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(Huffington Post)   REVEALED: Does pushing the walk button a million times do anything? Other than increase your risk for carpal tunnel?   (huffingtonpost.com) divider line 137
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12524 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Jun 2013 at 1:55 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-06-08 12:35:33 PM
Apparently in the Back Bay part of Boston they turn off the walk buttons in the daytime, and the light says walk when it feels like saying walk, but in other parts of the city you will never get a walk without pressing them. There is a provision in traffic signal standards to press twice for a longer walk if you're too pathetic to scramble across like a normal person. I have never heard of it being implemented around here.

/DNRTFA
 
2013-06-08 12:40:19 PM
Doesn't matter.  I'm constitutionally incapable of not pushing the walk button a million times.
 
2013-06-08 12:49:29 PM
The friggin door close button in elevators is just there to tease you.
 
2013-06-08 12:52:15 PM
That video spent 10% of its length on the introduction.

Also, 'amber' light?
 
2013-06-08 12:57:22 PM
Next up: Does pushing the >
 
2013-06-08 12:58:51 PM
**shakes tiny fist at jwp**

/kicks dirt, pushes button
 
2013-06-08 01:07:45 PM

clancifer: That video spent 10% of its length on the introduction.

Also, 'amber' light?


I've worked on traffic signals for 25yrs and it is indeed called amber.
 
2013-06-08 01:09:52 PM
city slicker problems
 
2013-06-08 01:20:04 PM

clancifer: That video spent 10% of its length on the introduction.

Also, 'amber' light?


i105.photobucket.com
What an amber light might look like.
 
2013-06-08 01:28:06 PM

johnryan51: clancifer: That video spent 10% of its length on the introduction.

Also, 'amber' light?

I've worked on traffic signals for 25yrs and it is indeed called amber.


you too, eh? I started with Multisonics in 1977.
 
2013-06-08 01:43:45 PM
img.pandawhale.com
 
2013-06-08 01:54:21 PM
They still have "walk" buttons in some cities?  I haven't seen one in years.  We certainly don't have them down here.  You just wait for the light to change... just like the cars stopped next to you.

In the tourist district of my city, we do have a system where both lanes will get a red light for a minute, so pedestrians can cross in any direction they need to.

But no "walk" button.  You just wait your turn like the cars, bikes, etc. do.
 
2013-06-08 02:00:17 PM
No. The answer is no. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.

Unless the button has a short in it and doesn't always register that the button was pressed.

/see what I did up there?
 
2013-06-08 02:00:53 PM

downstairs: They still have "walk" buttons in some cities?  I haven't seen one in years.  We certainly don't have them down here.  You just wait for the light to change... just like the cars stopped next to you.

In the tourist district of my city, we do have a system where both lanes will get a red light for a minute, so pedestrians can cross in any direction they need to.

But no "walk" button.  You just wait your turn like the cars, bikes, etc. do.


I am a cyclist. When traffic flow is low, I use the "Walk" button to initiate a signal change. As my bicycle only very occasionally triggers road sensors, failing to do so can result in an indefinite wait. At some crossings and with certain timing, pressing the "Walk" button initiates an immediate traffic signal change.
 
2013-06-08 02:00:54 PM

clancifer: Also, 'amber' light?


Yes.
 
2013-06-08 02:01:50 PM

ZAZ: Apparently in the Back Bay part of Boston they turn off the walk buttons in the daytime, and the light says walk when it feels like saying walk, but in other parts of the city you will never get a walk without pressing them. There is a provision in traffic signal standards to press twice for a longer walk if you're too pathetic to scramble across like a normal person. I have never heard of it being implemented around here.

/DNRTFA


my completely anecdotal experience is that intersections with a high expected foot traffic will just automatically add a walk light as part of its regular rotation. Lower foot traffic areas require the button press in the hopes it will allow traffic to be more efficient.
 
2013-06-08 02:02:56 PM
What an uttter piss pile of time-wasting garbage this "article" and video were.
 
2013-06-08 02:02:57 PM

clancifer: Also, 'amber' light?


Yes.  Much like amber lamps.
 
2013-06-08 02:03:15 PM
Certain intersections will always turn to walk with the flow of traffic, so pressing it is pointless.

Some, however, will only turn to walk if you tell it to.

Outside of my apartment, the intersection will ONLY say walk if you push the button. I'm in suburbia. Downtown, there's no need to ever press the walk button.
 
2013-06-08 02:04:02 PM
part Mythbusters, part Whose Line? and part 60 Minutes

Liar.

Where's Kari? Where's Ryan & Colin? Where's Morley?
 
2013-06-08 02:04:09 PM
The functioning of most aspects of traffic signals varies greatly depending on the local traffic engineers. The policy in LA is just that... the policy for LA.
 
2013-06-08 02:04:17 PM

downstairs: They still have "walk" buttons in some cities?  I haven't seen one in years.  We certainly don't have them down here.  You just wait for the light to change... just like the cars stopped next to you.

In the tourist district of my city, we do have a system where both lanes will get a red light for a minute, so pedestrians can cross in any direction they need to.

But no "walk" button.  You just wait your turn like the cars, bikes, etc. do.


The "walk" Button's only purpose seems to be to break and make it so I just don't get a signal, ever.
 
2013-06-08 02:04:49 PM

Dimensio: I am a cyclist. When traffic flow is low, I use the "Walk" button to initiate a signal change. As my bicycle only very occasionally triggers road sensors, failing to do so can result in an indefinite wait. At some crossings and with certain timing, pressing the "Walk" button initiates an immediate traffic signal change.


Depending on the type and layout of loop detectors (and, of course, materials from which the bike is constructed), sometimes laying your bike semi-flat across them will help them trigger the signal (as in, lean the bike to your left or right while standing). To be fair, I've never really liked the idea of standing in the street while leaning my vehicle to the side.
 
2013-06-08 02:04:54 PM
In other news, moving your mouse around the screen in a fast random seizure helps the app/program/web page load faster.
 
2013-06-08 02:06:47 PM

clancifer: Also, 'amber' light?


Amber light comes from amber lamps.

i197.photobucket.com
 
2013-06-08 02:07:46 PM

tlchwi02: my completely anecdotal experience is that intersections with a high expected foot traffic will just automatically add a walk light as part of its regular rotation.


Effectively, yes. Also, when traffic signals are timed throughout a corridor for cars (as in, no loop detectors), timed pedestrian signals are the norm regardless of pedestrian traffic.
 
2013-06-08 02:09:54 PM
In case you don't want to sit through a 10 minute video to find out, I skipped to the end to find the answer, and it is:

img854.imageshack.us
 
2013-06-08 02:11:02 PM
It might.  Unless you know exactly how that particular intersection is configured, there's no way to know without experimenting.  There's no technical reason why a traffic control system couldn't be configured to give variable weight to crosswalk priority depending on the number of people waiting to cross.  The number of people waiting could be estimated by counting how many times the button has been pressed.

Same way they use multiple sensors to determine the number of vehicles waiting at a light.  Often, there will be three (or more) embedded sensors.  One right behind the line, another close behind that, and a third much farther back.  Sensor 1 is triggered, that's one car.  Sensors 1 and 2 are triggered, that's two cars.  Sensors 1, 2, and 3 are triggered, that's 5 cars.  You'll often see them in left turn lanes (in normal countries where people drive on the proper side of the road).  When that third sensor gets triggered, that  can bump up the priority of the left turn lane in a well designed system because it indicates that the left turn lane is full and needs to be cleared to avoid having that traffic back up into a regular lane.

The only way to guarantee it has no effect is not to do it.

Also, some "close door" buttons do work.  I've been in elevators where pressing the button will cause the doors to immediately close, even if someone just hit the "open door" button and they're still opening.  Usually, tho, they're a placebo.  And usually, hitting the walk button once is the same as hitting it 31 times.
 
2013-06-08 02:11:05 PM
clicking the mouse button really hard makes your bullets do more damage in shooter games so yes.
 
2013-06-08 02:11:52 PM

ZAZ: Apparently in the Back Bay part of Boston they turn off the walk buttons in the daytime, and the light says walk when it feels like saying walk, but in other parts of the city you will never get a walk without pressing them. There is a provision in traffic signal standards to press twice for a longer walk if you're too pathetic to scramble across like a normal person. I have never heard of it being implemented around here.

/DNRTFA


It works that way in some parts of Seattle. Daytime the intersections are timed, at night you gotta push the button.
 
2013-06-08 02:12:41 PM
ZAZ: here is a provision in traffic signal standards to press twice for a longer walk if you're too pathetic to scramble across like a normal person.

Around here at some intersections I've walked through, the light turns green for walk, and I'm able to take about three or four steps out into the intersection before the red 'don't walk' starts flashing.

I'm spry, so I can make it across well before the light goes totally red, but I pondered at the short timing one day.

How the fark are old people, people on crutches and people pushing baby carts supposed to get across intersections like that within the time that's given?
 
2013-06-08 02:12:55 PM
All the walk button is doing is simulating the signal a car would trigger had it moved on to the loop detector in the road.  Then the basic timing takes place.  Not pressing walk just depends on how the signal is set up.  If there is nobody there waiting to cross, its dumb to have traffic wait(say for a left turn lane) to wait for a walk light cycle when nobody is walking)
 
2013-06-08 02:13:51 PM

Dreyelle: In other news, moving your mouse around the screen in a fast random seizure helps the app/program/web page load faster.


Oh sweet Jesus, you just reminded me of the fun that was my first computer as a kid, and how an IRQ conflict made for a hell of a time (until I read up on IRQ conflicts).

The mouse and modem shared the same IRQ (4, IIRC), and so in order to download anything I had to keep the mouse moving. Glad I was a young pup eager to learn about computers.
 
2013-06-08 02:14:43 PM
And they didn't cover the maniac who pushes both buttons, e.g  one going east the other going perpendicularly north.  Roughly half the time, this will actually slow down traffic and pedestrians, including the maniac.
 
2013-06-08 02:15:09 PM
At times the traffic light by where I work will get stuck on red and the only way to get it to change is by getting out of your car, pressing the "walk" button on the nearby pedestrian crossing, and running like hell to get back in your car before it turns red again.
 
2013-06-08 02:15:19 PM
Was anyone actually dumb enough to believe that button did anything to make the light change faster?
 
2013-06-08 02:16:23 PM
Okay but the fun ones are where you push the button and it makes a noise back at you but then you push and hold it and it makes an angry "let the fark go of me" noise at you.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-06-08 02:17:18 PM
lordargent

The flashing don't walk is supposed to be long enough to let you finish crossing at a normal walking speed. Walk should be at least four to seven seconds. Flashing don't walk should be the width of the street divided by 3.5 feet per second. Walking speed can be considered 4 feet per second if slow people get a special button press to ask for more time.
 
2013-06-08 02:18:42 PM

jehovahs witness protection: The friggin door close button in elevators is just there to tease you.


They're not all the same. Our office, pushing a floor button closes the door immediately, even if it's already lit.
 
2013-06-08 02:19:29 PM
Screw pedestrians. The more important question is: Does flashing your highbeams at a red light make it turn green more quickly, especially late at night?
 
2013-06-08 02:19:44 PM

johnryan51: clancifer: That video spent 10% of its length on the introduction.

Also, 'amber' light?

I've worked on traffic signals for 25yrs and it is indeed called amber.


24.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-06-08 02:20:04 PM

Dimensio: downstairs: They still have "walk" buttons in some cities?  I haven't seen one in years.  We certainly don't have them down here.  You just wait for the light to change... just like the cars stopped next to you.

In the tourist district of my city, we do have a system where both lanes will get a red light for a minute, so pedestrians can cross in any direction they need to.

But no "walk" button.  You just wait your turn like the cars, bikes, etc. do.

I am a cyclist. When traffic flow is low, I use the "Walk" button to initiate a signal change. As my bicycle only very occasionally triggers road sensors, failing to do so can result in an indefinite wait. At some crossings and with certain timing, pressing the "Walk" button initiates an immediate traffic signal change.


All good.  To clarify, my city also does not have any sensors on any interections.  Its timed the same all day, every day.  *That* is frustrating as a driver.  But for people walking, the walk signal is going to come up eventually for sure.
 
2013-06-08 02:20:27 PM
If the red/green cycle is long enough for a pedestrian to cross the street (given roughtly 5 seconds per lane), the the walk button does nothing.

If a certain street's green light is too short to let a pedestrian cross safely, the walk button will lengthen the green light to the required length of time.

The walk button DOES NOT make the light turn green sooner, except in times of very low traffic, when the light only changes for, you don't need the walk button anyway.

Some cities have red-light cycles that are always long enough to let pedestrians cross, so you don't need walk button.  Other cities (like LA) there is way to much traffic to let cars sit there for longer than they need to, so if there's not pedestrians moseying across the street they like to turn the light green faster.

Since the walk button actually does something in LA, most people know to push it, and only once.  The only people who push it a dozen times are tourists and Mexicans.
 
2013-06-08 02:20:54 PM
Fark that nonsense, I will hit the walk button like I'm expecting to get a prize from it.
 
2013-06-08 02:21:11 PM

jehovahs witness protection: The friggin door close button in elevators is just there to tease you.


Usually. There are some that actually work.
 
2013-06-08 02:22:29 PM

The Martian Manhandler: Screw pedestrians. The more important question is: Does flashing your highbeams at a red light make it turn green more quickly, especially late at night?


Nope.
 
2013-06-08 02:22:45 PM
there is a walk button on the crosswalk in front of the convention center here in SF that when you push it (when the light is red) a little mechanical voice says "wait!".
So if you press the button repeatedly, it will 'rap', "wait waitwait wait wait waitwait"
lol
 
2013-06-08 02:24:09 PM

The Martian Manhandler: Screw pedestrians. The more important question is: Does flashing your highbeams at a red light make it turn green more quickly, especially late at night?


I have a friend who swears to me he did this once.  Driving down a street, he saw it go to yellow and he knew that on this street, if you get stuck behind one red light, all of them will be red, but he managed to get the headlights to flash just right to trigger the traffic signals to go back to green.  Why I don't believe him?  He says that it works because it allows emergency vehicles to have green lights when they enter intersections.  I've seen way too many run red lights to believe it.
 
2013-06-08 02:24:14 PM
 
2013-06-08 02:25:46 PM
..err..  TWO decades ago..

/fail
 
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