Assuming drivers even come close to obeying the traffic laws of course. With the cold and dark, I’m running in the fitness center near work instead of out on the sidewalks, but I’m seriously considering purchasing a slag hammer to bring along for discouraging traffic scofflaws once I can return to outside runs in the Spring.
The wife and I run along a 55mph 2 lane highway. Talk about risking your life. It has a nice wide shoulder but you can’t believe how many people drift onto the shoulder. They also turn right without ever looking to the right.
I always thought I would drop dead from a heart attack but I think I’ll be squished by an idiot texting.
On a sider note, it was a heat wave in Michigan this afternoon, a balmy 28 for today’s run.
Yeah, honestly getting home after dark is far more of a deterrent to my outdoor runs than the temperature. Some of my best runs have been in sub zero weather. (Oh hey, look at that; the snow is steaming off of me!)
In the bulk of the US pedestrian lights match the parallel traffic. If a car turns they will nearly always enter a potentially occupied pedestrian area. This is further compounded by many areas allowing rights on red. During a right on red most drivers are intently watching the metal traffic incoming from their left and enter without seeing possible pedestrians in the perpendicular pedestrian crosswalk. Less common, but still distressingly common are full speed channelized turns that add the fun option of traffic approaching at lethal speeds from behind. There’s a reason that I hate traffic engineers in this country and why we have road death rates several time other industrialized countries.
My city is implemented this in recent years, and it is a nice change after swinging the other direction previously, requiring the ‘beg button’ to cross and giving pedestrians barely three seconds to cross without starting to flash the ‘do not walk’ sign. As a pedestrian, whenever I do need to cross the street particularly at rush-hour, I will only cross when no traffic is lingering to turn, and I try to run across as fast as I can.
In downtown Austin, this is how the traffic signals are configured. The problem is we modern humans have been attuned to walk when the traffic and walk signals change simultaneously.
My friend & I were downtown (when it seemed like the pandemic was beginning to subside) and I started to walk, but she hesitated: Her eyes were on the traffic signal, not the walk signal; the traffic signal is more prominent.
We’re both licensed drivers & I think we are both conditioned to wait for certain prompts to move. It takes some getting used to.
Uh, aren’t all traffic lights like this now? It seems like the ones I come across all turn green for pedestrians a few seconds before cars.
Chicago drivers run red lights all the time. I saw it happen more than seven times over the course of a weekend.
This should not happen. If visibility is that bad at an intersection, right on red should be prohibited. Send a request to your city’s traffic engineer to evaluate those intersections. The default where I live used to be prohibited right turns on red at every single intersection, which increases idle time (ie. pollution). The traffic engineers went out to evaluate all the downtown intersections and removed a lot of the signs, but they also implemented the pedestrian signal lighting prior to the traffic signal. We also have aggressive enforcement of a city ordinance that makes failing to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk a $100 moving violation. It’s never just one solution for making cities less hostile for walkers and bikers.
That those push-to-get-a-walk-signal gizmos are called “beg buttons” perfectly characterizes the default attitude of most traffic engineers towards pedestrians.
Certainly not here in pedestrian-friendly California.
Not really. The intersections detect traffic using detection loops. They detect pedestrians by using push buttons because humans and what direction they want to go are harder to reliably detect passively than 3000 pound hunk of metal in a directional lane.
Some intersections have detection loops, but I think a lot of them don’t. What irritates me are intersections where no “proceed” walk signal is provided unless the beg button is pushed.
Infrared camera pointed at the waiting spot, if a silhouette isn’t moving, they’re probably waiting to cross. A lot of crossings here (urban England) have them to make sure the crossing is clear of people before giving traffic a green light.
The channel linked in the main post has similar cameras in the Netherlands that detect when a cyclist is approaching a light-controlled cycle crossing. I want those so badly.
Two cars drove through a red light (and it wasn’t just after yellow->red, the light was red for a good 2-3 seconds before they drove through) at a crosswalk between a commuter rail station and the several condo complexes on the other side last night. If I hadn’t waited to make sure no driver was being an asshole (they were) I likely would have been hit.
I’ve been sorely tempted to hang a sign up near that crosswalk saying “Smile, you’re on traffic cam!” just to potentially scare the drivers into slowing down or stopping when they ought to by law.
The timing is affected when the push to walk signal is pressed. The walk cycle is longer than the shortest cycle for cars, so it affects timing. It makes sense for intersections to be responsive to need rather than on a fixed, one-size-fits-all timing that does not adjust to pedestrians or traffic.
Yeah, I have to do a lot of that at a couple of specific intersections. Sometimes they even see me and have time and distance to stop, but go for it anyways, because, dunno, sunk costs? No idea.
Makes me want to wear a crashcam GoPro like cyclists sometimes do.
Must have been a slow weekend!
I see at least 7 red light runners driving to and from work each day. It’s a dangerous plague that only re-emerged near the beginning of the pandemic. Next time you visit Washtenaw County, be prepared to sit at green lights for a few seconds before proceeding.
Yeah, I hear assholic driving a lot more often on the nearby main drag since the plague began. It’s actually calmed down a bit lately.
[One of my faves involved almost five minutes of really loud tire squeals, then a massive audible acceleration, next a very loud crash as the asshole hit somebody else’s car, and finally a very loud, “FUCK!!!”]