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agreed, hence the "for Toronto"
Ya toronto still has not switched to the rrfb signs that are installed all over ontario and North America. The lights are more "aggressive" which increases compliance and safety.
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Ya toronto still has not switched to the rrfb signs that are installed all over ontario and North America. The lights are more "aggressive" which increases compliance and safety. View attachment 499085
The problem I have with the 'new' (Level 2) crossover signage in Ontario is the flashing beacons are off to the side rather than overhead in the driver's field of view where they are in the older 'Level 1' configuration. In some cases, because of curb design, trees, or whatever, they can be quite a bit off to the side to the point of being obscured. In a couple of communities that I know of in Central Ontario that originally had this design of crossover (in both cases a built-up area reduced speed zone interrupting a highway speed zone), they have been replaced with full signals.

In my opinion, if they repeated both the signs and lights overhead the lane it would be much safer.
 
The problem I have with the 'new' (Level 2) crossover signage in Ontario is the flashing beacons are off to the side rather than overhead in the driver's field of view where they are in the older 'Level 1' configuration. In some cases, because of curb design, trees, or whatever, they can be quite a bit off to the side to the point of being obscured. In a couple of communities that I know of in Central Ontario that originally had this design of crossover (in both cases a built-up area reduced speed zone interrupting a highway speed zone), they have been replaced with full signals.

In my opinion, if they repeated both the signs and lights overhead the lane it would be much safer.
Yes so rrfb signals above the crosswalk with led lights lighting up the area underneath. But as far as I know thats not in the ontario standard. Should be though.
 
Yes so rrfb signals above the crosswalk with led lights lighting up the area underneath. But as far as I know thats not in the ontario standard. Should be though.
I would like for most of these crossings to be raised to make it easier for drivers to comply and yield to pedestrians.
 
Canada or USA is very unlike the Germans when it comes to crosswalks. Watch this video warning Germans visiting the USA (and Canada for that matter).


Sorry, if this is repeated. But, not everyone pages through each and every post in this thread.
 
I would like for most of these crossings to be raised to make it easier for drivers to comply and yield to pedestrians.
Raised crosswalks and intersections are great but not for thru routes. They are used on local or service routes. Each is a tool in the tool box, which are is most effective when used properly. Raised crosswalks on thru routes will created unnecessary congestion thinking roads such as dundas or Jarvis. What toronto transportation should do is identify which roads are for vehicle movement and which are local/services. Then plan road safety and traffic flow to maximize the efficiency of each.
 
Raised crosswalks and intersections are great but not for thru routes. They are used on local or service routes. Each is a tool in the tool box, which are is most effective when used properly. Raised crosswalks on thru routes will created unnecessary congestion thinking roads such as dundas or Jarvis. What toronto transportation should do is identify which roads are for vehicle movement and which are local/services. Then plan road safety and traffic flow to maximize the efficiency of each.
Having raised sidewalks at entrances to side residential streets would nudge motorists to slow down. The main street would still be level. Consideration however should be looked at rainfall runoff and where the rainwater will flow. Hopefully not collect in ponds caused by the dams at the raised sidewalks or crosswalks.
 
Raised crosswalks and intersections are great but not for thru routes. They are used on local or service routes. Each is a tool in the tool box, which are is most effective when used properly. Raised crosswalks on thru routes will created unnecessary congestion thinking roads such as dundas or Jarvis. What toronto transportation should do is identify which roads are for vehicle movement and which are local/services. Then plan road safety and traffic flow to maximize the efficiency of each.
Raised cross-walks are a good idea on 2 lane roads with low/moderate speeds and volumes (<50 kph). Studies show that driver compliance with yielding at cross-walks drops off dramatically at higher speeds. Encouraging people to use pedestrian cross-overs on wide, higher speed streets is a bad idea if you just have some flashing lights. Full traffic signals like you see on Spadina make more sense on wider streets.
 
Raised crosswalks and intersections are great but not for thru routes. They are used on local or service routes. Each is a tool in the tool box, which are is most effective when used properly.
The profile of raised crosswalks or intersections on thru routes (collector streets and minor arterials) in the Netherlands is much softer than those along local streets, to enable buses to travel over them at up to 30 km/h without getting excessively jostled.

Raised crosswalks are primaily used on through routes because local streets should be traffic calmed to the point that you don't need any marked pedestrian crossings at all, pedestrians can just cross the street wherever, or walk in the street, play hockey in the street etc.
Raised crosswalks on thru routes will created unnecessary congestion thinking roads such as dundas or Jarvis. What toronto transportation should do is identify which roads are for vehicle movement and which are local/services. Then plan road safety and traffic flow to maximize the efficiency of each.
Congestion occurs when demand exceeds capacity.

The capacity of a road is determined by its lowest-capacity intersection. In our case that will almost always be the intersection between two arterial roads. Because at those locations there will be a red light most of the time. You'd need to have an enormous volume of pedestrians (e.g. Yonge & Dundas) before a crosswalk actually limits the road's capacity.

Installing priority crosswalks between major intersections would theoretically reduce congestion by making driving slower, making walking faster (reducing motor traffic demand) without affecting the road's capacity.
 
Not Toronto, sorry, but does anyone here know anything about these new pedestrian crossing signals they installed a few weeks ago at the University Ave/Laurel Trail crossing in Waterloo?

They feel much more responsive from the pedestrian end to me (i.e. often pressing the beg button will immediately turn the vehicle signal yellow when there's no incoming traffic, and the ped light will immediately turn green if the button is pressed while the ION crossing gates are down, which didn't always happen before). Would love to know if there's anything meaningfully different with this new system, and whether these improvements are coming to other pedestrian crossings in Ontario.

When the signalling was rebuilt here, they also reconfigured the crossing to be a much wider separated ped + bike crossing, instead of the narrower shared crosswalk it was before. It looks like they've installed a traffic light (and separate beg button?) for bikes, but it's covered up for now.

I used to cross this intersection several times per day, and I still cross it very regularly. It gets a lot of foot and bike traffic. I'm really glad it was improved, the signal timing used to really bug me.

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Not Toronto, sorry, but does anyone here know anything about these new pedestrian crossing signals they installed a few weeks ago at the University Ave/Laurel Trail crossing in Waterloo?

They feel much more responsive from the pedestrian end to me (i.e. often pressing the beg button will immediately turn the vehicle signal yellow when there's no incoming traffic, and the ped light will immediately turn green if the button is pressed while the ION crossing gates are down, which didn't always happen before). Would love to know if there's anything meaningfully different with this new system, and whether these improvements are coming to other pedestrian crossings in Ontario.

When the signalling was rebuilt here, they also reconfigured the crossing to be a much wider separated ped + bike crossing, instead of the narrower shared crosswalk it was before. It looks like they've installed a traffic light (and separate beg button?) for bikes, but it's covered up for now.

I used to cross this intersection several times per day, and I still cross it very regularly. It gets a lot of foot and bike traffic. I'm really glad it was improved, the signal timing used to really bug me.

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The operation you describe is known as uncoordinated operation. So the signal sits in the main street for some minimum amount of time, after which it responds immediately when someone presses the button.

This is possible with pretty much every traffic signal. It's not an equipment limitation it's just a question of priorities. In most places they don't like it because it can interrupt waves of cars, but it's far better for pedestrians, cyclists and transit priority.

There are some uncoordinated bicycle/ped signals in Toronto (e.g. Finch Hydro trail at Norfinch, Grantbrook and at Talbot), but they programmed a main street pedestrian signal in the timings even though there is no pedestrian signal across the path. So when it detects a pedestrian or bike, it waits 5 seconds for the pedestrian countdown on the non-existant pedestrian signal.

All it would take to resolve this issue is to change the main street recall mode from "pedestrian recall" to "vehicle recall", which is a matter of pressing a single button. But the city doesn't do this because it's not in their procedures. So at all uncoordinated pedestrian/bicycle signals in Toronto, pedestrians and cyclists always need to wait 5 seconds for no reason whatsoever.
 
If the automobiles getting an automatic reading by cameras or radar, why can't the same be done for pedestrians? Or are they afraid raccoons, deer, dogs, coyotoes, etc. may trigger them?
 
There are plenty of intersections in Toronto where you have to wait at least a minute if you press the "beg" button.

I've never seen an implementation of the system locally where if the traffic light for cars is green but the pedestrian signal is "don't walk" (because no one pressed the button before the drivers got the green), it will automatically turn on the "walk" signal during that same light cycle. The pedestrian always has to wait an additional two light cycles to legally cross in that situation, which is an unacceptable delay that drivers don't have to deal with.

These kinds of traffic lights are set up in a way that marginalizes pedestrians in most Ontario municipalities.
 
There are plenty of intersections in Toronto where you have to wait at least a minute if you press the "beg" button.

I've never seen an implementation of the system locally where if the traffic light for cars is green but the pedestrian signal is "don't walk" (because no one pressed the button before the drivers got the green), it will automatically turn on the "walk" signal during that same light cycle. The pedestrian always has to wait an additional two light cycles to legally cross in that situation, which is an unacceptable delay that drivers don't have to deal with.

These kinds of traffic lights are set up in a way that marginalizes pedestrians in most Ontario municipalities.
It is possible with our existing signal equipment to allow the Walk signal to come on after the green has already started using a feature called a "permissive period". Basically the cutoff time for pedestrian calls is kept as late as possible, so if there's enough time left within the maximum green time to fit the Walk + Flashing Don't Walk, a pedestrian call can be served right away.

Here's an example presented by Jerry Schippa from the City of Madison, WI. He calls it "pedestrian reservice".

For minor streets, the maximum green duration is typically equal to the pedestrian crossing time, since that's already far more green time than required to clear the typical queue of vehicles. In which case regardless of how the signal is programmed, there will no longer be enough time to serve the pedestrian phase after the light has turned green. To make pedestrian reservice work, you need to increase the maximum green time by the equivalent of the desired permissive period. Jerry increases it by a couple seconds to account for the time it takes to walk to the button. After these couple seconds, the signal won't immediately respond to pedestrian calls, because there isn't enough time anymore.

For major streets, the policy in Toronto is that the signal should rest in Walk until there's actually some specific reason for the light to end (either a timed end-of-green moment or someone detected on the side street). In which case there would only be Green + Don't Walk if there is currently a TTC bus/streetcar extending the green light (and the signal therefore doesn't know exactly when the green will end). But in some other places, including York Region, signals can also rest in Green/Don't Walk, which works really well at intersections with few pedestrians. In that situation, when someone is detected on the side street, the main street signal can immediately change to yellow, whereas in Toronto the person on the side street would first need to wait for the main street pedestrian countdown. If a pedestrian is detected on the main street while the signal is resting in Green / Don't Walk, the pedestrian signal can change immediately to Walk.

There's an example of this right at the start of this video of mine (filmed at YMCA Blvd & University Blvd near Unionville GO Station).

There is some debate in the traffic engineering community about whether the Walk signal should be allowed to start after the green has already started for a movement with a permissive conflict with the crosswalk (e.g. right turns on green are permitted). The concern is that someone turning right could see a pedestrian standing still or even see the "Don't Walk" signal and assume that they can turn without yielding, but then the pedestrian gets a Walk light and steps out in front of the turning vehicle which wasn't expecting to stop. In the Netherlands, it is fairly common for signals with permissive right turns to include the constraint that the Walk or Bike signals can only start simultaneously or earlier than the parallel vehicle signal. If the signal is resting in Green/Don't Walk and a pedestrian/bike requests the main street green, the signal will first go to yellow, then red along the main street, before the ped/bike signals can start and the main street signal goes back to green.

While there is some logical justification for this constraint, I'm not convinced that it actually improves safety overall. There is a signal in a Dutch city which I programmed where there are no right turn signals along the main street, so the City required the bike and ped signals to start simultaneously or earlier than the parallel vehicle signals. No problem I thought, we'll just make the bike signal turn green every time the parallel vehicle signal turns green (like it does virtually everywhere in Toronto). But no, the City insisted that the bike signal should only turn green if there is a bike detected, because the red clearance time for bikes is (marginally) longer than the clearance time for cars. As a result, most of the time cyclists arrive and get stopped at a red light for no apparent reason. And after seeing that the parallel traffic has a green, they just ride through the red light.

Traffic signals only work when people obey them, and people only obey them when the signals seem reasonable. Making pedestrians or cyclists wait for no apparent reason will reduce signal compliance, which I suspect degrades safety more than allowing the Walk light to begin while a permissive conflict already has a green.
 
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What you are proposing as I understand is for pedestrians in a semi-actuated signal is for the green/don’t walk “rest” on the main road to instantly change to amber on the push of the pedestrian call button?

I always thought that “rest”, which you often see in suburbia, was for a dedicated time when pedestrians (in theory) shouldn’t be in the intersection to allow left or right turns to happen more easily.


Also, if the main road light is programmed to end instantly at the push of the button, I assume this means that the loops on the side street will also change instantly? The problem with this scenario is that you can run into situations where the side street light will cycle to green when there’s no reason to, such as when a right on red vehicle from a side street makes a right turn. In the loop on the side street, the vehicle will cause an amber on the main road. While in the current situation, the vehicle that makes the right turn on red will start the countdown, if the vehicle can get out of the loop by the end of the countdown, the main road signal will revert back to green/walk.

Another thing to consider, here in Brampton, if we’re talking about a fast road, like say Airport Road which mostly has a speed limit of 80km/h, the flashing don’t walk signal acts as a kind of pre-amber signal to drivers warning that the light could change to yellow and thus to prepare to stop. It is somewhat jarring to have to be going at a quick pace, say 80km/h, and thus have to jam hard on the brakes when the amber seemingly appears out of nowhere

I know I may have trouble articulating what I’m trying to say and it’s my two cents on the matter.

EDiT: There’s one other problematic scenario that I missed with holding on green/don’t walk. Presuming the light stays green like a semi actuated signal, how does the pedestrian travelling on the main road crossing the side road make it through the sidewalk safely. Because any push of the call button or a car activating a loop on the side road would trigger an amber on the main road and the pedestrian trapped.

The only safe option the pedestrian would have in this situation would be to push the button to cross the main road (travel on side road) and wait until the pedestrian fades a walk signal on the main road.
 
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