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Posts tagged "crosswalk"

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“Running Man” Crosswalk Countdown Timer in Guadalajara

I've started to see a slew of countdown timers popping up all over Queens & Manhattan of late, but this one I saw while in Guadalajara last week surely ups the fun quotient of crossing the street, not to mention evoking a chuckle or two.

It's not as if I haven't seen countdown signals with moving glyphs before, but this certainly is the most robust and speediest pedestrian I've ever come across.  (For brevity, we're only showcasing the last 20 seconds as the first 25 seconds prior has the pedestrian moving at a snail's pace.)

After some research, I've discovered that these kinds of crossing signals are somewhat common in Asia and some places Central America.  Anyone seen anything with mucho gusto in the U.S.?

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Drivers Behaving Rudely

Just because there's a livable streets revolution underway in NYC doesn't mean that drivers have gotten the message. Cars blocking crosswalks, drivers failing to yield to pedestrians, unnecessary honking and a slew of other quality-of-walking violations are still a routine occurrence to contend with on nearly every corner of New York City.

Mark Gorton, publisher of Streetsblog, wants to put drivers on notice of their rudeness. While he acknowledges the majority of drivers are not bad or mean people, their actions speak otherwise and they may not even realize it. After all, one rude driver sitting in a crosswalk can inconvenience or endanger dozens of pedestrians in one light cycle. Yet would that same person take a shopping cart in a supermarket and purposely block an aisle and make people navigate around him or her? The betting line says likely not.

So what is it about driving a car that allows people to get a societal pass on their rudeness?

StreetFilms
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Seattle Crosswalk: Tap foot, Lights blink, Cross street

Along Seattle's historic waterfront I happened upon a unique pedestrian-activated crosswalk that blinks as people cross. Yes, I have seen over a dozen lighted ped signals before in myriad cities, but all required the user to press a button to manually begin the cycle. So, you ask, how is this one different?

Well check this out - as you enter the crosswalk make sure you touch the yellow rectangle on the sidewalk. This activates the lights that line the crosswalk. Drivers stop and it should be safe to begin your adventure: you'll feel a bit like an airplane coming in for a landing. Frankly, it's very empowering and a lot of fun!

Reason dictates that A) there must be a sensor contained within the yellow pad, or B) there's a helpful gremlin who lives underneath and throws a switch for pedestrians. Regardless, anyone else seen one like it in their town?

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Daylighting: Make Your Crosswalks Safer

Daylighting is a simple pedestrian safety measure achieved by removing parking spaces adjacent to curbs around an intersection, increasing visibility for pedestrians and drivers and minimizing conflicts. It's beneficial to young and old, but is especially helpful to children, who often cannot see, or be seen by, oncoming traffic. By removing parking adjacent to the crosswalk, the child does not have to wade into the street to see vehicles entering the intersection. At the same time, drivers don't have to roll into the crosswalk to see if pedestrians are waiting to cross.

Compare the photos below, showing the sight line difference with and without a parked car.

Neighborhoods around NYC and beyond are nearly shouting for daylighting to be implemented for safer streets. Streetfilms went to Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan to check out what some neighborhood leaders have to say. And though we love the concept, we think the term, Daylighting, is a little stale. So how about some suggestions? As you'll see, we came up with one, "Pedestrian Peek-a-boo," but we're sure there are others out there.

Learn about daylighting on Streetswiki.

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Portland, Ore. – Crosswalk Enforcement Actions

Sharon White of the Portland Office of Transportation briefly explains how the city, the community, and police department work together on monthly Crosswalk Enforcement Actions. Those who fail to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian receive a citation for $242! That fine applies not only to drivers, but cyclists and other pedestrians who violate traffic codes.

Even Portland Mayor Tom Potter gets in on the action, volunteering to be a "decoy" during one such event.