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Author Topic: Pedestrian crossing traffic light that defaults to green for pedestrians  (Read 4152 times)

Amtrakprod

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Re: Pedestrian crossing traffic light that defaults to green for pedestrians
« Reply #25 on: November 29, 2021, 12:23:47 AM »

This is going to be a hot topic.

I lie somewhere in between beg button and no beg button land. There’s a place (or not a place) for both.

I do like defaulting green to pedestrians and bikes though (:

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Amtrakprod

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Re: Pedestrian crossing traffic light that defaults to green for pedestrians
« Reply #26 on: November 29, 2021, 12:32:58 AM »



The US standard for flashing don't walk time is a function of the crossing distance and an assumed pedestrian walking speed of 3.5 ft/sec. It was formerly 4 ft/sec prior to 2009 MUTCD (and this value can still be used if the controller set up to use the slower time when the pedestrian button is pressed for an extended period), but the slower time was adopted to accommodate an increasingly older population.

So a 60 ft wide street would have a FDW time of (60 ft) ÷ (3.5 ft/sec) ≈ (17.4 sec). This would likely be rounded to 17.5 or 18.

Bear in mind, too, that the MUTCD requires that the FDW terminates no later than the start of the yellow light. That means you also need a couple seconds for the yellow light in addition to whatever is required for the FDW before conflicting traffic can get a green.

Actually, MUTCD allows the FDW to extend into the red clearance (there's a couple different ways it can be set up). But most agencies use the method where FDW terminates no later than onset of yellow because it gives the most buffer between pedestrian phase and the conflicting vehicle phase.

I spotted this at an intersection near me not that long ago. Very rare, but indeed permitted:

This is actually the norm in Cambridge MA where I live nearby. Every signal has a 5 second LPI, and FDW on yellow. My town of Arlington MA also uses this cycle at some spots.

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Mr Kite

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Re: Pedestrian crossing traffic light that defaults to green for pedestrians
« Reply #27 on: November 29, 2021, 01:19:14 PM »

Here in Russia, all-red intervals are not required. At the nearest traffic light intersection to me, traffic lights turn green as soon as the previous one has turned red. There are no crashes or close calls caused by that. Down the road there's an intersection where there is an all-red interval though, probably because it's a lot more busier.

Sounds surprising considering some of the YouTube videos I've seen of Russian drivers.
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BuildTheRussian

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Re: Pedestrian crossing traffic light that defaults to green for pedestrians
« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2021, 11:30:09 AM »

We don't actually have that many crashes here, it's an illusion caused by the fact that most drivers have dashcams.
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kalvado

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Re: Pedestrian crossing traffic light that defaults to green for pedestrians
« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2021, 01:48:35 PM »

We don't actually have that many crashes here, it's an illusion caused by the fact that most drivers have dashcams.
17k road deaths in 2019 vs 36k in US.
144  million population vs 328 million US

So per-capita rate is close. Per vehicle-mile(vehicle-km) US is probably significantly better.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Pedestrian crossing traffic light that defaults to green for pedestrians
« Reply #30 on: December 06, 2021, 08:57:50 AM »

Quote from: BuildTheRussian
link=topic=30538.msg2685243#msg2685243 date=1638289809
We don't actually have that many crashes here, it's an illusion caused by the fact that most drivers have dashcams.

I would think most drivers have dashcsms because they have experienced incidents previously.that compelled them to get one.
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kalvado

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Re: Pedestrian crossing traffic light that defaults to green for pedestrians
« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2021, 09:20:51 AM »

Quote from: BuildTheRussian
link=topic=30538.msg2685243#msg2685243 date=1638289809
We don't actually have that many crashes here, it's an illusion caused by the fact that most drivers have dashcams.

I would think most drivers have dashcsms because they have experienced incidents previously.that compelled them to get one.
Lack of robust insurance protection and uncertainty of honest handling of the crash are the other aspect of it. Much cheaper to get a camera well in advance than to prove you actually had a green light.
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BuildTheRussian

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Re: Pedestrian crossing traffic light that defaults to green for pedestrians
« Reply #32 on: December 07, 2021, 06:19:09 AM »

Quote from: BuildTheRussian
link=topic=30538.msg2685243#msg2685243 date=1638289809
We don't actually have that many crashes here, it's an illusion caused by the fact that most drivers have dashcams.

I would think most drivers have dashcsms because they have experienced incidents previously.that compelled them to get one.
Fake accident scams in the 90s were prevalent. Usually a pedestrian would jump out in front of you, with you never actually hitting him, but he'd claim you hit him, and demand money as "compensation". They sometimes called the cops, and back then usually the cops would take the pedestrian's side of the story.

Another one was when someone suddenly swerved  into your lane, and tried to get you to pull over to the side of road, and he'd claim you scratched his car, when that obviously isn't true.

Lazy cops under pressure to issue more tickets sometimes fined drivers for things that they didn't do, and if you don't have evidence, the court will believe the officer's story.

Thanks to the mass use of dashcams, these scams are now mostly a thing of the past.
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Henry

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Re: Pedestrian crossing traffic light that defaults to green for pedestrians
« Reply #33 on: December 08, 2021, 10:18:48 AM »

Nowadays, the WALK/DONT WALK setup has been superseded by the walking man and upward pointing "stop" hand, respectively, so maybe a flashing hand would work better as a replacement term for the FDW.

Also off-topic, I wonder why is the bottom section white and the top one orange, instead of the corresponding green and red that drivers would get?
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jakeroot

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Re: Pedestrian crossing traffic light that defaults to green for pedestrians
« Reply #34 on: December 08, 2021, 11:53:25 AM »

Also off-topic, I wonder why is the bottom section white and the top one orange, instead of the corresponding green and red that drivers would get?

White and "Portland Orange" were picked so as to be different from green and red vehicular traffic displays, as there was some concern that drivers may confuse pedestrian and vehicle signals.
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Big John

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Re: Pedestrian crossing traffic light that defaults to green for pedestrians
« Reply #35 on: December 08, 2021, 05:26:07 PM »

^^ "White" was originally specified as "Lunar white" but lunar was dropped with more modern lighting equipment.
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BuildTheRussian

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Re: Pedestrian crossing traffic light that defaults to green for pedestrians
« Reply #36 on: December 09, 2021, 10:23:20 AM »

Also off-topic, I wonder why is the bottom section white and the top one orange, instead of the corresponding green and red that drivers would get?

White and "Portland Orange" were picked so as to be different from green and red vehicular traffic displays, as there was some concern that drivers may confuse pedestrian and vehicle signals.

This makes no sense to me. In my country and most of the world, we use red and green but with pedestrian symbols (e.g red standing man, and green walking man). No confusion.
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kalvado

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Re: Pedestrian crossing traffic light that defaults to green for pedestrians
« Reply #37 on: December 09, 2021, 11:25:41 AM »

Also off-topic, I wonder why is the bottom section white and the top one orange, instead of the corresponding green and red that drivers would get?

White and "Portland Orange" were picked so as to be different from green and red vehicular traffic displays, as there was some concern that drivers may confuse pedestrian and vehicle signals.

This makes no sense to me. In my country and most of the world, we use red and green but with pedestrian symbols (e.g red standing man, and green walking man). No confusion.

It is about off-red and off-green lights, not totally different colors. There is no real confusion. Just enough to avoid instinctive "it's green, lets go" 
not that I like the colors, but if it avoids even a single accident - I am OK with that.

These are the colors, they look pretty realistic on my monitor:
https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/crosswalk-street-sign-with-stop-and-walk-lights-royalty-free-image/1165151594
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jakeroot

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Re: Pedestrian crossing traffic light that defaults to green for pedestrians
« Reply #38 on: December 09, 2021, 11:39:27 AM »

Also off-topic, I wonder why is the bottom section white and the top one orange, instead of the corresponding green and red that drivers would get?

White and "Portland Orange" were picked so as to be different from green and red vehicular traffic displays, as there was some concern that drivers may confuse pedestrian and vehicle signals.

This makes no sense to me. In my country and most of the world, we use red and green but with pedestrian symbols (e.g red standing man, and green walking man). No confusion.

That's a little unfair. These specifications date to a period (late 1930s) when there was very little data, and thus very little certainty as to how drivers and pedestrians would read and comprehend various signals. The decision to go with Lunar White (thank you Big John) and Portland Orange absolutely ensured there would be no confusion, even if by modern accounts, red and green wouldn't have been confusing either.

To be clear, and to their credit: they never actually indicated that Lunar White and Portland Orange were used to avoid confusion, but instead to simply provide unique indications.

I'd also like to mention that, in North America, it's common to have same-direction vehicle and pedestrian signals very close to each other (example); the unique colors are particularly helpful in these situations.
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Mr Kite

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Re: Pedestrian crossing traffic light that defaults to green for pedestrians
« Reply #39 on: December 11, 2021, 09:27:21 PM »

I think the actually colours can vary to an extent, in the field. I've some DON'T WALK hands that look as red as the vehicle stop light.
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jakeroot

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Re: Pedestrian crossing traffic light that defaults to green for pedestrians
« Reply #40 on: December 15, 2021, 05:30:33 PM »

I think the actually colours can vary to an extent, in the field. I've some DON'T WALK hands that look as red as the vehicle stop light.

That's definitely true, and I'm not quite sure how it happens. Clearly the standardization is strong, since off-colored "don't walk" signals are extremely rare. Still, I don't get how it happens.
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