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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 14:21 
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Just thought some might be interested in this video.

Experiment: Town in England Turns Off Traffic Lights, Surprising Results.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 14:40 
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Thanks Dixie.

I'm sure I'm not alone when I say I've been saying exactly this for ages. I can cite numerous examples where removal or failures of traffic lights resulted with faster flowing traffic, and the installation of traffic lights resulted with permanent queues.

The overuse of such needless restrictions is why actions such as Red Light Jumping is almost seen as acceptable (more so by cyclists).
Of course, such schemes should not be at the expense of the safety and convenience of pedestrians.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 15:14 
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It doesn't suprise me in the least, I couldn't count on two hands the number of junctions, whether they,ve been staggered T, cross roads or whatever, that I've come cross in my driving life, where the lights have been out, sometimes just for a hour or two, sometimes for days.

Guess what? I've never seen problems with either, accidents, people stuck not knowing what to do, near misses and more importantly queues.

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My views do not represent Safespeed but those of a driver who has driven for 39 yrs, in all conditions, at all times of the day & night on every type of road and covered well over a million miles, so knows a bit about what makes for safety on the road,what is really dangerous and needs to be observed when driving and quite frankly, the speedo is way down on my list of things to observe to negotiate Britain's roads safely, but I don't expect some fool who sits behind a desk all day to appreciate that.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 18:47 
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graball wrote:

Guess what? I've never seen problems with either, accidents, people stuck not knowing what to do, near misses and more importantly queues.


Happens on my neck of the woods .A certain set on our "ring road" ( the one that made Terry Wogan so famous) when working normally are a recipe for chaos .When they break down -drivers seem to find their lost sense of sense and courtesy and instead of the fight to save losing face -they actually are competing to see who can be the most courteous (or so it seems).

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 19:12 
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Steve wrote:
Of course, such schemes should not be at the expense of the safety and convenience of pedestrians.


Quite. When the traffic lights in Ashbourne broke down earlier this year vehicular movement was certainly improved somewhat. But it became much harder for pedestrians to cross the road. The fact that vehicular traffic was never brought to a complete halt meant that there were few gaps in which pedestrians could safely cross.

Of course you could eliminate traffic lights and retain PeLiCon crossings. But I would prefer them to be advisory - you could cross the red light if no pedestrians were on the road or waiting.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 19:57 
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dcbwhaley wrote:
Of course you could eliminate traffic lights and retain PeLiCon crossings.

I'll go with that!

dcbwhaley wrote:
But I would prefer them to be advisory - you could cross the red light if no pedestrians were on the road or waiting.

Ooh, RLJ-ing! :twisted:

I'm not so sure about this. Light gambling behaviours aren't limited to drivers. I've seen pedestrians make a mad dash to cross before they lose their phase.

Is it often that you see real Pelicons (not the fixed interval type where the button is merely for show) giving traffic the red phase when no pedestrians are about?
Assuming the road isn't comparatively busy with vehicular traffic, would Zebra crossings be a better solution?
If the road is busy, then instances of 'pedestrianless red pelicons' should be fairly rare (pedestrians have to wait due to lack of appropriate gaps).

Oddly, I recently had an interesting offline debate about pedestrians crossing Pelicons before their phase is green, hence leaving traffic waiting when no-one is on the crossing. I didn't accept their opinion that pedestrians should be made to wait until their phase is green, even if the road is clear. Perhaps allowing RLJ-ing would redress the 'imbalanced' priorities? ;)

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 22:18 
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Steve wrote:
Ooh, RLJ-ing! :twisted:


RLJ-ing ???

In many parts of the world, Toronto and Berlin spring to mind from my personal experience, they have pedestrian phase which give the pedestrian priority without prohibiting the driver from crossing if no pedestrians are crossing or wanting to cross the road. I think that it shows a green man to the pedestrian and a flashing amber to the driver. Another phase shows red to the pedestrian when it is an offence to cross . Works well.

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I'm not so sure about this. Light gambling behaviours aren't limited to drivers


Where does gambling come into it? This is a system of strict priorities backed by legislation.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 22:56 
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dcbwhaley wrote:
RLJ-ing ???

Sorry, Red Light Jumping.

dcbwhaley wrote:
In many parts of the world, Toronto and Berlin spring to mind from my personal experience, they have pedestrian phase which give the pedestrian priority without prohibiting the driver from crossing if no pedestrians are crossing or wanting to cross the road. I think that it shows a green man to the pedestrian and a flashing amber to the driver. Another phase shows red to the pedestrian when it is an offence to cross . Works well.

To confirm: does that imply jaywalking laws are used in some form, and that it works well?

dcbwhaley wrote:
Where does gambling come into it? This is a system of strict priorities backed by legislation.

I mean, in this country I see pedestrians running onto crossings when they have the green man, rushing in case they arrive too late and lose their green man (their priority) and have to wait longer. Is that a good recipe for safe interaction? Well, if as you say it 'works well' in other countries....

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 08:27 
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Steve wrote:
To confirm: does that imply jaywalking laws are used in some form, and that it works well?

I don't know about the law but my observation is that the lights were very well obeyed by both motorists and pedestrians

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I mean, in this country I see pedestrians running onto crossings when they have the green man, rushing in case they arrive too late and lose their green man (their priority) and have to wait longer. Is that a good recipe for safe interaction?

Can't really see the problem with that so long as they cross on Green. After all a pedestrian moving quickly will be more alert and not subject to the fatigue induced by moving slowly. :D But is that apposite to the discussion of what type of priority system is used?

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Last edited by dcbwhaley on Sun Oct 17, 2010 13:47, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:17 
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dcbwhaley wrote:
Quite. When the traffic lights in Ashbourne broke down earlier this year vehicular movement was certainly improved somewhat. But it became much harder for pedestrians to cross the road. The fact that vehicular traffic was never brought to a complete halt meant that there were few gaps in which pedestrians could safely cross.


Having siad that, I tend to notice that drivers are far more accomodating of peds tentatively crossing the road when they themselves are tentatively negotiating failed traffic lights; every just kind of feels their way across. the junction.

It's almost like traffic lights enforce the them-and-us-ness of different road user groups, and their failure breaks down these barriers.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:07 
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Johnnytheboy wrote:
Having siad that, I tend to notice that drivers are far more accomodating of peds tentatively crossing the road when they themselves are tentatively negotiating failed traffic lights; every just kind of feels their way across. the junction.


That is true. The problem becomes more apparent away from the junctions where the traffic tends to be more continuous, without the gaps induced by distant red lights.

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It's almost like traffic lights enforce the them-and-us-ness of different road user groups, and their failure breaks down these barriers.


Very good point. That rather reinforce my argument in favour of the shared space concept. Abolishing rigid priorities and making all road users think about their relationship with other users will increase safety, though it might slow down vehicular traffic somewhat.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:39 
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Quote:
though it might slow down vehicular traffic somewhat.


Back to the travelling speed issue again here , I'm afraid.

I believe that although it may affect speed at certain points and slow it, the overall avearge speeds would go up, with less stop starts that we find at traffic lights etc...hence the lack of queueing in the video...same amount of traffic, faster average speeds= less queues.

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My views do not represent Safespeed but those of a driver who has driven for 39 yrs, in all conditions, at all times of the day & night on every type of road and covered well over a million miles, so knows a bit about what makes for safety on the road,what is really dangerous and needs to be observed when driving and quite frankly, the speedo is way down on my list of things to observe to negotiate Britain's roads safely, but I don't expect some fool who sits behind a desk all day to appreciate that.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 13:39 
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Spot on.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 14:14 
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dcbwhaley wrote:
Steve wrote:
To confirm: does that imply jaywalking laws are used in some form, and that it works well?

I don't know about the law but my observation is that the lights were very well obeyed by both motorists and pedestrians

I'm confused. I thought we were discussing examples where motorists could drive through red lights? (Toronto, Berlin)

dcbwhaley wrote:
Can't really see the problem with that so long as they cross on Green.

In this country: yes of course, but running into a road where vehicles need not be stopped? (Toronto, Berlin)

dcbwhaley wrote:
After all a pedestrian moving quickly will be more alert and not subject to the fatigue induced by moving slowly. :D But is that apposite to the discussion of what type of priority system is used?

Ha!
I don't know about you, but I've never met anyone who claimed to have dozed off while walking - whilst they were sober anyway :D

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 14:47 
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Steve wrote:
I'm confused. I thought we were discussing examples where motorists could drive through red lights? (Toronto, Berlin)


No not a red light. That is a stop. IIRC it is a flashing yellow which allows vehicles to proceed provided that there are no pedestrians. TBH I often treat the red at a PeLicCon in that way - cross if there is no pedestrian wanting to use the crossing.

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In this country: yes of course, but running into a road where vehicles need not be stopped? (Toronto, Berlin)

That does seem to be a potential problem but I suspect that Canadian, and certainly German, pedestrians are rather more disciplined. Perhaps the jay walking laws cover that eventuality.
Even in that part of Canada where pedestrians have absolute priority pedestrians behaved with some circumspection and certainly don't run into the road. But I was told that there is quite a high RTA rate amongst locals when they travel in Europe.

dcbwhaley wrote:
I don't know about you, but I've never met anyone who claimed to have dozed off while walking - whilst they were sober anyway :D

On some of the very long walks I did in my youth keeping awake was a problem. But the problem there was falling of a cliff not been run over by a car. :-)

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 15:03 
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dcbwhaley wrote:
No not a red light. That is a stop. IIRC it is a flashing yellow which allows vehicles to proceed provided that there are no pedestrians. TBH I often treat the red at a PeLicCon in that way - cross if there is no pedestrian wanting to use the crossing.

Sorry, I really was confused.
You earlier merely advocated jumping "red lights", which isn't what happens - except in America where I believe one can 'turn right on red'?

Having a 'flashing amber' seems like a good compromise.

dcbwhaley wrote:
But I was told that there is quite a high RTA rate amongst locals when they travel in Europe.

Possibly because they're busy sightseeing, or looking the wrong way down the carriageway? That cuts both ways of course.

dcbwhaley wrote:
IIRC it is a flashing yellow which allows vehicles to proceed provided that there are no pedestrians. TBH I often treat the red at a PeLicCon in that way - cross if there is no pedestrian wanting to use the crossing.

Ooh, RLJ-ing :twisted:

...and so it begins, again :D

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 15:10 
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Steve wrote:
Ooh, RLJ-ing :twisted: ...and so it begins, again :D


Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools

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