Why is there a time delay on Pelican crossings ?
When a pedestrian presses the button to cross the road, why don’t they get a green light immediately ? Why do they have to wait ?
I can see why there has to be a minimum time between pedestrian greens to give the road traffic some time on green, but if no one has used the crossing for ten minutes, then I press the button to cross, why should I have to wait another minute for the lights to change ?Posted 4 years agoGavinBSubscriber
There are not normally induction loops on pelican crossings. Junctions, yes, but not pelicans. The delay is to let people congregate and keep the disruption to traffic flow to a minimum. In most cases it will be set with a minimum reset time, so that traffic is not repeatedly stopped, and it will also have a wait time when the button is pressed. It’s quite easy to challenge your local Highways dept to reduce the time periods, especially around schools etc, as if the delays are too long then people just walk when they see a gap.
(Sorry, used to be quite involved with some people on this sort of stuff…)Posted 4 years agobencooperMember
The pedestrian crossing across from my shop never stops traffic – once a couple of years ago there was someone working on it, so I went and asked him if he could reduce the delay or something. He replied that the council had decided that the crossing would only activate when there was no traffic coming.
So basically it’s completely useless.Posted 4 years agoNorthwindSubscriber
Probably a traffic/people flow solution- if you have them change as soon as someone pushes, then that person will cross. If you have a short wait, then other pedestrians might join the queue so you get more people across for each interruption of traffic.
They might have induction loops now but I doubt they all do, especially going backwards- pretty sure the one nearest me doesn’t as there was no road-digging when they fitted it.Posted 4 years agokeppochMember
Traffic signals and pedestrian crossings can be pretty complicated.
In an isolated situation you at least need the time taken to change the lights. In more complicated situations the pedestrian may work as part of a UTC (Urban Traffic Control) system which links crossings and signalised junctions together aiming to provide ‘green waves’ and move lumps of traffic around together or as suggested above it might be linked to detection loops sensing approaching vehicles. In other cases there may well be a limit on how often the pedestrian stage may get called.
If integrated into a junction pedestrian crossings use a lot of capacity due to the time spent to switch into that stage, complete that stage and then pause before commencing the next traffic stage.
Or of course it may just be because they are set up wrong 😀Posted 4 years agoantigeeMember
Traffic signals and pedestrian crossings can be pretty complicated.
and cost a lot to install because otherwise drivers won’t stop – the delay is to remind pedestrians that cars have right of the way on the road.
one where I used to live cost £130k to install – the alternative was to reduce the speed limit and put in zebra (speed camera already in place so reduced speed enforceable)but commuter traffic flow is the god of urban road designPosted 4 years agoernie_lynchMember
the delay is to remind pedestrians that cars have right of the way on the road.
Because otherwise people forget ? ………really ?
Pointless and unnecessary delay just encourages people not to bother waiting for the lights to change imo, which can’t be a good thing safety wise, and frustrating for car drivers forced to stop for nonexistent pedestrians.Posted 4 years ago
There used to be a zebra on a T junction near me that worked just fine. A ne develop.ent in the area provided the section 106 funding for traffic light control and ped crossings. That junction is a bloody nightmare now and takes much linger to cross as its been perceived as changing the priority from pedestrian to car driver.Posted 4 years agosurroundedbyhillsSubscriber
There’s a Zebra corssing outside the Musuem of Scotland in Edinburgh and I once had to listen to 15 mins diatribe from a Taxi driver espousing that this one crossing was the single main reason why edinburgh traffic got jammed up in the summer… I do still wonder though why this isn’t a push button job.Posted 4 years agounklehomeredSubscriber
it can vary often through different times of day, and can be linked to surrounding traffic lights to ensure traffic doesn’t back up into a linked junction.
Often at rush hour there a wait to allow more peds to gather, so interupt flow of trafic less, but in quieter times the bias is towards the pedestrian and they will change quicker.Posted 4 years agostumpy01Member
The one outside the Shiralee newsagents on Wembley high road was as near as dammit instantaneous, unless someone had just gone across; then you had to wait for a little bit….
Not been across it for a few years though, so can’t tell you if it’s still the same. In fact, not even sure if the Shiralee is still there anymore.
I once got mugged just next to that crossing in broad daylight by 3 youths….all I had on me was a Megadeth cassette. They didn’t want that.Posted 4 years agoStirlingCrispinSubscriber
Here’s my favourite little known fact:
There’s a button underneath the yellow box on Pelican crossings that rotates when the beeper goes – allowing deaf and blind people to know when it is OK to cross.
How the guide dog can reach the button I don’t know.
Personally I’d like to see Pelican crossings that are permanently set to red – and they only go green when enough cars have amassed at the junction.Posted 4 years agoD0NKSubscriber
He replied that the council had decided that the crossing would only activate when there was no traffic coming
got one of these on my commute, on a bend where people regularly seem to speed, sooooo annoying. The gap the crossing waits for is invariably bigger than a gap I’ll wait for. This is the only flowing part of the road, normally jams either end so can’t see having a prompt response from the crossing disrupting travel time much if at all. Been meaning to speak to council about it.
This is a not very well used BW crossing so repeated use or “pedestrians massing” are highly unlikely to happen.
TBH many crossings seem a bit crap really nowadays, one in bury oustide The Rock I remember, to get across a road you have to use 3 crossings, the ped section is part of the main sequence and aren’t co-ordinated so crossing takes several minutes – or you can just vault the barriers and walk across in a few seconds.Posted 4 years agopatriotproMember
Priority can be shifted back towards the pedestrian by push a matchstick in beside the button, pushing the button in, and breaking off the matchstick, jamming the button in.
I never knew that – i’ve seen it done loads of times, but never thought there was a reason behind it.Posted 4 years agobailsSubscriber
There’s a pair of crossings on a dual carriageway near me, to allow peds and cyclists to cross 4 lanes of “40mph” traffic and get to the shared use pavement on the other side.
Thing is, there’s a 2 minute wait for the first light to go green for peds, you get to the cage in the middle of the road, push the second button and have another 2 minute wait. It’s as if the designers hadn’t considered that the central reservation of an urban dual carriageway might not be the end point of a lot of journeys!
There’s no ‘bunching’ argument to defend the second wait because the people waiting for that light have already bunched up whole waiting for the first light, and nobody else can join them because you can rarely cross the road without the help of a red light.Posted 4 years agoantigeeMember
antigee – Member
…the delay is to remind pedestrians that cars have right of the way on the road….
forgot the smiley
this is what I meant but much better put
StirlingCrispin – Member
….Personally I’d like to see Pelican crossings that are permanently set to red – and they only go green when enough cars have amassed at the junction.
I had a couple of people have a go at me after a pelican crossing was installed on main road near our house and a local newspaper named my daughter as having campaigned for it – the complaints went along the lines of “I have to wait 5 minutes now to let people cross the road”Posted 4 years ago
My only response was we used to sometimes wait 10 to 15 minutes but if commuters had been more considerate no one would have asked for a crossinghmanchesterMember
I always had it in my head (yes I had thought about it) that it was so annoying kids couldn’t press it and get the immediate kick of stopping the traffic straight away. The delay would stop them doing it.
This all may be in my head but the instant stop ones tend to be in less child dense areas than the delayed ones.Posted 4 years agoMidlandTrailquestsGrahamMember
I’ve wondered this for a while, but it’s since I started using one on a remote, but sometimes busy, bypass that I finally felt inspired to ask.
I’d heard of the idea of Urban Traffic Control before, although I didn’t that was it’s name.
I don’t think that’s the case with the one I’m using, as there’s not enough other traffic lights in the area to have any sort of linked phasing.
I’ve only tried it a few times in the couple of days since I asked, but the idea that it is linked to approaching traffic speed sounds like it could be right.
The one time when I pressed the button and there was no traffic in sight, it changed instantly.
I like the idea of the lights being set to red for road traffic and car drivers having to get out to press the button.Posted 4 years ago
More realistically, giving cars an instant red when a pedestrian presses the button, then waiting until the induction loops detect the cars have stopped before giving pedestrians a green light would be a better system. Even more so if it had cameras to record cars running the red light.
The topic ‘Why is there a time delay on Pelican crossings ?’ is closed to new replies.