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Added 13 July, 2022

New thinking about traffic lights is putting pedestrians first

Cars should not have primacy over pedestrians. That's the "radical" thinking behind the re-thinking of traffic lights. Transport for London (TfL), the public body behind transport services in the British capital, has cottoned onto this, recently piloting new rules at 18 crossings around the city. Instead of waiting for the “green man” as a signal to cross the road, pedestrians will encounter green as the default setting when they approach these crossings. The light changes to red only when the sensor detects an approaching vehicle. This “pedestrian priority” approach is a first in the UK, and after a trial of nine months, the data is encouraging: there is virtually no impact on traffic, and pedestrians save a total of 1.3 hours a day at the average crossing and are 13% more likely to comply with traffic signals. Look for this to start happening in a city near you.

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