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Decreasing-Returns Pedestrian Crossing Button

Repeated presses of pedestrian crossing button increase delay before light changes.
  (+5, -10)(+5, -10)
(+5, -10)
  [vote for,

Some people seem to labor under the misapprehension that

(a) the crosswalk button is broken and needs to be pressed repeatedly in order to function or

(b) the button has ADHD and needs to be reminded that he or she is waiting or

(c) the button is insufficiently aware of how VERY IMPORTANT he or she is or

(d) he or she has played WAY too many video games or

(e) there is some sort of competition with the cars going through the intersection, such that the pedestrian must press the button AT LEAST once per car, or the cars win.

One might reasonably conclude that such people should not be allowed to operate complex machinery like pedestrian crossings.

One might also deduce that such people could benefit from training in the fine art of waiting.

Hence, the "Decreasing-Returns Pedestrian Crossing Button" program for computer- controlled crossings.

land, Jul 06 2006

And while he should spell it out, I'll link to it. Bubbling_20Turn_20Signals
[normzone, Jul 06 2006]

sub-dub's take on the subject. Albatross_20Crossings
[po, Jul 06 2006]

HalfBakery Disk Crash of 2004 http://www.halfbake...ditorial/crash.html
If you were around then, raise a pint in remembrance... If you weren't, please maintain respectful silence while the old farts do. [land, Jul 08 2006]


       while i know what you're talking about from your anno in bubbling turn signals, maybe you should spell it out.
tcarson, Jul 06 2006

       :) I do this all the time I have to admit.   

       Trouble is with this system, you'd get youths just pressing the button EVEN MORE, because they would find it funny to hold up the crossing for longer periods.   

       However if there was a safety mechanism that prevented the time delay becoming infinitely long, and also there was a rain sensor which automatically dropped the time back down to an extra-short time ,then I'd vote for this.
monojohnny, Jul 06 2006

       I've got to wonder why this bothers you so much, land. The button is rated to a large number of pushes so there isn't a great amount of button-wearing-out going on here. What you are proposing is that the someone who repeatedly pushes the button next to me is delays my crossing, making me as frustrated with repeated button pushers as you already seem to be. That can't be a good thing.
st3f, Jul 06 2006

       Maybe make them coin-operated - for priority crossing ?
monojohnny, Jul 06 2006

david_scothern, Jul 06 2006

       Holy crap [land], you've been here for ever.   

       What monojohnny and st3f said.   

       Plus, sometimes the bulb which tells you that it has noticed is broken. And sometimes they won't notice your first button-push. And even, nowadays, sometimes they forget about you if you arn't moving or hot enough.   

       Why is it always the pedestrians who have to wait?
Loris, Jul 06 2006

       Because cars are big and very heavy. They will win in a game of chicken. Except in Massachusetts, there the law states that people are in fact stronger than cars and may walk across the street without pausing for traffic without out any fear whatsoever.   

       I'm still learning, I admit. I still pause and I still flinch when I see a Coup Seville screaming towards me at 60 mph. But not the natives, I don't even think they know that it's there. It's amazing to me
NotTheSharpestSpoon, Jul 06 2006

Dub, Jul 06 2006

       I do this at elevators. Is it wrong?
xandram, Jul 06 2006

       Of course not - it makes them come faster!
DrCurry, Jul 06 2006

       I like the idea that the elevator says "Woah, there are 34 people on the third floor wanting to go up!"
Loris, Jul 07 2006

       A lazy elevator concept would help - on seeing that 34 people have just arrived, apparently in conga judging by the speed at which they turned up, the elevator misses floor 3 altogether.
david_scothern, Jul 07 2006

       OK, so I'm a curmugeonly old crap who, as [david_scothern] notes, was on a bit of a rant with this.   

       Hey! Did you know that there's still some meat on these fish bones? Mmm. Tasty.   

       As far as it goes, you can push that button 'til your finger develops calluses if you want, but then I'd be minus one halfbakery entry, wouldn't I? Do you want to have that on your conscience? I thought not.   

       [normzone]: Thanks for the link back to Bubbling Turn Signals, where I came up with this singularly unpopular idea.   

       [2 fries]: I have been here for an Internet ever, anyway: I think I joined in 2000, way before the great halfbakery disk crash of October, 2004.   

       [Loris]: pedestrians wait because we haven't risen up to smite our metal masters.
land, Jul 08 2006

       I'd like signals that have a readout that tells you how many seconds are left before the crossing changes.   

       Also, has anyone noticed the pedestrian crossings that are on busy junctions, the button does nothing other than light up the box, the traffic lights never deviate from their preset sequence, but people still press them. This produces a double annoyance because I don't press them, then some hapless fellow wanders up with the mistaken optimism that he, with a simple flick of a digit, can change the sequencing of a 5 junction roundabout. So he presses the button and I just know he's thinking "hehe, that idiot didn't press the button, lucky I turned up or he'd have been waiting here all day, I'd better press it again just to make sure".
marklar, Jul 09 2006

       Firstly, The buttons are (nigh) indistructable. They are a metal part with a spring under it that causes two wires to short out.   

       Secondly, If you want to get really smart about it watch the other lights. You can then know exactly when its your turn. The other sides red light turns oun one second before your go.
Cerium, Jul 09 2006

       //Why is it always the pedestrians who have to wait?//

Because the signal timing is set to cause the least interruption to oncoming traffic. If you live near a dual carriageway with a crossing then you might notice that the lights change more quickly on one side of the road than on the other (i.e. in the morning rush hour it takes longer to get across the lanes where traffic is heading into town than it does to get across the lanes where traffic is heading out of town and vice versa in the evenings). You might also notice that, if there is a long tail of traffic you always seem to catch the last vehicle. That means that the timing on the signal is slightly out.
DrBob, Jul 10 2006

       :://Why is it always the pedestrians who have to wait?//::   

       ::Because the signal timing is set to cause the least interruption to oncoming traffic.::   

       You are assuming that the cars are more important than the pedestrians. In areas with lots of local activity I'm arguing the opposite.
From my point of view it is the roads that can really make a city unpleasant. There is this vicious circle where people drive because it is more convenient, and the more cars there are the less convenient it is to walk.

       And I'm well aware of my fragility vs cars - this is actually a good reason for cars to request crossing, rather than those on foot.
Loris, Jul 10 2006

       //You are assuming that the cars are more important than the pedestrians.//

Nay, nay, nay. As a fanatical pedestrian myself I abhor the priority given to cars. I was merely stating how the system operates. I worked in the local Highways Department for 10 years.

Having read st3's anno I would suggest that [land] can quickly turn his pile of fishbones into croissants merely by changing the category of this idea to Public:Evil.
DrBob, Jul 10 2006


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