How hard can it be to make a crosswalk that works?

Discussion in 'Community' started by Doctor Q, Sep 3, 2003.

  1. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    Los Angeles
    #1
    Until a couple of years ago, city workers were adding painted crosswalks all around Los Angeles, especially near schools, to help pedestrians find their way safely across busy streets. Then, more recently, the city started removing these crosswalks. Reportedly, statistics showed that drivers' behavior didn't change when crosswalks were added, while pedestrians got a false sense of security, thereby increasing the risk rather than decreasing it.

    Today I heard that a local school has a new "intelligent crosswalk", with hanging lights above it that flash when a pedestrian is sensed in the crosswalk. Maybe this will help, but it seems kind of expensive given how many thousands of crosswalks there are in the city.

    Can we technical thinkers come up with a more practical compromise?
     
  2. medea macrumors 68030

    medea

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    #2
    Actually it's not that expensive,
    “At a cost of $9,800, this new pedestrian crosswalk system is also more economical than the standard pedestrian crossing signals, which can cost up to $70,000 to install,”
    So cost is definitely not an issue and they wouldn't be in place at all crosswalks just the busiest areas. To me this seems like the best idea, I personally can't think of anything better at the moment.
     
  3. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #3
    I've had a relatively inexpensive idea to keep all red light runners out of the intersection, including the crosswalks. Take the parking lot tire shredders and put them in the street, turned backwards, behind the crosswalk. When the light turns red, use the motor to bring them up. Anyone who decides to violate the red light doesn't get far. On the green light, they go down.

    It's also good for the tire industry; although, certain brands don't need help in shredding. ;)
     
  4. scem0 macrumors 604

    scem0

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    back in NYC!
    #4
    This reminds me of how I feel about microsoft....

    How can a multibillion dollar conglomerate with so much power and money not be able to make stable, secure software. :rolleyes:

    Oh well, no use to worry about it.

    scem0
     
  5. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    iowa
    #5
    unfortunately it doesn't allow for two situations: emergency vehicles, both official and not (if the intersection is clear, and i'm bleeding to death, your damn right i'm running it), and mechanical/computer glitches that make a traffic light stop-- it's happened to me 2 or 3 times, the light just stays red for quite a long time, finally people just treat the intersection like a stop sign (most traffic lights go to flashing red lights if they have problems, but not all, sometimes a technician has to be dispatched)...

    i wouldn't want my tires shredded in either of those situations...

    pnw
     
  6. tazo macrumors 68040

    tazo

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    Pacific Northwest, Seattle, WA actually
    #6
    Although there is a pretty good crosswalk system in seattle, it bothers me that the right turn lanes are often set up so that its a green light as I am crossing the street. Meaning I can get picked off just as I leave the curb!

    This needs to change! Its just one more way that those political fatcats up in Washington have demonstarted their propensity for ignoring minors. Or atleast those who don't want to die.
     
  7. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #7
    And with all the dumbasses out there, we'd have so many backups at intersections due to kaput cars with shredded tires....;)

    D
     
  8. eyelikeart Moderator emeritus

    eyelikeart

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    #8
    Yeah...tire spikes is a bad idea...period. Aside from the enormous amount of flattened tires we'd see, I imagine a ton more accidents will be caused from people trying to avoid them. :eek:
     
  9. MOFS macrumors 65816

    MOFS

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    Durham, UK
    #9
    Re: How hard can it be to make a crosswalk that works?

    Can I guess (being British) that a "crosswalk" is a place on the road with, say, hoizontal alternative black and white lines between two pavements (sidewalks)?

    If so, these "intelligent crosswalks" have been in the UK for years! While we call them "zebra crossings", they're normally by traffic lights. You either have a "PUFFIN" crossing or a "PELICAN" crossing - both are acronyms. A "PUFFIN" crossing is where you have a button by the traffic lights and when you press it, a little while later the traffic lights go red and the "little green man" sign lights and it beeps, allowing you to cross safely! A "PELICAN" is the same except there's no buttons - only sensors (possibly motion sensors under the pavement -I don't know for sure).

    Next you'll be telling me you don't have roundabouts!
     
  10. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

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    Langley, Washington
    #10
    How about, instead of shredders, use the movable curbs used in some parking lots to prevent running accross the entire lot? Using the same I deal, they are submerged so that their tops are level with the road, then when the light goes to red, they raise, therefore causing anyone who try's to run the light to get a major bump.

    Or also, there can be beams that travel accross the intersection, from the left turn lane to the right turn lane. They would be setup like in a bowling alley to prevent traveling down the alley with the ball, except inseted of setting off a buzzer, it would activate a camera. And if the person is just too far forward, no prob, but If they run it, big fine.

    TEG
     
  11. KCK macrumors regular

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    Oakland, CA
    #11
    Don't forget all the lawsuits from people who run red lights at speed and then would get into an accident because their tires were shredded. remember this is America where if you get hurt in any way it has to be someone's fault and almost as good as winning the lottery
     
  12. eyelikeart Moderator emeritus

    eyelikeart

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    #12
    exactly...anything to bring on a lawsuit...

    hell...they'd probably try to sue the person if they actually hit someone even...and they'd find a way to...

    2 words...Johnny Cochran... :rolleyes:
     
  13. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

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    #13
    johnny cochran does a lot of good work.

    he got bad press for the OJ thing (understandably).

    but sorry, someone has to keep the companies in check. i'm not talking about ambulance chasers. i'm talking about attorneys working for people affected by negligent companies (manufacturing, pharmaceutical, etc)
     
  14. Doctor Q thread starter Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    Los Angeles
    #14
    Re: Re: How hard can it be to make a crosswalk that works?

    Good guess.
    Not many. And we don't have those intersections full of lions and tigers and funny clowns and bears riding bicycles, like the "circuses" in London! ;)

    I should clarify my original question. Although safety at traffic-light intersections is also a concern (and sure, let's talk about that too), my question was really about mid-block crosswalks where there are no signals. For example, I've seen a few crosswalks that have small lights running along both sides. Maybe having lights like those that blink for 20 seconds after a button is pressed on either side would provide a cheap safety method. If this could be done for $1000 instead of $10,000, maybe we'd see a lot more of them.
     
  15. MOFS macrumors 65816

    MOFS

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    #15
    Re: Re: Re: How hard can it be to make a crosswalk that works?

    Yeh, I should have pointed this out as well. There are places (normally near schools where traffic lights would be unfeasable) where we have "crosswalks" with two lollipop-style lamps by them (with the bulb of the lollipop being a lamp) on each side of the road. Again, a sensor detects whether someone is there or not. Now, in theory there is no obligation for the person to stop (there aren't any traffic lights) but the Highway code states that drivers MUST slow down (pedestrians have right of way). These are really common here in the UK in built-up areas.
     
  16. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

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    #16
    Re: Re: Re: How hard can it be to make a crosswalk that works?

    not many roundabouts...

    clearly you haven't been to new jersey.

    where you simply can't make a left turn without pulling to the right, and taking a "jughandle" as they're often called here
     
  17. eyelikeart Moderator emeritus

    eyelikeart

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    #17
    I agree with u...but it's still going to bring out the worst in the situation. Someone always steps up & makes a ridiculous claim! I'm honestly surprised we haven't seen another lawsuit from hot coffee spillage, even though the cups are labeled "HOT."
     
  18. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    Oct 20, 2002
    #18
    Here in Boston pedestrians just cross the street anywhere that they please. People just have no patience. Then to make it even more dangerous for the pedestrian there is the bicycle messenger. My wife was hit by one!
     
  19. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

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    #19
    see, right there you just put your foot in your mouth. but i don't blame you. i blame mcdonalds and our media

    what people don't know about that case (the mcdonalds hot coffee case) would surprise them, and probably change their mind quickly. so, i'll enlighten you.

    mcdonalds was heating their coffee to temperatures WELL above the regulated temperatures... why? why else. money. the extra heat increased the aroma of coffee, and thus drew more people to buy it. they saw heavily increased profits as a result

    this woman spilled the coffee, and it burned her entire crotch up. it damage the INSIDES of her. her uterus was nearly destroyed entirely. why? again, money.

    so why give her millions and millions of dollars? well, it's simple. the judge awarded her the difference in profits that mcdonalds made in that one day, between what they used to make prior to the temperature increase, to what they made after... so maybe along the lines of a couple million dollars, tops. *however*, the reward was struck down on appeal, to a much lower amount (not sure what exactly). but if you're going to tell me that this woman is some type of ambulance chaser, than sorry, but that's full of it. and now, you know the whole story
     
  20. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #20
    Either way, we get them off the street for a while.

    After my incident on my bike with the car not stopping for a red light, I have little sympathy for red lights runners. This was especially bad because the man drove slowly down the street honking and cursing. He apparently thought it was legal to turn right on red without stopping. (They also make left turns on red around Orlandoh!)
     
  21. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

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    Corvallis, Oregon
    #21
    It goes the other way too. I'm often a pedestrian and I'm often a driver. When I'm a pedestrian, I'm sick of seeing discourteous drivers (although most drivers are courteous to pedestrians).

    When I'm a driver, I can't stand pedestrians that will walk both against the traffic light AND the pedestrian signal. One time a guy was waiting to cross at the crosswalk in front of me. Then when the light going the other way just turned yellow, he starts crossing the intersection. We had to wait for him to cross the street, even though we had a green light and he was crossing against the light. There's also an intersection near one of the dorms on campus that is usually busy with both students and automobiles. A lot of times, students will cross the street even though the signal is flashing "don't walk". It makes it very difficult for drivers to turn left or right when they have the light. If the first person needs to turn, he'll often be the only person to get through that cycle.

    Here's a stupid law though: in my town, if anybody is waiting to cross the street, regardless of whether he is waiting at a protected or unprotected crosswalk, all traffic is required to stop to let him across. They actually conduct sting operations to catch drivers that don't do this. Not only is jaywalking legal, but it's protected. I think I might jump out into traffic just so I can sue the driver that hits me for not stopping. :rolleyes:

    Pedestrians should cross at crosswalks and only when the pedestrian light says they can, just as automobile traffic must obey the traffic laws.

    Edit: To clarify the traffic law, cars have to stop if somebody's trying to cross in the middle of the block as well.
     
  22. crazytom macrumors 6502a

    crazytom

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    IL
    #22
    I saw a campus crosswalk the other day that had a countdown timer for when the light would change...that's something I'd never seen before.

    We also have one of those 'motion sensitive' crosswalks and very prominent signs to yeild to pedestrians. I don't know how well it's working, but it sure slows traffic down between classes!

    Or, the entire situation could be treated the way the Bush administration wants to take care of the 'forest fire' problem (cut down the trees). We can ban either traffic or pedestrians---whichever is more beneficial to big business (I'd guess that it'd be pedestrians, since they don't use much oil)!
     
  23. eyelikeart Moderator emeritus

    eyelikeart

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    #23
    Well u are right, I did not know the full story on it. U are also right in that our media does blow things way out of proportion, in order to sell a story. It's unfortunate when things such as that are misconstrued into something that engages negative emotion out of the public.

    It doesn't curb my opinion of frivolous lawsuits though. Take the Star Wars Kid for example. I'm sure he's embarassed, but no one really knows what his homelife is like. For all we know, he could be a Cartman (Southpark) case. It wouldn't surprise me in the least to learn this kid's mother is an overbearing freak like that. :eek:
     
  24. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

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    #24
    yeah, i agree that people go too far, by all means.

    but, much of the time the suits are

    1. taken out of context
    2. exaggerated
    3. the full story is not told.


    word.

    knowing is half the battle. ;)
     
  25. eyelikeart Moderator emeritus

    eyelikeart

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    Metairie, LA
    #25
    "G.I. Joooeeeeeeee....." :D

    yeah...the media should be put at this crosswalks without warning signs or anything... ;)
     

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