Footpath lights are special kinds of traffic signal indications set up for the exclusive function of managing pedestrian traffic. They are regularly set up at signalized crossroads where statistical data reveals that the car signals cannot properly protect the persons using the intersection.
Pedestrian lights have evolved over the years and are now quite reliable, advanced traffic management devices. Regrettably, their necessary technical excellence has actually led to common misunderstandings. This article responds to questions about when walkway signals are usually set up, just how they function as well as exactly what the indicators indicate.
Sidewalk signals are set up for a variety of reasons. Frequently, they are set up:
- when the design of a crossway is such that vehicular indications aren"t noticeable to footpath users.
- if footpath user traffic is extremely heavy, as in a central business district.
- where the vehicle motions at a crossway are so complicated that special measures need to be made to interact with sidewalk users.
- if a special pedestrian course needs to be specified throughout a complicated crossway.
- if footpath users need to be offered unique use of a crossway in the interest of safety.
Invariably there are two types of pedestrian signals : those with pedestrian detectors Push-to-Walk triggers and those without detection. Pedestrian detection devices are typically set up at crossways where entrance times of side street cars are occasionally low and footpath users come up against unnecessary delay awaiting a vehicular sign to turn green. Vehicular green indications are very short to permit a footpath user to cross a wide road securely. Under these circumstances the pedestrian trigger button causes the signal controller to extend the green time for both cars as well as pedestrians.
pedestrians can often get caught on a median island in the middle of a complex crossway. Sidewalk lights include the illuminated words WALK and DO NOT WALK, or the lit up symbols of a walking individual and perhaps a upraised hand symbol. The meanings of the signs are as follows:
- A stable, brightened WALK screen, or a steady lit up sign of a walking person, indicates that a pedestrian may go into the street and proceed in accordance with the instructions of the indication.
- A flashing, lit up DON"T screen, or a flashing lit up sign of an upraised hand, suggests that a footpath user may not begin to move across the roadway in the instructions of the indicator, however any footpath user who has partly completed the crossing throughout the steady WALK indicator may continue throughout.
- A stable, illuminated DO NOT WALK display screen, or a steady lit up symbol of an raised hand, means that a pedestrian can not legally go into the street.
There are a number of misunderstandings about sidewalk user signals and footpath user detectors. The belief that the WALK sign should be shown for the entire time needed to cross the street is incorrect. The vital requirement in pedestrian signal timing is that approaching cars not be allowed to go before all footpath users who have actually entered the street on the stable WALK interval have actually had adequate time to finish their crossings.
The footpath user protection will not end for footpath users currently in the road when the stable WALK ends and the flashing DO NOT WALK starts. Complete defense exists for any pedestrians who begin to cross the highway during any part of the steady WALK interval, even if the majority of the real crossing takes place during the flashing DO NOT WALK period. Essentially, the stable WALK indication informs pedestrians that they may start to cross the roadway. The flashing DON"T WALK offers security for sidewalk users that started their crossing during the WALK interval and avoids latecomers
traffic light suppliers at the crossway from beginning to cross.
The belief that available sidewalk user detection devices do not have to be pushed to get to the street is incorrect. Some pedestrians cannot push offered detector buttons and rather proceed to cross over by observing the car indicators instead of the footpath user indications. Since vehicles generally move faster than pedestrians, the green timing needed to cross the crossroad is much less for a car than for a pedestrian.
When the detector is not utilized, the pedestrian sign stays at constant DON"T WALK, and the green time offered by the automobile signal is not constantly enough to permit a sidewalk user to cross over the roadway totally. When pedestrians do cross over in these circumstances, they are not only overlooking the vehicle signal indications and are in offense of lots of national regulations. But they may enter dispute with a car lawfully utilizing the crossway, therefore jeopardizing their own security and the safety of other folks as well!
A belief that the sidewalk signals and detectors instantly increase safety and should be installed at all signal controlled crossways is also incorrect. Every signalized intersection has to be assessed separately. If the mix of signal timing, crossroad design, footpath user volumes and car volumes are such that pedestrian lights and detectors aren"t required, then they must not be installed. In addition to the significant installation costs, walkway signals consume a considerable amount of electrical energy at a typical intersection.
If the automobile signs can safely accommodate vehicles, then there"s no reason for installing fancy footpath user controls. At some intersections, it may be that only pedestrian detectors need to be set up. Where pedestrian traffic is low and sidewalk user lights aren"t needed, a pedestrian detection device can be utilized to extend the automobile green light time, should it be too short for a footpath user to cross.
Sidewalk lights designate right of way to footpath users in much the same way as car lights carry out for automobile traffic. However, they do not ensure of. Footpath users still need to exercise sound judgment when crossing over a highway:
- Before crossing a signal controlled crossway, ALWAYS press the pedestrian detection device push button if one is present. Doing so will guarantee adequate crossing timing.
- If no pedestrian signal is present, push the pedestrian detector push button if one is offered, and always cross as quickly as the car signal turns to the color green. Doing so will make sure that adequate cross over timing will be offered. Pressing the detection device push-button when the signal is currently green won"t cause the green time interval to be extended during that particular green period. The next green interval will, nevertheless, be lengthened. If the green signal has been on for a long time previous to your arrival, be cautious about going into the roadway. The automobile signal might be prepared to redden and you might be caught in the street when this happens!
- If complete sidewalk user signalization exists, press the pedestrian detection device button and cross when the pedestrian sign changes to WALK. Don"t worry when the indication turns to flashing DON"T WALK. There is still sufficient time to finish the cross over before oncoming traffic is let go.
- When crossing over a road, despite the existence or lack of pedestrian controls, lessen the time that you spend on the roadway: DO NOT saunter!
Always be attentive and watch for likely vehicular traffic moving throughout your course. By law, cars need to yield to sidewalk users legally within the crossway. However, in any contest of right of method in between sidewalk users and cars, the pedestrians will CONSTANTLY lose.