Monday, March 7, 2016

Push the Button! Wait for the Walk Signal!

Using Push-Button Activated Traffic Signals

Most pedestrian signals will not automatically change to provide pedestrian crossings at locations with push buttons; the button must be pushed to activate the signals. Each intersection is timed differently according to its size and traffic/pedestrian patterns. Intersections have been studied and timed based on an average walking speed. Longer crossing times are provided at intersections used primarily by children and senior citizens.

So how do you do it?

(1) You must first press the pedestrian push-button. Waiting time will vary at each intersection.

(2) Wait for the WHITE, WALKING FIGURE symbol (or WALK signs on older signals) before you step off the curb into the street.

(3) Look both ways for moving and turning vehicles, then proceed with caution across the intersection, walking within the crosswalk.

(4) The ORANGE FLASHING HAND (or DONT WALK signs on older signals) alerts pedestrians that they may not start crossing the intersection, but may finish crossing if they have already started during the “WALK” indication.

(5) When the ORANGE HAND (or DONT WALK signs on older signals) stops flashing, traffic will begin to move across the crosswalk. Pedestrians should wait on the curb for the next WALK symbol to be activated by once again pushing the button.

1 comment:

  1. While some intersection traffic lights in Montgomery County might be timed differently according to whether or not a pedestrian pushes the walk button, I've noticed that the duration of time the traffic light is green is not contingent upon a pedestrian pressing the walk button at all intersections. Most notably, the Georgia Avenue and Forest Glen traffic light stays green for the same duration of time during rush hour regardless of whether or not a pedestrian has pressed the walk button. This hinders the pedestrian when trying to cross at the light though if they've JUST missed the opportunity to press the walk button, but can still adequately cross the intersection in time because of the light being green for parallel traffic.

    It is a flawed intersection in that, more often than not, my fellow neighbors and I are required to wait at the light for longer than usual because a walk sign isn't present for us because someone didn't make it to the intersection in time to press the button to walk. This makes no sense seeing that the duration of time the light is green for cars to drive through the intersection doesn't change regardless of the walk button being pressed; therefore, at this intersection in particular, the walk sign should ALWAYS illuminate for pedestrians in conjunction with the changing traffic light regardless of someone pressing the button or not.

    Please take this suggestion into consideration and propose a change accordingly. I know I am not the only pedestrian who uses and is inconvenienced by this intersection on a daily basis when commuting to and from the Forest Glen Metro station...

    Thank you.