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kbates2

Pedestrian crossing changes

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kbates2    714

So it looks like the city changed up the pedestrian crossing downtown to the detriment of pedestrians this week.  Instead of crossing signals coinciding with green lights (with countdowns ending right before yellow lights), the signals switch to the countdown pretty instantaneously and then pedestrians get two red stop signs either direction for the majority of the green light.  As a result, walking downtown is much slower and more confusing. I have seen a lot more jay walkers. I hope that the pedestrian death downtown last night was not related.  Pretty stupid for a city trying to promote walkability.

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cspwal    1821

When did you see this?  I've noticed this sometimes during the day - even the same intersection will be normal in the morning, and then super restrictive later in the day.

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kbates2    714

I noticed it Monday afternoon at two lights that I crossed by my home.  I noticed this morning during my entire mile-long walk.

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cspwal    1821

Wow that is a change then.  That does really impact walkability - even if you are willing to jaywalk, you don't have the confidence the light will stay green while you're in the intersection if you don't have the walk signal.  I didn't notice anything this morning, but I don't really pay attention to that walk signal anyway :ph34r:

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IronTiger    722
7 hours ago, kbates2 said:

So it looks like the city changed up the pedestrian crossing downtown to the detriment of pedestrians this week.  Instead of crossing signals coinciding with green lights (with countdowns ending right before yellow lights), the signals switch to the countdown pretty instantaneously and then pedestrians get two red stop signs either direction for the majority of the green light.  As a result, walking downtown is much slower and more confusing. I have seen a lot more jay walkers. I hope that the pedestrian death downtown last night was not related.  Pretty stupid for a city trying to promote walkability.

Why would they do that? In my area, crossing down countdowns are the main way I can accurately predict when lights turn yellow (when driving) and how many more seconds I have to wait until the lights turn yellow (when walking).

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kbates2    714
1 hour ago, IronTiger said:

Why would they do that? In my area, crossing down countdowns are the main way I can accurately predict when lights turn yellow (when driving) and how many more seconds I have to wait until the lights turn yellow (when walking).

 

Not sure but I see two common driving issues downtown that they may be trying to curb (assuming that these changes were intentional).  

 

First, as you said, people use the countdown while driving as almost a second yellow light.  Many drivers (myself included) will speed up when they see the countdown reaching 0 in order to ensure that they make the light.  Having drivers speed through lights is obviously not preferred.

 

Second, in heavy traffic people will often block the middle of intersections when the countdown approaches 0 to make sure that they don't have to wait out the other light.  At this point they are blocking oncoming traffic when the light changes as well as the pedestrian walkway.  

 

Trying to stop those activities is understandable.  Doing it at the cost of pedestrian's time and, more importantly, safety is not the best choice.

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JLWM8609    471
3 hours ago, kbates2 said:

 

Not sure but I see two common driving issues downtown that they may be trying to curb (assuming that these changes were intentional).  

 

First, as you said, people use the countdown while driving as almost a second yellow light.  Many drivers (myself included) will speed up when they see the countdown reaching 0 in order to ensure that they make the light.  Having drivers speed through lights is obviously not preferred.

 

Second, in heavy traffic people will often block the middle of intersections when the countdown approaches 0 to make sure that they don't have to wait out the other light.  At this point they are blocking oncoming traffic when the light changes as well as the pedestrian walkway.  

 

Trying to stop those activities is understandable.  Doing it at the cost of pedestrian's time and, more importantly, safety is not the best choice.

 

I think they can turn off the clock on the pedestrian signals if that's the case.

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IronTiger    722
15 hours ago, kbates2 said:

 

Not sure but I see two common driving issues downtown that they may be trying to curb (assuming that these changes were intentional).  

 

First, as you said, people use the countdown while driving as almost a second yellow light.  Many drivers (myself included) will speed up when they see the countdown reaching 0 in order to ensure that they make the light.  Having drivers speed through lights is obviously not preferred.

 

Second, in heavy traffic people will often block the middle of intersections when the countdown approaches 0 to make sure that they don't have to wait out the other light.  At this point they are blocking oncoming traffic when the light changes as well as the pedestrian walkway.  

 

Trying to stop those activities is understandable.  Doing it at the cost of pedestrian's time and, more importantly, safety is not the best choice.

I would never speed in downtown Houston though, because a) pedestrians are literally everywhere, light or not, and b, I don't want to get stuck in an intersection that has a train rolling down the tracks. But this "solution" just makes the problems worse, I think...

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kbates2    714

I have been known to overreact.

 

Signals were fine this morning.

 

Nothing to see here.

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