Pedestrian-friendly traffic lights are being tested in London

Pedestrian-friendly traffic lights are being tested in London

With a small but important rule change, they want to achieve that pedestrians can move more freely in the city.

One of the biggest problems of today’s big cities is the car infrastructure. The appearance of cars has radically transformed the structure of settlements: many pedestrians rightly feel that they are at a disadvantage compared to those who drive around the city with their cars, park in open spaces – often even partially on the sidewalks – thereby taking the space away from those without cars want to travel. Therefore, Transport for London (TfL), which operates the British capital’s public transport, has now embarked on an interesting experiment – writes BoingBoing. According to the newspaper’s information, the operation of the traffic lights would be changed in such a way that they give priority to pedestrians over motorists.

A gyalogosok jelenleg másodrendű állampolgárok a közlekedés világában (Fotó: Unsplash/Behzad Ghaffarian)A gyalogosok jelenleg másodrendű állampolgárok a közlekedés világában (Fotó: Unsplash/Behzad Ghaffarian)A gyalogosok jelenleg másodrendű állampolgárok a közlekedés világában (Fotó: Unsplash/Behzad Ghaffarian)

Pedestrians are currently second-class citizens in the world of transportation (Photo: Unsplash/Behzad Ghaffarian) Now London’s traffic lights work exactly like anywhere else in the world: pedestrians can then cross the on the road when the red signal turns green. However, the current system prioritizes motorists, and the settings of the lights often leave little time for pedestrians to cross the zebra crossing, which is especially problematic for our slower-moving, elderly or injured people, or for example those who push strollers or balance luggage on the sidewalk. The essence of the current change is to prioritize pedestrians ahead of motorists. This would be achieved by the fact that the green signal will now be the default setting on the traffic lights directing pedestrians, i.e. pedestrians can start at all lights, while waiting will be the responsibility of cars. More precisely, the permanent green signal is interrupted when the sensors installed in front of the lights detect that a car is approaching the pedestrian crossing. MIT Technology Review reported that the system was tested at 19 London crossings over the past nine month and obtained encouraging results: the analysis of the data collected during this time showed that the converted traffic lights showed a green signal for an average of 56 minutes longer per day than before. In this way, the pedestrians using the crossings saved an average of 1.3 hours of time instead of standing around.As for motorists, the changed system did not bring them any advantages, but they were not at a disadvantage because of it either: the analysis of the data revealed that the changing of the lights did not have a noticeable negative effect on car traffic: buses took an average of 9 seconds, and cars took an average of 11 seconds, so transport.

A gyalogosok jelenleg másodrendű állampolgárok a közlekedés világában (Fotó: Unsplash/Behzad Ghaffarian)A gyalogosok jelenleg másodrendű állampolgárok a közlekedés világában (Fotó: Unsplash/Behzad Ghaffarian)A kísérlet szerint a gyalogosok jól jártak, az autósok pedig nem szenvedtek el hátrányt (Fotó: Unsplash/Basil Samuel Lade)

According to the experiment, pedestrians fared well, and motorists did not suffer a disadvantage (Photo: Unsplash/Basil Samuel Lade) Another positive is that the willingness of pedestrians to follow the rules has also improved as a result of the system: the number of those who followed the instructions of traffic lights and traffic signs increased by approximately 13 percent, which, according to TfL experts, reduced the risk of accidents. The latter is also important because London Mayor Sadiq Khan previously announced the Vision Zero principle, the objective of which is to reduce it to zero in the London area the number of accidents involving death or serious injury.TfL is now investigating how the system could be further refined, as well as at which intersections and crossings a solution favoring pedestrians could be introduced. We have more to tell you, you can find all the interesting things here!

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