[LMB] OT: Traffic circles and roundabouts

Peter Granzeau pgranzeau at cox.net
Wed Sep 10 23:42:13 BST 2008

At 09:03 PM 9/9/2008, Jacki Knight wrote:
>On 02/09/2008, at 8:49 PM, Ed Burkhead wrote:
>> Phil wrote:
>>> Sure, crossing the road at a junction while the lights are green  
>>> is probably more dangerous, but isn't the point of crossing at a  
>>> junction with lights so that you can wait until they're all red?   
>>> Then you have traffic coming from _no_ directions.
>> Where in the world do you find traffic lights set up that way?
>> I know, for sure, that in 99.9%+ of the United States, there are so  
>> few
>> pedestrians that the motorists would not tolerate such a setting as  
>> half a
>> minute or more of ALL red = pedestrians only.
>In Australia the pedestrian lights follow the direction of traffic  
>flow. Therefore when you are crossing a road north/south the north/ 
>south traffic will have green lights and you will have a green man -  
>for a short while, then flashing red man, then static red man. If  
>there aren't pedestrian lights at the intersection it usually means  
>you're not supposed to cross there at all!! Traffic turning left at  
>the intersection is required to give way to pedestrians crossing on  
>the green man. It is very rare for traffic to be stopped in all  
>directions as usually the opposite flow turns green one to two  
>seconds after the other side turns red.
>In some cities (Sydney and Melbourne that I've noticed) there is a  
>period when both traffic flows are red and pedestrians can actually  
>cross the intersection diagonally also but these are extremely rare.

You can't say "in America, thus and so" because every state is different.  I've seen "All walk" intersections in inner cities, but not in semi-suburban environments.

For instance:  permitting pedestrians into an intersection at the same time as traffic is permitted to turn is an invitation to run someone down.  So you have to restrict turning traffic while pedestrians are permitted to cross.

Regards, Pete
pgranzeau at cox.net 

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