Author Topic: Merged thread: Countdown graphics, Nearside pedestrian figures, etc etc  (Read 16362 times)

Nearside pedestrian figures(at farsides): how useful?
« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2016, 01:16:10 pm »
it seems the proposed intelligent variants of amber countdown (PCats) are already being tested
(they count kerbside waiting pedestrians(at red figure)  then  extend the green figure's  'invitation to cross' appropriately, then measure their walking speeds and adjust the following countdown period  length appropriately):-----
https://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2014/03/07/tfl-tests-intelligent-pedestrian-crossing-technology/

Such smarter crossings would have no way of ending the countdown early if the crossing clears earlier than predicted: I wonder if that effect would be significant?

if so, perhaps an empty crossing could give a brief warning that it is going to end countdown early but if more pedestrians enter crossing area during said period the countdown would continue (was running in background). Actually maybe it would OK most of the time?

Has anyone used these under-test intelligent variants?

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Pedestrian amber countdown displays: why was numeric chosen over graphic
« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2016, 01:34:25 pm »
Waiting time displayed in seconds (or possibly some other method) during pedestrian red is at least clearly showing the time until pedestrian green. It's not clear to me whether what's being discussed here is the time remaining until the end of green man or until green light for vehicles.
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree

Re: Pedestrian amber countdown displays: why was numeric chosen over graphic
« Reply #27 on: November 03, 2016, 01:48:12 pm »
Waiting time displayed in seconds (or possibly some other method) during pedestrian red is at least clearly showing the time until pedestrian green. It's not clear to me whether what's being discussed here is the time remaining until the end of green man or until green light for vehicles.
Sorry, although this thread was about the amber countdown to red figure (replaces blackout) and which indicates time left to cross,  you  said you liked the 'countdown to next green figure' idea  so I suggested they were not mutually exclusive if the 'countdown to next green figure' is mounted on the nearside panel with the button, (please) wait display etc.

Even if you ignore the actual numeric values  displayed I think a positive amber pedestrian signal is still much better than the alternative of a long blackout  period where neither red or green figure is lit.

Re: Pedestrian amber countdown displays: why was numeric chosen over graphic
« Reply #28 on: November 03, 2016, 03:17:41 pm »
Waiting time displayed in seconds (or possibly some other method) during pedestrian red is at least clearly showing the time until pedestrian green. It's not clear to me whether what's being discussed here is the time remaining until the end of green man or until green light for vehicles.

Cudzo

The one of these I see regularly the countdown is to the Red Man, there is a subsequent all red delay until the traffic gets the red and amber.

Re: Pedestrian amber countdown displays: why was numeric chosen over graphic
« Reply #29 on: November 03, 2016, 04:23:12 pm »
On a not entirely unrelated note, why do some sets of traffic lights have varying amounts of dwell between their phases.
There's one set in Sydenham where between a red stationery man being displayed for pedestrians, and the next traffic phase changing to green, around 15 seconds passes while nobody is allowed to move.

What's that all about?
I've seen it at other sets of lights, but seldom for as long as this set.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Pedestrian amber countdown displays: why was numeric chosen over graphic
« Reply #30 on: November 03, 2016, 04:28:27 pm »
To fit more RLJers in?  :)

Maybe some clever traffic flow reason further down the road?
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Phil W

Re: Pedestrian amber countdown displays: why was numeric chosen over graphic
« Reply #31 on: November 03, 2016, 04:43:45 pm »
These countdown displays were in use in China in 2001. Glad to see we are slowly catching up.

Re: Pedestrian amber countdown displays: why was numeric chosen over graphic
« Reply #32 on: November 03, 2016, 05:02:50 pm »
There's one set in Sydenham where between a red stationery man being displayed for pedestrians, and the next traffic phase changing to green, around 15 seconds passes while nobody is allowed to move
Is it a Puffin (nearside figures only), where the green figure quickly goes directly to red figure even when people still on crossing (cause they can't see it and the invitation to cross has ended but lights held till crossing empties (or timeout)).
NB I hate Puffins and hope these newer crossings (and older farside Toucans) will kill them off......

Or maybe its setup wrong/broken (eg person detectors broken): perhaps report/query it with roads service:
https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/services/traffic-lights-and-reporting-fault

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Pedestrian amber countdown displays: why was numeric chosen over graphic
« Reply #33 on: November 03, 2016, 06:54:56 pm »
Waiting time displayed in seconds (or possibly some other method) during pedestrian red is at least clearly showing the time until pedestrian green. It's not clear to me whether what's being discussed here is the time remaining until the end of green man or until green light for vehicles.

Cudzo

The one of these I see regularly the countdown is to the Red Man, there is a subsequent all red delay until the traffic gets the red and amber.
:thumbsup:
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree

Re: Pedestrian amber countdown displays: why was numeric chosen over graphic
« Reply #34 on: November 04, 2016, 12:36:23 am »
I dislike the TfL implementation (of seconds left until 'red figure reappears(which will be followed by a brief all red period))'# , as I seem incapable of interpreting it as anything other than "3 seconds  - sure, that's plenty of time to get across the road." #very slightly corrected by SA_SA_SA_SA

I much prefer what I've seen elsewhere (eg between Terminal 1 and the car park at Dublin airport), where it's seconds left until the pedestrian green -
If the countdown to green is on the nearside wait/request panel presumably both  types could be provided* and those such as yourself who don't wish to do maths can simply view the farside amber countdown (previously blackout) period as a simple amber lamp: giving positive indication/reassurance(that crossing is still working: a blackedout signal might be confused as broken...)  to  those on the crossing but telling maths hating persons, ike yourself, at the kerb to wait till next green figures 'invitation to cross' or an empty road...

*just use white/pink-ish red digits for the nearside countdown to green (red figures on black hard to read for colour blind)?

I'm happy to accept your correction in my first para (albeit IME the time between "1" disappearing from the countdown and engines revving is so small as to suggest the all-red period is practically non-existent), but I am more than puzzled as to why on earth you feel the need to characterise me as "those such as yourself who don't wish to do maths" and "maths hating persons, [l]ike yourself."

Re: Pedestrian amber countdown displays: why was numeric chosen over graphic
« Reply #35 on: November 04, 2016, 08:02:36 am »
Waiting time displayed in seconds (or possibly some other method) during pedestrian red is at least clearly showing the time until pedestrian green. It's not clear to me whether what's being discussed here is the time remaining until the end of green man or until green light for vehicles.

Cudzo

The one of these I see regularly the countdown is to the Red Man, there is a subsequent all red delay until the traffic gets the red and amber.

There are loads of these on my commute.
They go green man... countdown of various lengths... red man... three seconds later red + amber for traffic.

To answer the OP, there already was a graphic: green man = fine to start crossing; green man goes off = fine to continue if you've already started; red man comes on = a few seconds before the traffic gets red + amber. The problem with this is you have no idea how long the period where both green and red man are off is, it's adjusted depending on the width of the crossing. Sometimes there is no bit with no pedestrian light, the red man is just on for longer before the red+amber, but it's still meant to show that you've got enough time to continue crossing at a normal pace.

With the numbers you know exactly how long you've been given and know there's no need to break into a jog. You also know whether the crossing designers were expecting you to get all the way across or stop at the island in the middle. Any graphic would be open to being different at different crossings, and even if it wasn't different how would you know?
Quote from: tiermat
that's not science, it's semantics.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Pedestrian amber countdown displays: why was numeric chosen over graphic
« Reply #36 on: November 04, 2016, 08:31:36 am »
The graphic already is different at different crossings. Some have a no-man's time, some have flashing green, some go straight from green to red. And some I've seen, in Germany, have two red men. I don't know why.
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree

Re: Pedestrian amber countdown displays: why was numeric chosen over graphic
« Reply #37 on: November 04, 2016, 10:44:52 am »
I'm happy to accept your correction in my first para (albeit IME the time between "1" disappearing from the countdown and engines revving is so small as to suggest the all-red period is practically non-existent), but I am more than puzzled as to why on earth you feel the need to characterise me as "those such as yourself who don't wish to do maths" and "maths hating persons, [l]ike yourself."

Sorry, I was just jokingly referring to your line

'I dislike the TfL implementation (of seconds left until green for motor traffic), as I seem incapable of interpreting it as anything other than '3 seconds  - sure, that's plenty of time to get across the road.' '

as meaning you didn't like doing maths to work out if you had time left to start crossing.
I wasn't referring to maths in any other context :)  :-[  So  apologies.
I have edited the original post to clarify it.
NB I started this thread because I thought there might be a more intuitive (graphical) and friendly way of giving pedestrians amber info from which they can deduce if time remains for them to start crossing so I sort of include myself in 'people who don't wish to do maths' when crossing...
I thought people would know roughly what speed (fast, medium, slow, very slow) they walked at, so simple graphics based on that might be better but.... 

NB IMO Engines revving is just impatient bad drivers for whom the highway code instruction that they should not intimidate pedestrians still crossing passes over them: I have seen someone drive straight through the red road signal while pedestrians were still crossing during blackout just because they must have decided their own traffic light had stayed red too long (they had been stopped for less time that they would have been at a pelican (because it was a smart crossing) so a pity no police were passing ....). The pedestrians would have been perfectly visible to them.

NB you can find documents with UK timings on the web(of course I have now forgotten how I found them ):
but red with amber period is 2 seconds
    so road traffic is forbidden to cross the stop line for at minimum 2 seconds
but I think at farside crossings there will always be at least another second of all-red.
So your revving drivers are simply bad drivers.

Re: Pedestrian amber countdown displays: why was numeric chosen over graphic
« Reply #38 on: November 04, 2016, 11:27:36 am »
Some crossings have a sensor that detects if there are pedestrians still crossing. IF there are, the green man will go red, and a delay will be added to the lights changing to green for cars. Not a very long delay, but a delay.

I found this out when querying the changes to pedestrian crossing near where I used to live. My impression was that the crossing time had considerably reduced; this was confirmed, but I was told that "It conforms to nationals standards for that width of road.". That is, it conforms to the *minimum* time to be allowed for pedestrians to cross, with no allowance for how large a crowd (at times, large groups of schoolchildren) or how slow (elderly people crossing to get to a pharmacy).
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Pedestrian amber countdown displays: why was numeric chosen over graphic
« Reply #39 on: November 04, 2016, 01:35:15 pm »
In London, light phases at pedestrian crossings mean:
  • Amber - 10 second or more - cross at your normal speed
  • Amber - 1 second or more - cross with some urgency
  • Red man - cross as you like as traffic will be stationary anyway
  • Green man - don't cross because a HGV or bus is blocking the crossing having started their turn without sufficient space to complete it
There are a few exceptions to this rule, such as:
  • Oxford Street where pedestrianisation has been introduced for walkers, while the second phase of the scheme will see traffic removed from the road in 2020, and
  • Parliament Square where a cyclists leaving a green light are directed into crossings where pedestrians have also been given a green, thereby saving the cost and expense of having two separate phases.

Re: Pedestrian amber countdown displays: why was numeric chosen over graphic
« Reply #40 on: November 04, 2016, 02:12:45 pm »
Some crossings have a sensor that detects if there are pedestrians still crossing. IF there are, the green man will go red, and a delay will be added to the lights changing to green for cars. Not a very long delay, but a delay.

I found this out when querying the changes to pedestrian crossing near where I used to live. My impression was that the crossing time had considerably reduced; this was confirmed, but I was told that "It conforms to nationals standards for that width of road.". That is, it conforms to the *minimum* time to be allowed for pedestrians to cross, with no allowance for how large a crowd (at times, large groups of schoolchildren) or how slow (elderly people crossing to get to a pharmacy).
The timings for smart (Puffin/Toucan) crossings are given in this:
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/330214/ltn-2-95_pedestrian-crossings.pdf
A smart Puffin can have an extra 25 plus 3 == 28 seconds  added it seems (see page 18).
A smart Toucan can have an extra (22-3) + 3 == 22 seconds added it seems (see page 19).
(where smart means on crossing detectors used to adjust timing for slower humans etc)

I presume the crossing you complained of is a fixed time 'dumb' crossing?

Re: Pedestrian amber countdown displays: why was numeric chosen over graphic
« Reply #41 on: November 04, 2016, 02:21:41 pm »
"It conforms to nationals standards for that blah blah blah.".

Ah, the last resort of the jobsworth. We have a roundabout nearby that is regularly collided with, and had had several articulated vehicles tip over whilst negotiating it.  It is of course compliant with the requisite design standards and needs no altering. This was built specifically at the terminus of a new bypass in open land.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Kim

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Re: Pedestrian amber countdown displays: why was numeric chosen over graphic
« Reply #42 on: November 04, 2016, 02:28:13 pm »
Some crossings have a sensor that detects if there are pedestrians still crossing. IF there are, the green man will go red, and a delay will be added to the lights changing to green for cars. Not a very long delay, but a delay.

There's a crossing on the Silly Oak bypass with such an arrangement, where it stays on pedestrian green as long as people are on the crossing.  As this serves one of the main pedestrian entrances to the University campus, you can imagine how the timings tend to work out.

I quite like it.  A rare example of pedestrian prioritisation in Motor City.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Pedestrian amber countdown displays: why was numeric chosen over graphic
« Reply #43 on: November 04, 2016, 02:43:57 pm »
Some crossings have a sensor that detects if there are pedestrians still crossing. IF there are, the green man will go red, and a delay will be added to the lights changing to green for cars. Not a very long delay, but a delay.

I found this out when querying the changes to pedestrian crossing near where I used to live. My impression was that the crossing time had considerably reduced; this was confirmed, but I was told that "It conforms to nationals standards for that width of road.". That is, it conforms to the *minimum* time to be allowed for pedestrians to cross, with no allowance for how large a crowd (at times, large groups of schoolchildren) or how slow (elderly people crossing to get to a pharmacy).
The timings for smart (Puffin/Toucan) crossings are given in this:
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/330214/ltn-2-95_pedestrian-crossings.pdf
A smart Puffin can have an extra 25 plus 3 == 28 seconds  added it seems (see page 18).
A smart Toucan can have an extra (22-3) + 3 == 22 seconds added it seems (see page 19).
(where smart means on crossing detectors used to adjust timing for slower humans etc)

I presume the crossing you complained of is a fixed time 'dumb' crossing?
No, it is a 'smart' crossing. Just that the extra time they add is the absolute minimum they *have* to add to meet the national standards.
"maximum time for the pedestrian phase is 20s. This consists of 6s of green man, plus up to a maximum of a further 14s of red man before the traffic starts."
The 'green man' is only visible on the actual post/button box. There is no audible alarm. This usually means that pedestrians don't notice it has changed for 2-3s. Then they start crossing. I timed myself walking across the junction; as an able-bodied person, it took me 15s to cross.

I'm just amazed nobody has been hit by a car yet.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Pedestrian amber countdown displays: why was numeric chosen over graphic
« Reply #44 on: November 04, 2016, 03:05:22 pm »
Some crossings have a sensor that detects if there are pedestrians still crossing. IF there are, the green man will go red, and a delay will be added to the lights changing to green for cars. Not a very long delay, but a delay.

There's a crossing on the Silly Oak bypass with such an arrangement, where it stays on pedestrian green as long as people are on the crossing.  As this serves one of the main pedestrian entrances to the University campus, you can imagine how the timings tend to work out.

I quite like it.  A rare example of pedestrian prioritisation in Motor City.
Or anywhere in the world.
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree

Re: Pedestrian amber countdown displays: why was numeric chosen over graphic
« Reply #45 on: November 04, 2016, 03:44:01 pm »
.....No, it is a 'smart' crossing. Just that the extra time they add is the absolute minimum they *have* to add to meet the national standards.
"maximum time for the pedestrian phase is 20s.....
Thats strange: surely they should always set the maximum clearance for a wide smart crossing: as the full time  will only be used when the smart crossing detects the need (eg pedestrians still on crossing). They seem to have misunderstood the point of a smart crossing. Have you tried requesting that they allow the crossing
to use the maximum clearance times (given in the docs) when it detects, eg  slower, pedestrians still crossing, otherwise what is the point of fitting an expensive smart crossing?

All the Puffins I have observed seem to be able to adjust the 'road traffic held for pedestrians' time pretty finely ie last person crosses, brief delay, then green to road traffic, so there is no advantage to a shorter max clearance (Unlike others, I have never seen them at a time when  there are enough pedestrians that large crowds of latecomers cause them to exceed that max and let traffic loose....).

I hate the lack of farside signals at Puffins: I am hoping they will be replaced by smart farside crossings.

Re: Pedestrian amber countdown displays: why was numeric chosen over graphic
« Reply #46 on: November 04, 2016, 04:01:27 pm »
I queried it because I'd seen cars start across the junction (driving through green light for them) multiple times.
The reply

Quote
Thank you for your enquiry regarding the pedestrian crossings at Blossom Street / Queen Street.

I have checked the timings of the pedestrian crossing and can confirm the maximum time for the pedestrian phase is 20s. This consists of 6s of green man, plus up to a maximum of a further 14s of red man before the traffic starts.

The sensors you refer to will not hold off the traffic indefinitely, there is a limit to how long they will keep the traffic on red for.

I have been monitoring the crossings and there does appear to be sufficient time for pedestrians to cross the road.

As you say, they don't seem to understand how to use these smart crossings. During term time there are crowds of schoolkids crossing and the cars drive through them like tourists parting pigeons on trafalger square.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Pedestrian amber countdown displays: why was numeric chosen over graphic
« Reply #47 on: November 04, 2016, 04:14:23 pm »
Some crossings have a sensor that detects if there are pedestrians still crossing. IF there are, the green man will go red, and a delay will be added to the lights changing to green for cars. Not a very long delay, but a delay.

There's a crossing on the Silly Oak bypass with such an arrangement, where it stays on pedestrian green as long as people are on the crossing.  As this serves one of the main pedestrian entrances to the University campus, you can imagine how the timings tend to work out.

I quite like it.  A rare example of pedestrian prioritisation in Motor City.
Or anywhere in the world.

It's okay though.  The motorists don't really use the bypass, unless they're heading off towards Harborne or doing the funky Gibbin.  No, they seem to prefer the traffic jam on the high street that the bypass was supposed to, well, bypass.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Martin

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Re: Pedestrian amber countdown displays: why was numeric chosen over graphic
« Reply #48 on: November 04, 2016, 04:26:35 pm »
That said, I was interested to see the Dutch approach to this, which I hadn't come across before:  An electromechanical clicker in the push-to-cross button unit, which varies its click frequency according to the state of the lights (about 1Hz when red, 2Hz when green, speeding up in the few seconds before it changes back to red).  This fulfils the same purpose as both the beeper and tactile rotating knob on British crossings, as you can feel the vibration by touching the unit, while being both easier to locate by hearing (as it's not a pure tone sound) and less irritatingly loud than a typical pelican crossing.

I first saw the numerical displays in NL 6 years ago, there they count down to when the green pedestrian / bike light is due (which are not at the same time, they let bikes go first)

as well as numerical they also had thermometer versions with a line of dots counting down vertically until there were none left

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Pedestrian amber countdown displays: why was numeric chosen over graphic
« Reply #49 on: November 04, 2016, 04:32:36 pm »
What about a game of Pong while you are waiting.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3Ozz6_pdMI