Posts Tagged ‘signal’

Pedestrian Signal Timing

May 18, 2008

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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…

In Toronto, Pedestrians Have a Voice

February 2, 2008

In London, my proposal for a Pedestrian Subcommittee was underhandedly dismissed without any public scrutiny. Which is why pedestrian issues only come forward periodically, presented one by one by affected individuals, where the issues and the individuals can be easily dispensed with by local politicians.

In Toronto, on the other hand, pedestrians are treated with some respect. Today’s news includes an article (‘Committee wants better snow removal on sidewalks‘; Toronto Star; 2008/02/02) about some of the recommendations just made by their Pedestrian Committee:

  • Plow sidewalks on all arterial roads.
  • staff should prepare a report on the cost and feasibility of plowing all residential sidewalks.
  • Provide improved service for older and disabled residents who can’t clear their own walks.
  • speed installation of chirping traffic signals to help blind and visually impaired pedestrians cross busy intersections.
  • an extra $1.35 million this year for pedestrian traffic signals that help people who don’t see well get across the street.
  • In London, where local politicians pretend to support TDM and a transportation hierarchy, snow clearing of pedestrian roads (sidewalks, walkways) is often just an afterthought. If there was any truth behind the Official Plan and the Transportation Master Plan, wouldn’t pedestrian streets get cleared first, before any consideration was given to the automobile?

    But whoever said that politicians have to be honest?

    Are Communication Towers Good Neighbours?

    December 29, 2007

    It’s an issue that Industry Canada has jurisdiction over, but one that municipal politicians all over the province are increasingly hearing about.

    More users (19.3 million Canadian subscribers as of September) and the need for greater bandwidth (video and music downloads) is driving a growing demand for better wireless infrastructure that solves poor reception. But as service providers react to that demand by putting cellphone towers in residential neighbourhoods, some community groups are voicing fears that the towers’ radio frequency emissions may pose health risks. And some residents, primarily concerned with visual blight, are demanding that towers be disguised (trees, church steeples, building facades, flag poles, public art water tanks, light poles, chimneys, windmills, etc; check out some of the photos HERE).

    Residents in Montgomery County, Washington learned the hard way that cash-strapped school boards cannot be trusted to put the protection of children’s health ahead of economic incentives. When a bill came before the Maryland Legislature which proposed that leasing space for any new cell phone towers on elementary and middle school property be prohibited, the Montgomery County School Board voiced it’s unanimous opposition (‘School board stops bill banning new cell towers‘; Examiner; 2007/12/12).

    Some countries in the European Union have adopted tough standards. In Salzburg, Austria, emissions can’t exceed 0.1 microwatts per square centimetre. But here, Health Canada currently permits 1,000 microwatts per square centimetre.

    Should London residents be concerned?

    Stop Cell Towers!
    2004/05/19 – SignOnSanDiego: Parents protest cell towers on school grounds
    2007/09/27 – Las Vegas Sun: Cell towers can’t hide from their opponents
    2007/11/14 – Rense: Taiwan Removes All Cell Towers Near Children
    2007/12/29 – Toronto Star: Cell tower plans jammed
    2007/12/29 – Toronto Star: Telcos get mixed signals about better reception
    2008/01/04 – Toronto Star: City report recommends limiting new cell towers

    Closed to Pedestrians!

    February 23, 2006

    According to Sgt. Tom O’Brien (“Man charged in hit-and-run”; London Free Press; 2006/02/23), “London and other cities have seen a disturbing trend of pedestrians struck by vehicles. Since 2001, there have been 70 traffic-related deaths in London, including 19 pedestrians. Last year, 225 pedestrians in London were struck by cars.

    So what is London’s solution to this disturbing trend that I’ve been publicly warning about for at least a decade? CLOSE INTERSECTIONS TO PEDESTRIANS!

    This just received from Mark Ridley (City Hall’s Transportation Division) …

    The location of Commissioners and King Edward was studied to determine if the warrant was met and an Intersection Pedestrian Signal should be installed. The minimum pedestrian volume required for the warrant is 200 pedestrians in an 8 hour period. The study at this location counted only 88 pedestrians in the 8 hour period so the warrant was not fulfilled.

    Our experience in traffic is the installation of unwarranted signals, stop signs or any other type of regulatory device does not resolve a problem it just replaces one problem with another. It is not unusual for Police supervision to be requested at unwarranted installations when drivers do not show the compliance expected at a regulatory device.

    After the results of the study were attained the Transportation Division reviewed the situation internally and in discussions with the Police has agreed the best course of action to address safety concerns and remove the conflict between the pedestrians and the 26,000 daily vehicles on Commissioners is to close the crossing and relocate the crossing guard to the full set of signals at Commissioners and Frontenac. This summer Transportation will remove the pedestrian crossing lines and the sidewalk extensions on the east side and install a barrier rail similar to the one that currently exists on the east leg of Commissioners and Adelaide. In addition signs will be posted advising pedestrians of where they can cross Commissioners. This is the safest solution for all pedestrians concerned.”

    Letter to The Londoner

    September 8, 2005

    Today’s editorial submission to The Londoner

    Mr. Editor,

    With respect to Len Lesser’s article (The Londoner; “For $20,000 saved…”)

    For at least a decade, I have been more publicly outspoken about police enforcement (and various other things) in this community than any other individual. I have had some success in motivating London Police Services to press for increased funding, but other initiatives have yet to bear fruit.

    Visit my Blog to review my concern about the Commissioners Road & King Edward Avenue intersection.

    The truth is that there are simply not enough police to do the job properly. And the greatest share of recent funding increases was grabbed up by senior police officers in the form of “retention pay” instead of putting more officers on the street. Shame on them!

    I have also voiced concerns about the seeming disregard by city administrators for pedestrians in this city. Pedestrian signals are a joke, and reflect a disgusting bias in favour of automobiles. In a separate 2005/05/17 blog entry, I raised my concern about the signal at the Commissioners Road & Pond Mills Road intersection. I invite you to read it, and the response that I received from the city.

    London keeps growing, the Mayor keeps crowing about us becoming “the capital of southwestern Ontario,” but our so-called leaders seem to display absolutely no capacity for forward thinking. One need only look as far away as Toronto to see the kinds of problems the plague large metropolitan areas. As a lifelong resident of London, I am sickened by some of what I see happening to this community.

    There is only one solution to the big-city problems facing our ever-expanding community, and that is political action. Concerned citizens must speak out loudly so that police and politicians will make more than just a token effort toward improving our quality of life.


    Mr. Greg Fowler
    962 Eagle Crescent
    London, Ontario; N5Z 3H7

    Signal Timing at Commissioner’s & Pond Mills Intersection

    August 11, 2005

    Yesterday’s email from Mark Ridley (Senior Technologist in the London Transportation Department) had this to say about the signal timing:

    The signals area have looked at your concern regarding the walk display and have determined a substantial upgrade to the field wiring would be required to implement the requested change. At the present time funding is unavailable for this operational improvement.”

    Commissioner’s & King Edward Intersection

    August 10, 2005

    With respect to my concern about the Commissioners & King Edward intersection, Mark Ridley (Senior Technologist in the London Transportation Department) had this to say in his email to me earlier today:

    This intersection has been added to our TOPS program, file number 05-80, to be studied in the fall or spring to see if the location meets the warrant for a pedestrian signal. Once the field study has been completed the data will be analyzed and you will be sent a summary of the results. The last request for a pedestrian crossover at this location was 1985. You also mention on your website the need for a crossing guard according to our records a crossing guard is at this location during the school year to assist people across Commissioners Road.”

    Dangerous to Pedestrians

    May 17, 2005

    The intersection at Commissioners Road & King Edward Avenue. It sits in a valley, and fast-moving vehicles take only seconds to reach it after cresting the top of the hill in either direction. Without a traffic light or a crossing guard to assist, pedestrians face a difficult and dangerous task when crossing.





    The intersection at Commissioners Road & Pond Mills Road. Eastbound pedestrians on the south side of Commissioners are constrained by a “Don’t Walk” signal while westbound vehicles have an “Advanced Green” signal, for no good reason.