Author Topic: Merged thread: Countdown graphics, Nearside pedestrian figures, etc etc  (Read 15422 times)

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Pedestrian amber countdown displays: why was numeric chosen over graphic
« Reply #50 on: November 04, 2016, 04:54:05 pm »
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Pedestrian amber countdown displays: why was numeric chosen over graphic
« Reply #51 on: November 04, 2016, 05:57:54 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.

What's that all about?
I've seen it at other sets of lights, but seldom for as long as this set.
It seems Puffins continuously use passing traffic and pedestrian use to test their detectors, so if one has not been passed/used for a while it will default to some fixed 'emergency' clearance period rather than use the detectors (while presumably then testing the detectors on crossing pedestrians).
details in http://www.ukroads.org/webfiles/tal01-02.pdf

So maybe it is lightly use, or the detectors are actually plain broken: so report to Roads Service?
https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/services/traffic-lights-and-reporting-fault

EDIT They must really hate the flashing amber traffic signal.

Nearside pedestrian figures(at farsides): how useful?
« Reply #52 on: November 08, 2016, 07:31:05 pm »
While I dislike Puffin(crossings) the nearside panel was partially sold as being useful to partially sighted persons who can't see the farside signal as easily:

how much use is this (presuming that tactile cones are fitted anyway, and audible indication where allowed)?

If  useful, I can see no reason why nearside panels can't be added as a 'helper' at farside crossings(they would be blacked out during any farside amber countdown/blackout period).

Is that worth doing or are the cones and audible sounder enough?

To avoid confusion  I suppose they might have to wait till the last Puffin-style nearside-only crossing has been decomissioned?

Re: Nearside pedestrian figures(at farsides): how useful?
« Reply #53 on: November 09, 2016, 11:21:54 am »
Hmmm, perhaps not very, judging by the response :).

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Nearside pedestrian figures(at farsides): how useful?
« Reply #54 on: November 09, 2016, 11:32:24 am »
Hopefully some partially sighted persons will be along soon to answer your question, but why would you have to wait for all nearside-only signals to be decommissioned? As long as the nearside and farside signals give the same message, there should be no confusion. As far as |I can see. 
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Re: Nearside pedestrian figures(at farsides): how useful?
« Reply #55 on: November 09, 2016, 11:47:48 am »
.... why would you have to wait for all nearside-only signals to be decommissioned? As long as the nearside and farside signals give the same message, there should be no confusion. As far as |I can see. 
Because I think nearsides are currently only used by Puffins which are always 'smart' ie will extend the crossing time automatically so  wondered if using them on dumb crossings would make the Dft persons  nervous....
 but I suppose having farsides could counter that. The message would be the same on nearside as farside other than, with current nearside units, any farside amber  indication(eg countdown) etc etc would result in a blanked nearside.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Nearside pedestrian figures(at farsides): how useful?
« Reply #56 on: November 09, 2016, 11:56:07 am »
A crossing with both nearside and farside signals would be a new type of crossing and so would not need to be tied into any current system, be that countdown, blank-out, flashing signals or whatever. Of course this means DfT would probably invent yet another variant for it; perhaps flashing red or simultaneous red and green, or maybe a countup rather than countdown. There seems to be no limit to the variety they bring to the (supposedly) simple act of crossing the road!
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Re: Nearside pedestrian figures(at farsides): how useful?
« Reply #57 on: November 09, 2016, 12:24:17 pm »
....Of course this means DfT would probably invent yet another variant for it; perhaps flashing red or simultaneous red and green, or maybe a countup rather than countdown.....
Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo :) , I want them to make crossings simpler and more consistent (i.e. always have  farside signals). A repeater nearside panel (even if skipping mid-state) seems OK. Adding a 'countdown to next green figure' to nearside panels would seem OK.

NB  Pelicans are being faded out (only old 'stock' can be used). Puffins are too different, flawed, disliked, and should go IMO....
That leaves smart farside toucans (remove the cycle symbol and you have a smart  pedestrian crossing that could replace Puffins in the interim), dumb crossings with blackout or amber countdown and the proposed/experimental smart countdown crossings: all consistently farsides. To which 'repeater' nearsides could be added if desired.  So TfLs move away from Puffins means consistency is more possible in the future..... Long blackouts (>2s) could be consistently replaced by amber countdown, I have an idea for a simple bolt-on amber indication of the extendable blackout at a smart farside Toucan. (In future perhaps smart and dumb Toucans will gain amber Countdown ....)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Nearside pedestrian figures(at farsides): how useful?
« Reply #58 on: November 09, 2016, 12:31:23 pm »
Oh yes, I'm all in favour of simplicity, or at least removing complication. I just don't think DfT are.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Nearside pedestrian figures(at farsides): how useful?
« Reply #59 on: November 09, 2016, 12:43:35 pm »
Btw I don't think Puffins are being phased out. On the contrary, there's a rolling programme here that all new crossings will be Puffins (including Toucan-style Puffins) and Puffins are replacing old Pelicans as the opportunity arises.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Nearside pedestrian figures(at farsides): how useful?
« Reply #60 on: November 09, 2016, 12:44:41 pm »
Ah, you actually said TfL are moving away from Puffins; I thought you'd said DfT was moving away from them.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Re: Nearside pedestrian figures(at farsides): how useful?
« Reply #61 on: November 12, 2016, 10:55:51 pm »
Moving away from zebra crossings to signalled crossings was bad news for pedestrians (in terms of both safety and priority) - but off the signalled crossings the puffin is undoubtedly superior.

With traditional signalled crossings pedestrians were given an amount of time to cross - and this requires a brisk walk so is insufficient for elderly pedestrians of parents with toddlers and the like. The only function of the far side signal (whether it is a flashing man or one of those horrible countdown to doom signals from the US) is to prompt slower pedestrians to get a move on.

Puffins are more civilised, pedestrians on the crossing are detected so the signals will not change until they have completed the crossing - drivers are made to wait rather than pedestrians hassled across so a far side signal would serve no purpose. All pedestrians need is a green signal at the near side to tell them that the can start crossing - once they have started to cross there is no need for any further signal - indeed, a far side signal could cause unnecessary alarm - a pedestrian who has just started to cross might see the green signal go out and return back to the side they started from

Re: Nearside pedestrian figures(at farsides): how useful?
« Reply #62 on: November 13, 2016, 03:39:54 pm »
.... - but off the signalled crossings the puffin is undoubtedly superior.
I disagree, Smart crossings are possible with farsides, they just need an additional colour aspect/countdown(very long/extendable blackouts are a really poor form of communication IMO).

With traditional signalled crossings pedestrians wecre given an amount of time to cross - and this requires a brisk walk so is insufficient for elderly pedestrians of parents with toddlers and the like. The only function of the far side signal (whether it is a flashing man or one of those horrible countdown to doom signals from the US) is to prompt slower pedestrians to get a move on.
I disagree: I want the the reassurance of farside signals and I think most pedestrians do, LivingStreets (was the Pedestrian Association) certainly think so.

I thought the flashing green figure/amber traffic  signal (invented in the days of 'dumb' crossings) was a rather good compromise:  While brisk walkers like me can cross within the green man time,  the flashing figure (official meaning: don't start crossing but still time to finish)  allows slower persons still on crossing to retain priority like a zebra while allowing on road traffic to go as soon as crossing clear: so to me a pelican is like a zebra-light-hybrid: with the addition of a red lamp to legally require traffic to stop instead at a zebra where  the  pedestrian has no priority until they set foot on crossing (which may  result in a long wait in solid badly behaved traffic streams).  You seem to complaining that the flashing green figure  time is too short but that is a installation choice. 
But I do like zebras were suitable (<=30mph limits).


Dumb Countdown signals allow late-arriving people to make their own choices about when to start crossing: as long as the overall time to cross is enough for a slow person who starts on green figures 'invitation to cross' to complete, I don't see whats wrong with that.
And smart crossings still have a relatively low max clearance time: they could be viewed as a way to allow traffic priority sooner than dumb non-pelican crossings but without the woollyness of the flashing amber at a pelican (which is rather similar to the zebras amber beacon....). However, the pelican phase can't be used at signalised junction crossings whereas smart crossings could: But smart crossings can use farsides.


Puffins are more civilised, pedestrians on the crossing are detected so the signals will not change until they have completed the crossing - drivers are made to wait rather than pedestrians hassled across so a far side signal would serve no purpose. All pedestrians need is a green signal at the near side to tell them that the can start crossing - once they have started to cross there is no need for any further signal - indeed, a far side signal could cause unnecessary alarm - a pedestrian who has just started to cross might see the green signal go out and return back to the side they started
I disagree (I hate Puffins):
1) I want to see a farside green figure (and then amber something) as reassurance the crossing has detected me. I think I am in the majority.
 2) Smart farside crossings are equally possible (although I think they  currently only exist in farside Toucan form). It is a pity smart pedestrian crossings were developed as nearside Puffins...
3) I have seen a driver at a smart crossing decide they had been waiting too long and go straight through their red signal while pedestrians still crossed: so replacing flashing amber due to lack of respect for that may not increase respect for remaining traffic signal aspects.

I concede that camera enforcement of red could use standard red light cameras whereas flashing amber would require continuously running video and some sort of way to log an incident. But I have never seen a camera at a crossing.

Also, a lightly traffic-ed Puffin may decide it hasn't been able to test its person detectors enough and present on road traffic with a long fixed red time due to emergency fixed crossing clearance time rather than rely on its on-crossing detectors: I wonder if emergency flashing amber might have been better.

4) Puffins will still eventually give up on crossing pedestrians (clearance timeout expires) and set on-road signals back to green (and have no way of telling such still- crossing pedestrians). If you think some  drivers intimidate crossing persons during flashing amber why do you not worry about crossing pedestrians being exposed to such drivers during a change to green?

Pedestrian amber Countdown: split into nearside digits/ farside graphic
« Reply #63 on: November 13, 2016, 03:53:03 pm »
As the amber countdown that follows the green figure's  'invitation to cross' at some London 'dumb'/fixed time crossings is intended partly to allow newly arriving pedestrians to decide if time remains for them to start and complete crossing I wondered if placing the countdown value on the nearside with just an amber graphic (eg  inital amber figure followed by last X seconds countdown etc etc) on farside where it could perhaps  indicate countdown/blackout period in a more relaxed manner (given that, whether true or not, some  view the countdown as a way of hurrying up pedestrians who are naturally slow). 

However, I think it is simply providing accurate information which is treating pedestrians like intelligent adults, but perhaps it could be finetuned as above?

However, I suppose one can simply ignore the digits actual value once on crossing.

Re: Pedestrian amber Countdown: split into nearside digits/ farside graphic
« Reply #64 on: November 15, 2016, 09:54:52 am »
As the amber countdown that follows the green figure's  'invitation to cross' at some London 'dumb'/fixed time crossings is intended partly to allow newly arriving pedestrians to decide if time remains for them to start and complete crossing
You mean in the same way as some drivers treat the amber at traffic lights!!?

Re: Pedestrian amber Countdown: split into nearside digits/ farside graphic
« Reply #65 on: November 15, 2016, 11:12:46 am »
They are not road traffic lights, they are pedestrian crossings so that seems an irrelevant jibe.

UK Pedestrian signals are not exact analogues of on-road traffic signals and the countdown is not equivalent to an amber traffic signal.

The amber countdown looks different and behaves differently from an amber on road signal so its intended use seems OK to me.   There aren't many meaningful useful colours left   so amber in combination with a different shape/symbols seems an OK way to say something related  but different to a different kind of road user.

The UK's steady red pedestrian figure  already has a different legal meaning from a (mandoratory) red road traffic signal.

It seems the threads actual topic has drawn no responses, so farside countdowns it is then :).


NB TRL have pdfs about their trials.


Re changing the countdown period according to walking speeds measured in green period:
this seems a bad idea to me (surely any countdown period needs to be fixed for pedestrians to learn their 'speed' at a particular junction) , perhaps better to have an amber* symbolic representation of (2nd) extendable  period, with perhaps a fixed countdown only appearing if the max clearance-time  approaches expiry.The max could be set quite high IMO, so that  the countdown would be seen infrequently.
Or perhaps just leave countdown for dumb crossings and just use the  symbolic indication for (2nd)  extendable part.

*I can't think of a better colour  (NB Dft views flashing green figure as deprecated I think)
so, an yellow/amber plus sign? yellow/amber figure leaning on cane? amber figure approaching kerb? other symbol?

arabella

  • no se porque yo no lo se
Am I cynical or realistic if I see this as a way to increase pedestrian 'red' and reduce motorist 'red' times?
How will changes to the pedestrian green period impact the wait until the next pedestrian green period?

('Cos I am fed up with out local ped X which (i) doesn't go green at all even when you've pushed the button, if you don't stand in the correct place and (ii) generally only goes green once the road is clear already and (iii)makes you wait at least <some period of time> for cars that arrived after you pushed the button to go through, as if pedestrians were 2nd class road users.  Yes I have written to the council and no, I haven't had any response and nothing has changed)
In the dark, all views are the same.

Am I cynical or realistic if I see this as a way to increase pedestrian 'red' and reduce motorist 'red' times?
I don't think you could say that about a properly setup smart crossing: the point of those is to allow slower pedestrians to cross without having to use the pelican's flashing amber traffic signal which the Dft have taken against.

How will changes to the pedestrian green period impact the wait until the next pedestrian green period? ('Cos I am fed up with out local pedestrian crossing  which (i) doesn't go green at all even when you've pushed the button, if you don't stand in the correct place...
I haven't has a problem standing not being detected at the kerb at a smart crossing, this sounds like the crossing is setup wrong. (A disadvantage of smart crossings perhaps: more maintenance...).

It would also seem possible to setup good crossings up badly.

... and (ii) generally only goes green onc fe the road is clear already and (iii)makes you wait at least <some period of time> for cars that arrived after you pushed the button to go through, as if pedestrians were 2nd class road users.  Yes I have written to the council and no, I haven't had any response and nothing has changed)
That kind of unnecessary wait setup is independant of the crossing type as far as I know (I think evil /careless councils could set pelicans up to be like that.....).  On faster roads there seems to be some requirement for vehicle sensing (vehicle activation VA) but I can't follow it: the lamps have an 3 second amber so surely that is enough, it can't be right that fast closely packed traffic would prevent a change to red: better to reduce the  speed limit than that (and   actual speeds should be irrelevant: speeding should be dealt with directly....). I suggest you find a tame traffic light technician and question them :).  or see if you can decipher the following better than me
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/330214/ltn-2-95_pedestrian-crossings.pdf

 Such long delays from request to green figure annoy me (and are stupid from a pedestrian safety point of view): If a standalone crossing has been idle a while, a random few seconds before activation should be the norm IMO and living streets recommend a maximum wait of 30 seconds because after that people get annoyed and less risk averse....

As for only going to green figure when the road is clear, I sometimes come across the opposite:  an idle crossing on an empty road, and press the button thinking it will change in a few seconds and instead the stupid thing waits till some cars appear then stops them :(

For standalone smart crossings I sometimes wonder if they should be left at green figure for pedestrians by default and only change to road priority when vehicles approach and no pedestrians are crossing.....


(NB I think ped X was official shorthand for the specific Countdown (PCats) crossings rather than crossings in general so its use as a general  abbreviation of pedestrian crossing might cause confusion)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
(NB I think ped X was official shorthand for the specific Countdown (PCats) crossings rather than crossings in general so its use as a general  abbreviation of pedestrian crossing might cause confusion)
As might the use of "figure" in situations where it could refer to either a number or a "green/red man".
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Re: Nearside pedestrian figures(at farsides): how useful?
« Reply #70 on: November 16, 2016, 11:01:38 am »
Red figure / green figure seems to be the new official term for the green/red man.
I think I have used Digit or or numbers or Countdown for, er,  Numeric Countdown units :)

arabella

  • no se porque yo no lo se
That kind of unnecessary wait setup is independant of the crossing type as far as I know (I think evil /careless councils could set pelicans up to be like that.....).  On faster roads there seems to be some requirement for vehicle sensing (vehicle activation VA) but I can't follow it: the lamps have an 3 second amber so surely that is enough, it can't be right that fast closely packed traffic would prevent a change to red: better to reduce the  speed limit than that (and   actual speeds should be irrelevant: speeding should be dealt with directly....). I suggest you find a tame traffic light technician and question them :).  or see if you can decipher the following better than me
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/330214/ltn-2-95_pedestrian-crossings.pdf
haven't quite made it thought, I also found this one (tfl one though I don't think it's london specific).  Looking selectively at section 4.6 it confirms that the set up is indeed that the pedestrian will wait for <max time> unless a gap occurs sooner.  >:(  :-X  ::-)
In the dark, all views are the same.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Merged thread: Countdown graphics, Nearside pedestrian figures, etc etc
« Reply #72 on: November 17, 2016, 12:55:09 pm »
None of these threads has answered the crucial question: what is the name of the pedestrian crossings with far-side lights and countdown? It has to be named after an animal, preferably a bird, otherwise we can't use it! I propose Pochard. Not only would this stand for Pedestrian Overhead Countdown Hand-button Amber Red Device, but the pochard is a British bird on the countdown (to extinction, but we needn't take that bit literally).
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Re: Merged thread: Countdown graphics, Nearside pedestrian figures, etc etc
« Reply #73 on: November 17, 2016, 06:17:21 pm »
None of these threads has answered the crucial question: what is the name of the pedestrian crossings with far-side lights and countdown? It has to be named after an animal, preferably a bird,.....
The official TfL name is, drum roll, 'Pedestrian Countdown at Traffic Signal(Junction)s (PCaTS)'* ....
Perhaps they have  given up on silly avian names.....

* I think I used the abbreviation somewhere in this thread.....

cygnet

  • I'm part of the association
Re: Merged thread: Countdown graphics, Nearside pedestrian figures, etc etc
« Reply #74 on: November 17, 2016, 10:58:37 pm »
Putting the pcat among the ppelicans ey  :facepalm:
I Said, I've Got A Big Stick