Bugbears on the road — 13 Comments

  1. The pedestrian option at traffic lights. My solution. Bear with me.
    If the pedestrian does not keep his finger on the button or at least presses it every 5 or 10 seconds, “Yes, I am still here, and want to cross.” then his shot at a green man (person, bipedal thing) is cancelled. Go back to go. Do not collect a chance of crossing.
    Hereabouts I see the pedestrian approach the crossing, does not even look to see that there is no traffic of a vehicular type and pushes the button. Then checks traffic. “Oh, nothing coming, I’ll just walk across”. The system sequences through and shows the green biped. But there is nobody wanting to cross.
    This not only annoys the waiting motorist, brings forward the time of cooking planet because of idling engines, but it inconveniences any following pedestrian.
    The system computer assumes that any waiting pedestrian has had a crossing opportunity and let’s the four way vehicular traffic have a turn. Any following pedestrian has to wait its turn after pressing the button. Gets passed off with the wait and crosses when there is a hiatus is road traffic. Repeat.
    Then there are the jokers who just push the button even if they have no intention of crossing. A finger to those entitled motorists. And buses, ambulances, delivery drivers and the rest on wheels.
    End of rant.

    • An alternative for pedestrian-controlled lights is a coin-slot. If the pedestrian wants to stop the traffic promptly, they can put a coin in the slot, say 50p, 50c etc, to cause the traffic to stop very soon. Without a coin, the lights may take at least 5 minutes to change.

      It’s like flying the Atlantic – How do you want to cross, economy or First Class? Choose the latter, you pay.

      Drivers pay to use the road, so there’s no excuse for pedestrians to be free-loaders.

  2. A while back they built a new bypass near me and linked up to some existing roads to provide a new ‘cross route’. It has two lanes and loads of two lane roundabouts. As you approach some roundabouts have the left lane ahead and left, right lane for turning right only. Other roundabouts have the left lane for left turn only and the right lane is ahead and right. Apparently it’s not random, it depends on the typical proportion of traffic needing to go each way. Sadly for the motorist who needs to keep straight ahead it is completely random and you don’t find out until you get there as it’s only marked on the road almost at the give way line and hidden by the car ahead. I feel your pain.

  3. Finding someone with a white stick waiting to cross and going “beep, beep, beep” can be fun.

    • If you know, ya know, but underneath the little crossing box with the button, is a little knurled knob (oh er misses) this is attached to a motor that only spins when the green man is lit. Its for deaf and blind people, well those who got the memo.
      It’s almost impossible to spot if you don’t know its there, but great fun to use in the smug knowledge that no-one else knows.

  4. In our ‘busy’ village, there are traffic lights on the main crossroads, which work to some extent, but when they don’t, the traffic eases itself across effortlessly, drivers are polite, pedestrians get their way and all is well.

    Directly Kent County Council get involved in the repair, chaos ensues once again…

    • They installed a set of crossing lights in our village a while back I don’t know why. Anyway someone smaked into one of the lights putting it out of action. The council repaired the lights again. Someone smacked into another light [our bad drivers are excellently consistent]. They replaced the lights with an official pedestrian crossing with the flashing lollipops. Someone smashed into the lollipops. In the end they removed everything, leaving just the stripes on the road surface. Now drivers treat the crossing with reverence and will stop if someone is even near the crossing strip. If I want to cross I usually hang back until there is a lull in traffic [usually about five seconds wait] as I consider traffic to have right of way and I don’t want to inconvenience them. Usually though they see me loitering at the back of the pavement and stop anyway.

  5. Your council employs traffic planners. IF they did their jobs perfectly the traffic would be arranged in the optimal manner and they could sit back and relax. But they can’t relax, because traffic planners who want to keep their jobs MUST plan traffic. They’ll always change, update and upfuck the traffic to justify their existence.

    • The job of current traffic planners is not to optimise safe traffic-flow, indeed it is the reverse. Their objective is to make driving any personal vehicles so difficult, unpleasant and inconvenient that we’ll all feel compelled either to take up cycling or use the bus or train.
      The wider pressure to adopt electric cars is part of the same principle, they really don’t like we poor people having the freedom to manage our own travel, either locally or nationally.
      Needless to say, I’ll not be on a bike, bus or train, nor in a joke dodgem car – the resistance starts here.

  6. I second your effort Mudplugger.

    I would rally behind you, but the town in which I currently reside is so small that a pedestrian can get from one end to the other in under ten minutes, (and that is allowing a few minutes for window shopping).

    Most days I can cross mid-block without seeing a car from one end of town to the other. (And the street is a State Highway.)

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