Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Albatross Crossings

Intelligent Pelican and Puffin Crossings (and possibly not what your thinking of)
  (+8, -2)
(+8, -2)
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Introduction: "A Pelican crossing is controlled by traffic signals. Pedestrians push a button to register their desire to cross. The red man / green man indicator is located on the far side of the crossing." see link. In the US they're those "Walk" "Don't Walk" things. In the UK they're sometimes called Pelican Crossings. Puffin crossings use special detectors to establish that someone is waiting to cross the road...

In the UK, they used to beep to let blind people know that the green man (Walk sign) is on... Nowadays, many have done away with the beeps, and have a small rotating knob at the bottom (blind people press the button, and wait for the knob to rotate before walking)...My suggestion is to do away with puffins, and replace them all with Albatross crossings.

Most people don't mind waiting a few seconds, but what normally happens after you've pressed the button is that you have to wait for what seems like minutes to cross. At least for slow lifts (or in tall buildings), they provide mirrors, to give you something to do / and to practice your vanity. No such luck for the poor old pedestrian.

The timer's duration is often adjusted is to avoid the usual dorks who press the button and walk off with no intention of waiting/wanting to cross. Puffin crossings deal with this, but are more complicated and probably more expensive to install.

Finally the suggestion: If instead of pressing the button, pedestrian slowly rotated the knob, and if the traffic light controller were to sample the back-EMF from the knob-motor, it could detect that there was definitely someone standing there waiting (no possibility of someone abusing the crossing - no fancy IR detectors which have a tough time in the summer). It could then change the traffic-lights to red, and let you cross with a sensible but minimal delay.

Dub, Aug 27 2005

(?) Pelican (and Puffin and Toucan) Crossings http://www.warwicks...D3680256C5D0055CF9D
Follow the other links on this site for Puffin and Toucan crossings [Dub, Aug 27 2005]

Placebo pelican. http://slashdot.org...02/28/1722239.shtml
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Aug 27 2005]

Crow Crossing http://www.devilducky.com/media/50835/
[Dub, Sep 11 2006]

Ping Pong crossing http://www.milkandc...link/323703/detail/
[Dub, Sep 12 2012]

The secret button at pedestrian crossings http://www.bbc.co.u...blogs-ouch-22706881
[Dub, Jun 01 2013]

Fist bump crossing http://laughingsqui...es-by-fist-bumping/
[Dub, Sep 05 2015]


       Interesting system. In the States, we only use the Pelican. What would it cost to make such a change?
sleeka, Aug 27 2005

       what flavour is it?
po, Aug 27 2005

       pelican tastes quite similar to puffin. but it depends how it is cooked
benfrost, Aug 27 2005

       "Stormy Petrel onna stick!?"
gnomethang, Aug 27 2005

       [sleeka]No idea... Not too much, I suspect - I'd imagine two things would have to change. The unit that you press the button on: Presumably some circuit to read the back-emf (or whatever!) from the motor, and the traffic light controller software (to accept the new signalling)
Dub, Aug 27 2005

       [po]I dunno. Bleedin' Albatross flavoured! They're not Ocelots earlobes [get 'em while they're hot, they're lovely...]
Dub, Aug 27 2005

       [gnomethang] No thanks. They give me wind.
Dub, Aug 27 2005

       [benfrost] Perhaps I should rename it a Dodo crossing?
Dub, Aug 27 2005

       nearly right [dub]. I think the correct phrase is "its bloody albatross flavour"
po, Aug 27 2005

       [po]But at least I was wearing the correct costume when I typed it. :d (I got a U inglish lit. 'Probably because I wrote that I enjoyed reading MFAOA (poor floppy hipped pooch). I understand that they made it into a popular DVD, a popular DVD and video rental establishment just round the corner have several copies on the top shelf)
Dub, Aug 27 2005

       What?! No draw chain like a trot line around the necks of waiting pedestrians?   

       Of course, one needn't look up at all from one's news or SMS call; promptly when the chain is pulled, it is time to inch forward across the road.   

       A little prayer: Give me at least the strength I need to move more briskly through life than the pluripotentially connected lot.
reensure, Aug 27 2005

       Nice one. We don't have pedestrian crossing signs here. I've seen the green/red man in other countries, though. +
Pericles, Aug 28 2005

       Aren't Albatrosses bad luck? shit! who'd want to cross on a bad lucky crossing
The Kat, Aug 29 2005

       Dodo Crossing's had bad press, on account that people only made it half way, before being driven off in ambulances.   

       But at least now we're beginning to address two unpopular questions which have been puzzling humanity for generations: "Where and How did the chicken cross the road?". I'm sure the "big one" will fall out of the wood-work when Hawking's finished tying up all the lose ends.
Dub, Aug 30 2005

       is that why they call it string theory?
po, Aug 30 2005

       So why all the birds? In the US we just call them pedestrian crossings. Where did all these names come from? Sounds like something that a politician would come up with.
discontinuuity, Sep 11 2006

       I think it was to encourage children to use them... In the early days, we had Zebra Crossings (Black & White stripes)... and then, mysteriously, they did away with equine creatures and based them on birds.
Dub, Sep 12 2006

       //So why all the birds?// The first electronic crossing was invented by Emshurst Pellican. Note the spelling. Nobody ever remembered the second 'l', and eventually people forgot that the crossings had been named after a person, not a bird.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 02 2013

       And of course, the parallel black-and-white lines are but a reminder of the monkey bars formerly used to swing across the traffic - using, as the French say, ze bras.
spidermother, Jun 07 2013

       Darwin's Finch Crossings, which vary the walktime depending on the number waiting/how long people have waited/time of day/amount of traffic etc
Dub, Sep 05 2015


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