The newspaper checked the records one year later and as predicted the T bone accidents went down at all the intersections with red light cameras - But the rear end collisions went up!!
 
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Old 05-03-13, 04:27 AM
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They installed a lot of red light cameras around here. The newspaper checked the records one year later and as predicted the T bone accidents went down at all the intersections with red light cameras - But the rear end collisions went up!!
I heard the same thing when they started with them in Toronto. Also noted by the local paper there, the timing of the yellow lights got a bit shorter at some intersections. Sounds like it was more for revenue generation then accident prevention.
 
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Old 05-03-13, 05:19 AM
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more for revenue generation then accident prevention.
No matter how much they deny it - that's it in a nutshell!!
A small town near me installed a speed camera on the highway. It dramatically increased the town's revenue! They say it's all about safety but the accident reports have remained constant. The town does have a new town office, new police cars, multiple improvements, etc. A recent attempt to shut down the cameras was defended by them saying the town couldn't afford to loose the revenue..... after years of swearing it wasn't about the money. The only reason the town annexed the highway in the first place was to get the added tax revenue from the businesses on the highway.
 
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