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Toucan play at that game Jun 09

Inspired by John Hemming, I looked into the specific differences between Pelican, Puffin and Toucan crossings. Cheshire County Council has a brief guide. Of Puffin crossings it says:

Pedestrian User Friendly INtelligent Crossings: This new type of crossing is to replace the Pelican Crossing. A Puffin Crossing differs from a Pelican Crossing in that there is no flashing ‘green man’ period for pedestrians or flashing amber period for motorists. Instead detectors are used to:

determine that there is still a pedestrian waiting to cross; and
extend the ‘green man’ time while a pedestrian is on the actual crossing.

Finding one of these at lunch time today, I couldn’t resist playing. I pressed the button and the red light lit up. I stepped away from the crossing and the light went out.

But they do have a down side:

The Red/Green man signals now form part of the push button unit. These are sited so that pedestrians, when looking at these signals, are also looking in the direction of oncoming traffic. Pedestrians can therefore ensure, more easily, that traffic has stopped before starting to cross the road under the green man signal. Also being much closer to waiting pedestrians they are easier to see, particularly for the visually impaired, rather than looking for older type signals across the road.

I don’t like this at all. Unless the traffic is one-way, looking only in the direction of traffic from one side of the road is not helpful. As the Green Cross Code Man would tell us, you need to look both ways. Being so close, it also means refocussing the eyes to look between the signal and traffic rather than sticking to distance vision. Unless you’re extremely short-sighted and colour blind, there is no problem having the red/green man on the other side of the road: the colour tells you when to cross even if you can’t make out the symbol. And if you’re extremely short-sighted, the beep tells you when to cross.

But worst of all, it only takes someone to stand between you and the crossing indicator and you can’t see it.

2 Responses

  1. 1

    In Lincoln we have Pegasus crossings too. Oh yes.

  2. 2

    That’s a new one. There’s information about those here.

    And an article about nomenclature is here.