02 April 2011

Berlin Pedestrian Details

Former Fussgängertunnel
Pedestrian tunnels are soooo last century.
Pedestrian Crossing Button
As are buttons to trigger the pedestrian crossing lights. This one was near Messe Berlin in a place where few pedestrians are seen. Does that make it okay?

9 comments:

bikefish said...

det versteh ick nick - Wieso kein Fussgaengertunnel?

Paul Martin said...

We *only* have pedestrian crossing buttons here. If you don't press it, you don't get the green walk symbol.

In my opinion the green walk symbol should be on by default as long as the green traffic light is lit. Why should pedestrians have to 'request' to cross the road?

Of course, if it is deserted, the button should trigger an early cycle of the lights, but that's all.

The same goes for all our bicycle crossing lights. They default to 'don't cross' unless you press the button. @#$% that...

mk said...

Where I live (Poland), the crossing buttons are present at almost every intersection or pedestrian/bicycle crossing. If you don't press it - you don't get the green light. If you're too late, you have to wait full cycle, although the cars going the same direction have green light.

And now - the funniest part. According to Polish law, a bicycle - like a car - is a vehicle, which means that all kinds of manual green light triggers are not allowed on bicycle crossings. A couple months ago someone in my city outlined that these buttons are illegal. And the city council reacted accordingly - they replaced the buttons with capacity sensors. And now cyclist still have to stop before crossings and touch the sensor instead of pressing the button, but the city council claims that the sensors are automatic. :)

hamburgize.com said...

Very common in Germany. Even cyclists have to press a button to get the green light. Here an example from Hamburg: https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-FoVRzrEjAHI/TYITRCCiPTI/AAAAAAAABL0/TbbHx3SKUVM/s1600/_001.jpg (On the sign above the signals: "Radfahrer bitte Grün anfordern" / Cyclists please ask for green)

The reason: So-called "intelligent" signals operate at many crossings. Detectors on the street measure the number of cars, but there are no detectors in the cycle tracks. Even if the cars get green light along a main road, the parallel cycle traffic has to stop at the intersection and press the button to get a green light, while the cars a running. Cyclist going straight at the crossing could impede cars turning to the right, and these cars would delay other cars going straight. The crossing is no more efficient enough for the car traffic flow, even this could produce more air pollution. And a European Green Capital does not like that . . .

Vladimir 'vudu' Zlokazov said...

Pedestrian tunnels are still commonly regarded as good idea in Russia as even in city center traffic lights are considered enemy to 'free flow of traffic'.

mikeshoup said...

The reason I love downtown Denver so much, there's no buttons to push for pedestrian crossings. Pedestrians are considered part of the normal traffic flow. Pedestrians even get their own phase in the light cycle where all vehicle traffic gets a red light and pedestrians get the walk signal. Allows for diagonal crossing.

tstreet said...

Here in Boulder, passenger crossings and lights have become ubiquitous, including in areas where there are no intersections. Don't think most people driving have caught on, however, because I see many drivers ignoring or not seeing the big signs that say pedestrian crossing. Maybe after a few people are killed, they will begin to catch on.

Anyway, at least Boulder is trying to recognize the pedestrian and the bicyclist as an important part of the transportation scene.

There are also a lot of cameras at intersections to catch people running lights. Would like to see these at pedestrian crossings with massively high fines.

Alisdair said...

Where I live it really can depend, most often as many of you have said, it needs to be pressed, however in some parts they are automatic. The coolest bit however, is in the Jewish area of Melbourne, on the Sabbath, because technology is to be avoided... They trigger themselves for the whole day.

Joe D said...

Berlin is *way* better than London for not having to press buttons to cross the street. Button-controlled lights are so rare in Berlin, especially the centre, you get confused when you encounter one.

In London automatic crossing lights are so rare that they usually come with placebo buttons to avoid confusion.

We are at least catching up with the removal of our dark and dirty underpasses.