Countdown signal story triggers traffic light complaints
The Wednesday Fixer column about countdown traffic signals that allow drivers to time their approach to an intersection stirred up many complaints about them, as well as other traffic light beefs.
And comments posted to the online column suggest that riders of bikes and motorcycles are particularly frustrated by traffic light sensors that don’t recognize them.
“The problem is that I can be waiting forever and the light will not change to green,” said a reader, adding: “I sometimes get off the motorcycle and press the button for the pedestrian crossing.”
Former Star editor Stephen Wickens emailed to say he’s seen “two rear-enders caused in part by drivers apparently watching countdown signals rather than the light. I’m betting this happens a lot.
“The other thing that is odd and irritating is when, as a pedestrian, you see the pedestrian countdown and assume you don’t have to push the button. Then the light doesn’t change because the sensor responds only to cars, not people.”
Peter Derek made a good point when he wrote that “if there is no traffic, then the countdown sequence should never start. What is even more annoying are those lights that actually complete the countdown sequence and change when there is absolutely no reason.”
The best suggestion about countdown pedestrian signals came from Viktor Ziv, who said “make the timer reset when there is two seconds left, instead of zero. If a driver sees the 1, then they know the lights will turn yellow.