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Public: Pedestrian Crossing
Pedestrian Crossing Cameras   (+2, -4)  [vote for, against]

Automated pedestrian crossings, or at least, the crossings around where I live work like this: somebody approaches the crossing, push its button, and then wait. Some time after the first button push, pedestrians are allowed to cross.

The major source of annoyance from this system is the moron who continually pushes the button, making a lot of noise, until pedestrians are allowed to cross.

To eliminate these nasty people, we could use an angry roving militia, or we could mount cameras at crossings, which feed into computers. These computers then look for people, and more importantly which way they are facing. Once one person has been standing in one direction for long enough or there are enough people facing the same direction, the crossing mechanism is triggered, and all may cross.

And so at once, without the use of violence, we eliminate the annoying button abuser, and the spread of disease through unprotected button sharing.
-- sdm, Oct 06 2001

Further Halfbakery Pedestrian Crossing Discussion http://www.halfbake...ncellation_20Button
Buttons, timers, etc. [Lemon, Oct 06 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

I'm pretty sure that CID, MI5 and the SAS have a code to put in them for immediate pedestrian crossing facility - if only I could crack it
-- po, Oct 06 2001

Placebo? Then curse the fool who invented the giant clunking Sydney buttons. They could have at least made them out of a silent gel like substance.
-- sdm, Oct 06 2001

Same kind of person who presses a normal elevator's button a bunch of times...Or tap-tap-taps on the telephone's 'hang up' buttons when someone hangs up on them, thinking it'll reconnect them...
-- StarChaser, Oct 06 2001

In hindsight, I can only think of a few dozen in and around the city that would be on timers - the really busy ones.

I guess the real proof is to get a shit job that keeps you out all night when you should be sleeping, and test these things when they're primed and ready to change.

<off topic>Just after I started my degree I was considering joining a friend who was paid to walk around nightspots and check that bar owners had the right amount of promotional gear about. I decided not to do it. The pay was pretty bad, plus the smoke, Friday and Saturday night work, and the pissed yobbos. Not for me.</off topic>
-- sdm, Oct 06 2001

While working as a pushbike courier in Sydney I found those chunky big buttons useful as I had a larger target to aim at with my foot as I rolled past.

While the pedestrian stage at crossings is often linked to the traffic lights at big junctions, sometimes this stage is omitted if the button has not been pressed.

I'm still convinced that the 'close doors' button in a lift is purely to stop people taking their frustration out on actual working buttons though.
-- stupop, Oct 08 2001

It's a common mistake for pedestrians to assume that crossings are there to enable them to cross. In fact, they are there to maintain the flow of the traffic and lure all the dangerous people on foot into one area so that the car drivers can see them coming. In Sussex at least, the pedestrian crossing button does have some effect but not the one that you'd be hoping for if you were on foot. Once you push it, the clock starts running and you have a maximum wait of about 30 seconds before the lights change & you can cross. The crossing is also linked up to a detector in the road and the light will not change, if there is a constant flow of traffic, until the 30 seconds is up. If the detectors report a gap in the flow then the light changes. End result: the lights only change when there's no traffic about. Brilliant!
-- DrBob, Oct 08 2001

<obligatory joke>If Milli Vanilli fall over in the forest, does someone else make a sound?</obligatory joke>
-- hippo, Oct 09 2001

Sorry, hippo. I would question the use of the term "joke".
-- sdm, Oct 09 2001

I would question the use of the term 'obligatory'.
-- stupop, Oct 09 2001

I would question the use of the term 'does.'
-- jester, Oct 09 2001

Isn't Rob Pilatus dead? (one half of Milli Vanilli)
-- The_Englishman_Abroad, Oct 09 2001

random, halfbakery