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Columbus Cross Walks a Hazzard For Pedestrians

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Columbus Cross Walks a Hazzard For Pedestrians

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  • #201768

    reelfreak
    Participant

    Now, this would be a great compromise. Hopefully, I posted the link correctly.

    #201769

    roy
    Participant

    In cases warranted by a high volume of left turn vehicle traffic + high pedestrian numbers, traffic signals manage the conflict with a dedicated green arrow allowing the vehicular left turn while the ped signal stays red/don’t walk. A good example of this is e/b Vine at n/b Park Street at North Market.

    #201770

    groundrules
    Participant

    Also, thread title made me do this:

    #201771
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    reelfreak said:
    Can we agree that with the old ‘Walk’ / ‘Don’t Walk’ light, you did not start walking across the street if it read ‘Don’t Walk’? At least, you weren’t supposed to.

    Sure.

    reelfreak said:
    If we assume that the amount of time is the same for ‘Don’t Walk’ as it is for a countdown light, why should it make sense that it is acceptable to keep crossing the street?

    You know what happens when you assume, right?

    The fact of the matter is this: walk lights with count down timers are different than the old blinking don’t walk lights. The old rule does not apply to these newer signals.

    reelfreak said:
    Do you realize how many cars can make a right hand turn in fifteen seconds versus the potentially one to two seconds if people cross the intersection just before the countdown expires? I guess I am just overly considerate.

    It’s considerate to let pedestrians safely cross when they should safely cross. Cars impatiently waiting to turn can wait until pedestrians are safely out of the way. *That* is being considerate.

    #201772

    peter
    Participant

    First time reading through this thread. Thoughts:

    with non-synchronized lights

    Let’s not get crazy, Walker ;)

    – If you see a speed bump, a traffic engineer has failed. Speed bumps are the lazy, brute-force approach to traffic calming. Except they usually have the opposite effect, at least on me.

    – Pedestrian crosswalks would be more effective if the pedestrians were a little more bold. Just start walking! While watching traffic of course. Don’t get caught up in that little “is he going? am I going?” dance we all hate. Take bold action and the cars will pay attention and maybe even remember next time they drive by that intersection.

    #201773

    johnwirtz
    Participant

    reelfreak said:
    I realize this is quite an old subject, but I thought it might be the most appropriate place to post my question. The old ‘Walk’ / ‘Don’t Walk’ lights were pretty straight forward to a pedestrian crossing the street; although many people continued to cross even when the ‘Don’t Walk’ light is flashing. With the countdown lights, should a pedestrian not attempt to cross once the countdown begins? From the old lights, I am trained to think flashing red means stop, even if I know I can make it across the street before the light gets to ‘0’. Some intersections have short walk times to allow for better traffic control, like the southern corner of Third and State or the southern corner of Broad and Third. If people continue to walk once the countdown has begun, it curtails the intent of allowing cars to turn at those intersections. So, may I curse at a pedestrian who is inhibiting my ability to make it through an intersection because they are walking during the countdown, or are they okay as long as they make it across before it hits ‘0’? It was so much easier to yell at people when the light simply indicated ‘Don’t Walk’.

    The countdown time is set to allow a pedestrian crossing at 3.5 feet per second to get across the entire street if they enter the street at the end of the white walk phase/start of the flashing don’t walk phase. This is intentionally slower than most pedestrians walk so almost everyone can have enough time to get across safely. That means though that many pedestrians who can get across in less time can do so well after the countdown starts. And it’s perfectly legal. Under the old system or the new system, pedestrians can be in the crosswalk anytime during the white walk or red flashing don’t walk periods. The problem with the old system (pre-countdown) was that nobody knew how much time was left, so it was safer to wait. Now we are providing better information to people, so they can make more informed choices. Also, surveys found that as many as 50% of pedestrians didn’t understand that they were not supposed to enter the crosswalk if it had already gone to flashing don’t walk. The countdowns are much more intuitive, and have been found to reduce pedestrian crashes by approximately 25%.

    #201774

    surber17
    Participant

    @peter – ” Pedestrian crosswalks would be more effective if the pedestrians were a little more bold. Just start walking! While watching traffic of course. Don’t get caught up in that little “is he going? am I going?” dance we all hate. Take bold action and the cars will pay attention and maybe even remember next time they drive by that intersection.”

    This doesn’t work for one main reason, if I just start walking and I thought the car saw me when they didn’t … i’m now dead. The facts is all drivers have more power in these situations because they’re the ones driving 2,000 pound killing machines and with that power means they have more responsibility. If a pedestrian messes up and bumps into someone else … no big deal… if a driver messes up, someone is either seriously hurt or dies.

    #201775

    reelfreak
    Participant

    Walker, you seem to have more information about the timing differences between the countdown light and the old ‘Walk / Don’t Walk’ light, so please share.

    I fully understand pedestrian right of way. My contention is why does all of the consideration go to the pedestrian? If people are crossing the street right up to the last second, it is possible that no cars are able to turn during that light cycle. Then more people congregate on the corner and continue to cross and no cars can turn. This isn’t an issue on every corner, but use my Broad and Third as a perfect example of this. I am trying to point out that the timing of those crosswalk lights was done to allow cars the ability to make a turn. With the countdown light, there is no extra time for a car to turn if people dash across at the last second because the traffic light goes red when the countdown goes zero. I’ve got nothing else short of a demonstration or a ‘strenously object’.

    #201776

    NerosNeptune
    Participant

    Consideration goes to the pedestrian because it’s them vs. 2 ton metal boxes. Broad and 3rd is right downtown, you should expect there to be a lot of pedestrians. Maybe it will take a few light cycles for a line of cars to turn there.. that’s just how it is. Personally I’ve never had the problem you’re talking about, unless it was when leaving a large event at an arena, or maybe during rush hour when I’d expect to be delayed anyway.

    #201777

    johnwirtz
    Participant

    reelfreak said:
    Walker, you seem to have more information about the timing differences between the countdown light and the old ‘Walk / Don’t Walk’ light, so please share.

    I fully understand pedestrian right of way. My contention is why does all of the consideration go to the pedestrian? If people are crossing the street right up to the last second, it is possible that no cars are able to turn during that light cycle. Then more people congregate on the corner and continue to cross and no cars can turn. This isn’t an issue on every corner, but use my Broad and Third as a perfect example of this. I am trying to point out that the timing of those crosswalk lights was done to allow cars the ability to make a turn. With the countdown light, there is no extra time for a car to turn if people dash across at the last second because the traffic light goes red when the countdown goes zero. I’ve got nothing else short of a demonstration or a ‘strenously object’.

    Yes, a steady stream of pedestrians can create a problem for turning drivers. The only solution would be a turn arrow for the drivers. But I’m guessing this problem is limited to very short periods of time in Columbus (5:00 PM to 5:15 PM?).

    #201778
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    reelfreak said:
    Walker, you seem to have more information about the timing differences between the countdown light and the old ‘Walk / Don’t Walk’ light, so please share.

    JohnWirtz is much more of an expert to speak on this topic, as he has already done.

    The problem with giving too much consideration to drivers over pedestrians is that it ruins the urban fabric of our city. Go back 50-60 years and we started widening roads, demolishing buildings for highways and parking lots, narrowing sidewalks, and engineering streets primarily to work as funnels for moving cars and quickly in and out of Downtown as possible. And as a result, our Downtown (as well as in many other US cities) has largely emptied out and lost a lot of vibrancy due to our misplaced priorities.

    We’ve made a few small steps to start to correct these issues, but there’s still a long way to go.

    So perhaps this is just my personal bias speaking, but in my opinion we should be giving people all the reason in the world to WALK Downtown safely and conveniently. Traffic flow is important, but it should never be the number one priority.

    MORE: http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/complete-streets/complete-streets-fundamentals/complete-streets-faq

    #201779

    melikecheese
    Participant

    surber17 said:
    @peter – ” Pedestrian crosswalks would be more effective if the pedestrians were a little more bold. Just start walking! While watching traffic of course. Don’t get caught up in that little “is he going? am I going?” dance we all hate. Take bold action and the cars will pay attention and maybe even remember next time they drive by that intersection.”

    This doesn’t work for one main reason, if I just start walking and I thought the car saw me when they didn’t … i’m now dead. The facts is all drivers have more power in these situations because they’re the ones driving 2,000 pound killing machines and with that power means they have more responsibility. If a pedestrian messes up and bumps into someone else … no big deal… if a driver messes up, someone is either seriously hurt or dies.

    This actually kinda works, it’s how I approach crosswalks. Sure I don’t just blindly walk out, but if you don’t at least start walking, no one stops.

    I carefully and cautiously start walking out into the street, I’ll stop walking and stare at a car if it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop, they almost always do.

    What doesn’t ever stop? City buses. Guess they are too worried about their schedules.

    #201780

    lifeontwowheels
    Participant

    johnwirtz said:
    Yes, a steady stream of pedestrians can create a problem for turning drivers. The only solution would be a turn arrow for the drivers. But I’m guessing this problem is limited to very short periods of time in Columbus (5:00 PM to 5:15 PM?).

    Lunch hour as well.

    I love the cross lights that give pedestrians a walk light while all traffic has a red. Would be great downtown.

Viewing 13 posts - 61 through 73 (of 73 total)

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