Let the green man go first

At this intersection, as at most, vehicles turning have to give way to pedestrians.

Given that, why have they designed it so that the green man appears several seconds after the cars start moving?

It was changed a few months ago when they modified the intersection.

It sends the wrong message. Surely, to improve safety and remind drivers of their obligations, it would be better to have both lights go green at once, or even have the green man go first.

Perhaps it’s only a little thing, but at a time when we should be encouraging more pedestrians, it’s indicative of the lack of thought going into managing our streets.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

11 replies on “Let the green man go first”

There are quite a few traffic lights around like this. There seems to be an association with the audio signal. I have not noticed the green ‘walk’ delay at any traffic lights where there is no audio signal. But it is stupid, confusing and dangerous.

There are a few intersections where there is what I call a ‘head off’ walk signal. That is the walk comes up a few seconds before the green light for traffic. Much safer. Examples are Cotham and Glenferrie Roads to cross Cotham Road east side, and Lakeside Drive and Albert Road to cross Albert Road eastish side.

Generally though, Vic Roads does not seem to like pedestrians very much.

I have a theory that the delay is so the pedestrians don’t get hit by red light runners. VicRoads probably wouldn’t be that proactive, but it is possible.

Those lucky road-lobbies, not only do they have 5-star retreats down in Inverloch and a plush hotel on Bourke Street but they also have a control over our traffic lights!!1!

The problem with traffic lights is that they are designed and run by traffic engineers.

Another example of such silliness is where only three out of four sides of a traffic lit intersection have crossings.

Tend to agree with Peter there as well, I always allow that 2nd look before crossing the road in case of the red light runners chances to beat the lights.

Especially in the city.

That goes without saying that there are drivers out there that don’t have our ethics in road rules and mindfulness of others.

In the USA fewer lights have a crossing signal and almost none have any sort of audio signal. We have “red hand, white man” lights in the USA and there is one of these US style lights at the top of the hill near the big church on Church St. in Richmond. We also have “walk, don’t walk” lights that require reading and understanding English to cross safely. Here in Austraia the button seems to actually control the lights. In the US the buttons do not have a “pressed already” indicator light and seem not to even connected to any wires controlling the traffic light. You can push the button many times but the lights seem to change on their normal schedule. When crossing at an intersection in the US not only do you have to look both ways but you also have to look for cars turning right on a red light (after a complete stop) over your shoulder or across the street depending on which side of the street you are crossing on. Some drivers don’t signal and suddenly turn into your path.

Chesterville Road and Nepean Hiay the pedestrians get a 5 second headstart on the cars and I think this is a great idea.

Kew Junction, the pedestrian lights on the Doncaster side of High Street get a countdown from 17 (I think) seconds.

Bring back the loli-pop lights I say (see RACV club forecourt in town)

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