Today’s Headlines

  • With Stimulus a Done Deal, Cities and States Jockey for Funding (NYT)
  • Invest Those Stim Bucks in Bike Boulevards (Citiwire)
  • Highway Expansions: Not Compatible With a Green Recovery (NPR)
  • Driver With Terrible Record Kills Staten Island Couple in Hit-and-Run Crash (Gothamist, News)
  • Arrests for Turnstile Jumping on the Rise (Post)
  • D Train Derails on Upper West Side (City Room)
  • Obama: No Car Czar for Detroit Restructuring (NYT)
  • Bloomberg Gets a Bigger Trial Run for Pedestrian Countdown Timers (Post)
  • News Tours Transpo Hub Portion of WTC Construction Site
  • Ped Advocates in Pune, India Protest Unsafe Streets (New Mobility Thinkpad via Streetsblog.net)

Enjoy the holiday everyone. We’ll be back posting regularly tomorrow.

  • J2

    Do the countdown timers work in NYC?

    In Boston, some are timed so that zero happens a second before the cars get green, so the timer is indicating how long until you will be run over. In other intersections, the zero happens 5-10 seconds before the cars get green. Ive done some tests, and those timers count down to the last possible second until you could begin to cross the street safely (slowly).

    Theres also no uniformity on when the timer starts. Some start counting down at 9 seconds. Some at 21. Theres even one that starts at 45 seconds.

    Complicated intersections with 5 or six roads are the worst ones, because the timers seem attached to one vehicle light and not the pedestrian reality. So a timer will count down until another street gets green – a street that has no interference with your crossing.

  • I think more important for traffic signals is that they be timed for pedestrians not cars. It is helpful to know how long before a certain light will change but the only way to get people to wait for cross walks is to minimize the number of blocks they have to stop at before crossing. A pedestrian green wave.

    I think either system of timing would be as effective as the other once people become accustomed to what the countdown signifies. If it counts down to 0 right before the green light or if it adds 5 seconds in there people will get used to how it is timed and adjust it in their mind to mean the same thing.

  • J2

    The problem is when every intersection has a different standard. If you walk the same route every day, you memorize it, but its not safe when you expect a signal to count down to one thing but really mean something else.

  • Omri

    In other countries, E.G. the Netherlands, timers indicate how long before the next green. This almost got my wife run over.

  • christine

    Gary , well said. So much of the engineeers bandwidth is deidcated to calcuating perfect timing for cars but no one is studiying th eprefect timing for pedestrians (most used transpaortion method and very energy efficient) . It is time such discipline be created in univerity.

    It is urgent to establish a curriuclum for the new transporation engineers. New york should be a perfect place for this .

  • christine

    I bet you there are more arrest for turnstile jumping than for running red lights .. numbers anyone ?