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Author Topic: Lack of Pedestrian signals at signalized intersections?  (Read 7447 times)

roadfro

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Lack of Pedestrian signals at signalized intersections?
« on: December 05, 2016, 02:43:29 AM »

While the TV was on with me not paying attention earlier this morning, I happened to catch this story on a show called Full Measure about New Orleans and it's lack of pedestrian crossing signals: http://fullmeasure.news/news/politics/danger-crossing
Quote
From New York to Los Angeles, cities are changing everything from street layouts to traffic signals to make their streets safer and more pedestrian friendly. But as they look forward, New Orleans is dealing with outdated policies that put pedestrians at risk according to a recent audit.
...
All over New Orleans, pedestrians are gambling. It’s happening, not in the city’s casino, but on its streets. An audit released this October by the New Orleans Office of Inspector General discovered only 62 out of the city’s 463 signalized intersections have a pedestrian crossing signal, the simple white light that tells you when it’s safe to walk. That’s only 13% of crossings.

Bigger cities with even more intersections, places including Memphis, Tampa and Miami, have signals at more than 80% of their crossings according to the report.
...
According to the audit, 40 pedestrians have been killed in New Orleans in the last three years. In comparison, Full Measure looked at two cities of similar size, Cleveland and Minneapolis. In that same time frame, public records show Cleveland had 11 pedestrian deaths and Minneapolis had 6.

New Orleans isn’t unique in its pedestrian problem. The city joins Tampa, New York, Atlanta and 22 other cities on a federal watch list for cities with pedestrian issues.
...
So why is New Orleans different? Much of it stems from a rule dating back at least 30 years. The policy only allowed crossing signals at intersections where traffic could be stopped in all directions. Assistant Inspector General Nadiene Van Dyke said, “It was an informal policy, an unwritten policy so in large part it had never been questioned. No one knew except for the people enforcing this unwritten policy.”

This got me wondering: Are there other major cities/urbanized areas where there is a distinct lack of pedestrian signal heads at the majority of signalized intersections? In my travels, I haven't noticed a lack of ped heads at signals, unless it was somewhere rural where pedestrians are few/unlikely.



In Nevada, ped heads are pretty standard at all signalized intersections in urban areas (and even most signalized intersections in smaller towns).

The one intersection I can think of as an exception is the US 395 NB ramps at Oddie Blvd in Reno. Here, curiously, 8-inch standard vehicle signal heads are provided for the crosswalks in any direction where a pedestrian can't see the adjacent vehicle through phase if looking directly ahead while crossing (example).
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jakeroot

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Re: Lack of Pedestrian signals at signalized intersections?
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2016, 03:36:00 AM »

I noticed the lack of pedestrian signals the last time I was in NOLA (see here). I wasn't too troubled by this, because I have legs and eyes that work well, but if I was missing either of those, it would have been a pretty miserable experience. This besides the fact that many of the signals still seem to be screwed up from Katrina. There were several occasions where the red hand and the white man would appear at the same time (a screen shot from a video I took is below). I assume this is due to faulty wiring that has yet to be fixed, but I obviously don't know for sure.



As for the topic at hand, I can't really think of any signals in my area without pedestrian heads. Even decidedly rural signals have pedestrian accommodation (I assume to account for ADA laws).
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Re: Lack of Pedestrian signals at signalized intersections?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2016, 09:18:27 AM »

This got me wondering: Are there other major cities/urbanized areas where there is a distinct lack of pedestrian signal heads at the majority of signalized intersections?
Philadelphia, even in the Center City area, has quite a few signals without pedestrian signal-heads.  At those intersections, it's assumed that pedestrians will cross the street when the light is green.  Some of them even have a supplemental audible signal/speakers that states, "Green signal is on to cross *(insert street name)*".
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vdeane

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Re: Lack of Pedestrian signals at signalized intersections?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2016, 12:50:35 PM »

This is the worst example I can think of.  There isn't enough traffic here to warrant a signal, so the only conceivable reason for it (other than "traffic calming") is to help pedestrians get to the school (and indeed, it has the only marked crosswalk on the entire road), but there are no pedestrian signals or push buttons.  As a result, the light turns red for nobody very frequently, and it doesn't do a great job of serving pedestrian traffic either.
https://goo.gl/maps/HKywNXDXyWQ2

Signals around here don't usually have pedestrian signals when there aren't any sidewalks nearby.  I thought I found an exception, but I just noticed that the sidewalk ends right near there.
https://goo.gl/maps/sVVgHPYzUfR2
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jeffe

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Re: Lack of Pedestrian signals at signalized intersections?
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2016, 01:13:41 AM »

One of the least pedestrian friendly setups I've seen in an urban area is in downtown Hoboken, NJ:


There is only one signal head for each leg of the intersection and it cannot be seen from certain places on the sidewalk.


At older intersections in San Francisco there are not any pedestrian signals.  However, the vehicle signals are located in places that are easily viewable from the crosswalks.


I tried to look for information on which intersections lack pedestrian signals, but could only find information on which intersections use push buttons vs those which are on a fixed timer:



San Francisco's preference is to use fixed timer pedestrian crossings:

Quote
Why “beg buttons” can be pedestrian unfriendly
• Add delay if not pressed at the “right moment” in cycle
• Add delay if pedestrian not aware of need to push button (or assumes someone else did)
• Requiring constant push button calls can be distracting or annoying
• Lack of pedestrian compliance can result in crossing with very short vehicular green
Source: http://nacto.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/OleaRicardo_DesigningCitiesPHX.pdf
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Re: Lack of Pedestrian signals at signalized intersections?
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2016, 02:30:49 AM »

It was common years ago for vehicular signals to serve as pedestrian signals as well, but many have been replaced with standard pedestrian signals to keep up with the times.
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english si

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Re: Lack of Pedestrian signals at signalized intersections?
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2016, 06:39:07 AM »

I really don't like when some arms of a signallised crossroads have 'no crosswalk'. The junction at the southern end of CA710 had me go three-sides rather than cross CA710 - I could understand somewhat the traffic argument, but that traffic is stopped at lights. There was a few others in Pasadena where I had to cross three roads, rather than one.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Lack of Pedestrian signals at signalized intersections?
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2016, 08:43:20 AM »

I really don't like when some arms of a signallised crossroads have 'no crosswalk'. The junction at the southern end of CA710 had me go three-sides rather than cross CA710 - I could understand somewhat the traffic argument, but that traffic is stopped at lights. There was a few others in Pasadena where I had to cross three roads, rather than one.

It probably depends on the timing involved to cross the intersection.  Pedestrian phases can eat up a lot of time at intersections.  When there's heavy turning traffic in one direction, prohibiting traffic from crossing that leg of the intersection frees up significant time.

PA has a few examples where there's no crossing on all 4 legs of the intersection - in suburban areas nonetheless - which is a little over-the-top.
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Brandon

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Re: Lack of Pedestrian signals at signalized intersections?
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2016, 10:30:58 AM »

I really don't like when some arms of a signallised crossroads have 'no crosswalk'. The junction at the southern end of CA710 had me go three-sides rather than cross CA710 - I could understand somewhat the traffic argument, but that traffic is stopped at lights. There was a few others in Pasadena where I had to cross three roads, rather than one.

Around here, unless there's a sign prohibiting pedestrians from crossing, it is simply an unmarked crosswalk.  Which means that you can cross there.

As for a lack of pedestrian signals, that's not uncommon in rural areas or near-rural areas for signals.
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roadfro

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Re: Lack of Pedestrian signals at signalized intersections?
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2016, 07:52:03 PM »

I really don't like when some arms of a signallised crossroads have 'no crosswalk'. The junction at the southern end of CA710 had me go three-sides rather than cross CA710 - I could understand somewhat the traffic argument, but that traffic is stopped at lights. There was a few others in Pasadena where I had to cross three roads, rather than one.

It probably depends on the timing involved to cross the intersection.  Pedestrian phases can eat up a lot of time at intersections.  When there's heavy turning traffic in one direction, prohibiting traffic from crossing that leg of the intersection frees up significant time.

This comes up sometimes due to intersection geometry. In most cases I've seen it, it's because of multiple turning lanes.

For example, the eastbound entrance ramp to I-80 at Virginia Street in Reno has this. It's a northbound one-way street having three lanes with one dedicated right turn and one shared thru/right towards the ramp, a single lane southbound turning only to the ramp, and two thru lanes eastbound to the ramp. So in all vehicle phases, traffic is entering the east leg (on ramp)—pedestrians are prohibited crossing the east leg. This is not a high pedestrian corridor, so it's not a super inconvenience to prohibit the crossings. To provide a signalized crossing on the east leg would require a phase in which no vehicles are moving--extremely inefficient for the relatively low need.
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jakeroot

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Re: Lack of Pedestrian signals at signalized intersections?
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2016, 08:05:29 PM »

...the eastbound entrance ramp to I-80 at Virginia Street in Reno...

I think it's actually Center Street. Virginia Street is two-way, running between Center and Sierra Streets.

I only bring this up because it took me a while to find out where it was that you were referencing.
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Re: Lack of Pedestrian signals at signalized intersections?
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2016, 08:01:47 AM »

Park Ave. in NYC lacked ped signals from 46th st. to 56th st. for decades and had pole mounted signals on the sides and median only. Those intersections finally got upgraded to ped signals and overhead signals in 2010.
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Re: Lack of Pedestrian signals at signalized intersections?
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2016, 01:16:49 PM »

Park Ave. in NYC lacked ped signals from 46th st. to 56th st. for decades and had pole mounted signals on the sides and median only. Those intersections finally got upgraded to ped signals and overhead signals in 2010.

The DOT wanted to modernize those intersection years ago, but Metro North refused the request. The fear was that the foundations of the poles would interfere with the train tubes below street level.
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Re: Lack of Pedestrian signals at signalized intersections?
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2016, 02:03:00 PM »

And then there's this ;)
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roadfro

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Re: Lack of Pedestrian signals at signalized intersections?
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2016, 07:49:30 PM »

...the eastbound entrance ramp to I-80 at Virginia Street in Reno...

I think it's actually Center Street. Virginia Street is two-way, running between Center and Sierra Streets.

I only bring this up because it took me a while to find out where it was that you were referencing.

Sorry about the confusion, and not providing a link. I was indeed referring to the Center Street/Maple St intersection, which is where Maple Street leads into the eastbound I-80 on ramp.

I was thinking in terms of the overall interchange, which is labeled solely for Virginia Street. (The interchange encompasses six signalized intersections: Virginia St, Center St, and Sierra St, all crossing with Maple St and 8th St acting as connectors between the ramps. Locally, people typically say something like "I got on 80 'at Virginia'", no matter which of the three streets they were actually traveling on.)
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Re: Lack of Pedestrian signals at signalized intersections?
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2016, 12:10:49 AM »

There is at least one intersection in Monterey that does not have a pedestrian signal: Alvarado and Franklin. Funny thing is that it's one of the most heavily-trafficked by pedestrians in the area, and I've never completely understood why just that one intersection doesn't have a pedestrian signal.
There are also a couple of intersections in Downtown Salinas that don't use them.

I don't remember where it was, but I either used to frequently visit or live in a city with a Downtown area where, instead of using pedestrian signals on intersections with one-way streets, they added a traffic signals facing away from traffic so that pedestrians could see it.
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Re: Lack of Pedestrian signals at signalized intersections?
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2016, 05:42:59 AM »

I really don't like when some arms of a signallised crossroads have 'no crosswalk'. The junction at the southern end of CA710 had me go three-sides rather than cross CA710 - I could understand somewhat the traffic argument, but that traffic is stopped at lights. There was a few others in Pasadena where I had to cross three roads, rather than one.

Around here, unless there's a sign prohibiting pedestrians from crossing, it is simply an unmarked crosswalk.  Which means that you can cross there.
I'm British. We have no Jaywalking laws - everywhere save marked crosswalks (and places where pedestrians are explicitly banned) is an unmarked crosswalk. I'm going to cross unless there's a specific sign telling me not to (I know enough not to cross mid-block in the US though). Sadly, Pasadena is littered with these signs.
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Re: Lack of Pedestrian signals at signalized intersections?
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2021, 12:40:51 AM »

The Chicagoland area is generally great in terms of having pedestrian signals, but one example comes to mind.

https://www.google.com/maps/@41.5876828,-87.7937223,3a,75y,348.74h,89.87t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sW0cXQWTOCI68KMHQw0sYEQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

At 167th and Harlem Avenue, all of the marked crosswalks have pedestrian signals except for this one crosswalk. I have seen people use it, because a reasonable amount of people use the sidewalk on the side of the street across from the bank, but for some reason, IDOT (or whoever maintains the intersection) never put a pedestrian signal head there.
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tolbs17

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Re: Lack of Pedestrian signals at signalized intersections?
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2021, 03:41:50 AM »

Here needs some. Lots of foot traffic coming from the neighborhood and it's a pain in the ass crossing the busy street. Hopefully this will get addressed when Evans St is widened.

https://www.google.com/maps/@35.574035,-77.382588,3a,90y,16.39h,72.98t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1svd6u_LE03tMeO-SRBPATaw!2e0!6shttps:%2F%2Fstreetviewpixels-pa.googleapis.com%2Fv1%2Fthumbnail%3Fpanoid%3Dvd6u_LE03tMeO-SRBPATaw%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D349.12405%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656

What an utterly depressing landscape.
Ikr. They focused on adding turn lanes back in 2002-2004ish at the Greenville Blvd and Evans intersection. And now, NOTHING has happened! I'm waiting for this section to get fixed.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2021, 03:50:50 AM by tolbs17 »
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Re: Lack of Pedestrian signals at signalized intersections?
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2021, 01:01:01 PM »

An intersection in Florida that requires 77 seconds for the pedestrian clearances assuming the agency is following the latest MUTCD guidelines.  If you want 50/50 thru splits that would require 154 seconds and once you account for the left turn movements the cycle length is easily pushing 200 seconds. 
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Bruce

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Re: Lack of Pedestrian signals at signalized intersections?
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2021, 06:09:26 PM »

I don't see any possible situation where a triple left turn would be necessary.

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Re: Lack of Pedestrian signals at signalized intersections?
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2021, 07:45:41 AM »

I really don't like when some arms of a signallised crossroads have 'no crosswalk'. The junction at the southern end of CA710 had me go three-sides rather than cross CA710 - I could understand somewhat the traffic argument, but that traffic is stopped at lights. There was a few others in Pasadena where I had to cross three roads, rather than one.

Around here, unless there's a sign prohibiting pedestrians from crossing, it is simply an unmarked crosswalk.  Which means that you can cross there.

As for a lack of pedestrian signals, that's not uncommon in rural areas or near-rural areas for signals.

The law here in Virginia is a little more nuanced. Unmarked crosswalks only exist where the speed limit is 35 mph or lower under our statute.
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Re: Lack of Pedestrian signals at signalized intersections?
« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2021, 02:14:57 PM »

I don't see any possible situation where a triple left turn would be necessary.

There's one in Federal Way. I think it helps primarily to reduce cycle length over a double left and especially a single left, but while also pushing way more cars.

An intersection in Florida that requires 77 seconds for the pedestrian clearances assuming the agency is following the latest MUTCD guidelines.  If you want 50/50 thru splits that would require 154 seconds and once you account for the left turn movements the cycle length is easily pushing 200 seconds.

Their mistake was not installing any slip lanes.

For example, this intersection in Federal Way (same as one mentioned by me to Bruce above) has a triple left turn, but that edge of the intersection is a mere 108' in length by comparison. Much easier to implement into a ped-heavy environment (which this area actually is). The double right turn in the SE corner has a signalized crossing that is normally tied to the E-W movement (105').
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