Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Car Culture

Ooh! And Let’s Have Traffic Agents Wave Checkered Flags

redcount.jpg

Via our friends at Yanko Design, which last year brought us the virtual crosswalk wall, here's a horrible idea that's getting a lot of online exposure: the red light countdown. In case there might be a few drivers out there who don't already view the street grid as their personal grand prix course, this Serbian-designed signal ticks off the final seconds of the red cycle. We can practically hear the engines revving.

Touted as an eco-friendly device to allow stopped drivers to shut their motors, in the States this would serve more as an automated inducement for "t-bone" collisions. Still, most blogs we've looked at are raving about it. Wired also points out a couple of possible benefits for cyclists (you'll know your bike did in fact trip the light sensor) and pedestrians (should you find yourself in the crosswalk, you'll know how long you have left to live). Discussing the concept back in 2005 on WhyNot.net, one Brooklynite envisioned another plus:

In NYC, we could also use a red light timer, so that people could starthonking at the car in front of them several seconds before the light turnsgreen, rather than waiting for it to actually turn green.

Similar red-to-green countdowns are reportedly common in areas of China and Brazil, though we couldn't find pictures. Here's hoping they don't make their way to the U.S. Really, why not just install these instead?

xmastree.jpg

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Bike Rack Saves Pedestrians in Crash on Busy Brooklyn Street

The white Hyundai involved in the crash has been nabbed 10 times by city speed- and red-light cameras since Oct. 10, 2023, city records show.

July 22, 2024

Map: How Did Community Boards Vote on ‘City of Yes’ Housing Plan

With most of the community board recommendations in, Streetsblog mapped where residents are saying "yes" to more housing and less parking.

July 22, 2024

What a Surprise! Hochul’s Congestion Pricing Pause Helps Rich Suburban Drivers

Gov. Hochul's "little guys" certainly have big wallets. Meanwhile, the rest of us suffer with declining subway service and buses that are slower than walking. Thanks, Kathy.

July 22, 2024

Monday’s Headlines: Congestion Kamala Edition

My guess is that everyone is going to be talking about President Harris today, but don't blow off the livable streets news, which overlaps.

July 22, 2024

Friday’s Headlines: Hochul’s Fantasy World Edition

The governor has gone off the deep end. Plus other news.

July 19, 2024
See all posts