Sep. 8th, 2008
Checkpoint - Time Extended!  
Cross Walk  

I like the timers on pedestrian crosswalks, particularly when driving so I know if I can make the light as I near the intersection.

After I went through a couple lights on Olympic Blvd today, just barely making it to each as the countdown ran out and the light went yellow, I couldn't help but feel as if I were in a video game racing to hit all the checkpoints in time.

All I need now are paddle shifters, a radio that can tune "Splash Breeze", and a blonde sitting next to me saying "Great job" over and over until I'm trying to figure out where the melee button is.

I'm not entirely sure any of this is a good thing for my fellow drivers....

Tags: ,
Mood: hyper
Listening to: Linkin Park - Hands Held High
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Jamesterraplanner on September 9th, 2008 - 01:04 am
Was there a party after the stage was complete?
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hUcKiE: Carshuckie on September 9th, 2008 - 01:26 am
Interestingly, there's been some peripheral debate about those countdown timers and whether or not they are inspiring people to "run yellow lights" or speed through intersections. So far, the only evidence is anecdotal, but I'm sure some lobby will eventually complain loud enough to make a big deal of it.

Also, there are a number of locations where the countdown does not correspond to the changing of the light. If the signal is actuated, the countdown can reach 0 for pedestrians, but the light will stay green until cars appear on the cross street. And there are some applications being proposed that deal with dynamically shifting priority, and this will cause these displays to "jump," and no one is really sure how that's going to work just yet.

I am constantly asked whether or not I think it's a good idea of have the light countdown inside the vehicle through some wireless broadcast, and I have to honestly say, I have no idea.
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The People's Exhibit Adavidology on September 9th, 2008 - 02:28 am
I don't know that it actually causes me to speed up in most situations. If anything, it probably helps me to make smarter choices (well, ok, maybe decisions based on more accurate data than my hunches).

I know I've gotten near many intersections where my initial thought was "Oh, that light's been green a while, it's probably about to turn," where I then saw quite a bit of time left. In those cases it probably caused me to not speed up where I otherwise might have. Likewise, I've been far enough back where I've seen ~"3" and known there was no way I'd make it and actually start engine braking farther back.

I can say they definitely help prevent me getting in those situations where it's a toss up between stop or go through and I have to quickly decide between go through or stop a little more quickly.
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Markmahka42 on September 9th, 2008 - 05:03 am
i do the same thing. much better to figure out if you can make it or not.
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Nicklakeguy on September 9th, 2008 - 05:03 am
about 70% of all the timers on pedestrian crosswalks in Toronto now have timers
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chrissstopher on September 10th, 2008 - 04:36 pm
or pedestrians
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The People's Exhibit Adavidology on September 10th, 2008 - 04:53 pm
they're going the other way (unless they're doing it wrong).
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