Pedestrian Signal Timing


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walking with cane“Recognizing that the North American population of older pedestrians is increasing, Canadian researchers Ann Coffin and John Morrall designed a study to learn if the timing of pedestrian signals at crosswalks should be adjusted to a slower walking speed for the elderly… When describing problems they had with crosswalks…elderly participants said they were “extra cautious because of a mistrust of drivers, fear of turning vehicles, difficulty negotiating curbs, inability to judge vehicular speeds, problems during winter, and annoyance with quick-changing lights.” 01

What’s been your experience with the duration of walk signals here in London, Ontario CANADA? Do you think that the city engineers have any clue what they’re doing, or that they only care about delaying cars for as short a time as possible?

01. 1997/04/01 – Researchers Study Walking Speeds…

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9 Responses to “Pedestrian Signal Timing”

  1. mark Says:

    The crosswalk lights at Adelaide and Lorne are the BEST! They turn quickly for a pedestrian, and don’t hold up the traffic for ages. The only other one I know of is on Richmond by TJ’s Bar (Pall Mall, I think). It takes far too long for it to change after pushing the button, and the poles on the West side of Richmond ‘hide’ pedestrians from cars.

    I still wonder why London paints those lines on roads and suggest they are crosswalks. Cars do not stop – for example: Colborne and Princess, and on Dundas just West of Richmond by Shoppers (even the LTC doesn’t stop for pedestrians!).

  2. fowgre Says:

    Thanks Mark. I’ll check out all of the locations that you mentioned.

  3. kevbo Says:

    the ones at Commissioners and Wellington are horrible for myself and if I can hardly make it think about the seniors.

  4. picard102 Says:

    I wonder if those buttons on the poles do anything, and which one to press for which direction.

  5. kevbo Says:

    The buttons are just there to give hope to pedestrians, hope that they will actually get someone in life.

  6. mark Says:

    I forgot about the buttons… The newer ones that are like metal discs with the red light and chirp they emit when pressed are so much better than the old plastic ones. I also forgot to mention the cross walk at Richmond and Clarence (?) – right by Cafe One. This cross walk is also excellent!

  7. fowgre Says:

    Some of the buttons have limited functionality, and others are disabled. When I inquired about the one at Maitland/Queens when I lived there, I was told that it didn’t do anything. In other locations, the ‘walk’ light won’t come on unless you’ve pressed the button *before* the automobile signal turns green; press it just one second too late and the ‘walk’ signal doesn’t appear. I’ve suggested to the city engineers that such practise is an abuse of pedestrians, but they’re too fixated on the efficient movement of cars and don’t have too much concern about the inconvenience to pedestrians. Even when you do get a ‘walk’ signal it generally only stays on for about 5 seconds; it would probably be more honest if it said ‘run.’

  8. fowgre Says:

    Thanks, Mark. I’ll check that one out too when I get the chance. One of the things that I hope to be allowed to tackle if City Hall accepts my applications to CSCP and TAC.

  9. mark Says:

    My gf and I were talking about those lights that don’t give a walk signal unless you press the button. There is one like this at, of all places, Central and Richmond! Also at Richmond and Dufferin. (Both of these are for crossing Richmond.)

    I’m still curious to know the laws regarding what appear as cross walks that don’t have traffic lights. Let me know if you have any info. Thanks!

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