Tuesday, 8 February 2011

X-estrian roulette


This is the intersection of George & Bathurst Streets in the centre of the city early on a Monday morning, although the morning peak has ebbed. This intersection, and the intersection at the corner of Park & Pitt Streets are helping the City Council with research into pedestrian behaviour.

The number countdown is a new innovation (Hah!). Apparently, pedestrians nip across whenever the feeling takes them. Really! I never noticed. Duh! Now they will know they only have 9 or fewer seconds before Donne's bell tolls for them.

Fearless prediction: I bet it excites behaviour rather than quells it.

13 comments:

Luis Gomez said...

I am with you Julie.

Lanie Painie said...

I'm jealous of the sunhats and the ability to see pavement right now. :-)

Alan said...

It looks warmer there than in London!!! I'll be interested to hear the countdown works out.

Andrew said...

If it works like Melbourne's do, there will be a further safety margin of some extra seconds after the zero, leading to total disrespect for the device. When similar counters in Singapore reach zero, they mean zero and the opposing street's lights go green.

Windsmoke. said...

I to live in Melbourne to and agree with Andrew's comment :-).

J Bar said...

Interesting post. I was going to do the same on the ones at Park & Pitt streets. You beat me to it. :)

Ann said...

all those things do is highlight just how little time they give you to cross the road.

brattcat said...

they've just installed new lights here, too, with the count-down feature. don't even get me started...it will take significantly more than the alloted 9 seconds to tell you my tale of woe. the entire system has me feeling quite "cross".

Joan Elizabeth said...

Methinks you are right. Just like yellow traffic lights are the inducement to speed through before it goes red.

Mark said...

Agree Julie. What I notice is has Chinatown pushed that far north on George St or are the laterns up for last weeks Lunar New Year?

J Bar said...

Mark, that building houses the Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) and they make the effort to decorate for Chinese New Year every year. There's a giant dragon hanging over the food court.

Peter said...

I have one coming up on this, but I disagree, it give the pedestrians information to make a decision about their crossing. People are often more influenced in what other people are doing around them. I hope this trial is successful.

Julie said...

Two things here:

Mark, what Jim adds about the HK bank is true, but equally true is that Chinatown has pretty much engulfed that part of George St from St Andrews down to Central.

Peter, I don't think these countdowns are visible enough. I don't think they will change behaviour. And I think they are a waste of money. A better idea would be to remove vehicles from some streets within the CBD and change over to trams.