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Pedestrians – help to reduce pollution and traffic congestion

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Pedestrians – help to reduce pollution and traffic congestion

Old 10th Apr 2018, 11:00
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Pedestrians – help to reduce pollution and traffic congestion

Are we pedestrians losing all traffic sense? Are we no longer able to assess a road situation and decide whether or not it’s safe to cross the road? Do we imagine that pressing a pedestrian crossing button makes it safer to cross the road than crossing it when there isn’t any traffic in sight?

One accepts that for the elderly, parents with children, or people with limited mobility pressing a button and waiting for the lights to go red may be the only way to get to the other side of the road. In some traffic conditions even the able-bodied may need to use the pelican lights to create a break in a steady stream of vehicles.

However, are people becoming so self-absorbed that they are incapable of understanding that pressing the button just before the final car in a stream has passed them doesn’t only waste that driver’s time? It also wastes their own, as that car will have to slow down and stop before they cross, taking longer to do that than simply to pass at the speed it was doing in the first place. That causes unnecessary pollution, too, as the car that stopped must then accelerate again, using more fuel and producing more exhaust emissions than it would at constant speed.

Just have a look next time you pass a pelican crossing; time and again you’ll see perfectly able-bodied people walk up to the button, press it and only then look to see if there’s any traffic coming. Then one of two things will happen. One is that they wait there till the beeper goes, after which they cross the road when the light turns red, thus needlessly stopping traffic that wasn’t in sight when they pressed the button, and wasting their own time meanwhile. The other slightly brighter spark spots that the road is clear, crosses safely and wanders off as the light goes red behind them and cars have to stop, building up a bit more congestion and adding to pollution while nobody crosses the empty crossing in front of them.

What is the actual aim of these people? Is their intention mindlessly to stop traffic at random or is it to cross the road safely? The safest time to do that is not when a traffic signal beeps, it’s when there’s no traffic coming. Whatever is happening to peoples’ situational awareness? Are they so incapable of making rational decisions based on what is happening around them that they need beepers to beep and little green men to illuminate before they’ll cross a road? What is even more worrying is that some of them may drive cars as well and they’re all allowed to vote!
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Old 10th Apr 2018, 11:13
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Zebra crossings too. Instead of just walking across, so that they'd be clear long before you got there, people will walk up to them, and stop, and wait for a car to come along and stop before starting to cross.
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Old 10th Apr 2018, 11:17
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Originally Posted by Gertrude the Wombat View Post
Zebra crossings too. Instead of just walking across, so that they'd be clear long before you got there, people will walk up to them, and stop, and wait for a car to come along and stop before starting to cross.
Waiting for the car to stop before stepping out buffers you from the dimwit on his phone who woulda clouted you.

CG
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Old 10th Apr 2018, 11:26
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Many a time I have had to brake or swerve to avoid a zombie with their face buried into some social media page on their phone.
The earphones further render them oblivious to danger.

That is one of the reasons my vehicles are fitted with dashcams.
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Old 10th Apr 2018, 12:01
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Originally Posted by Buster11 View Post
Are we pedestrians losing all traffic sense? Are we no longer able to assess a road situation and decide whether or not it’s safe to cross the road? Do we imagine that pressing a pedestrian crossing button makes it safer to cross the road than crossing it when there isn’t any traffic in sight?

One accepts that for the elderly, parents with children, or people with limited mobility pressing a button and waiting for the lights to go red may be the only way to get to the other side of the road. In some traffic conditions even the able-bodied may need to use the pelican lights to create a break in a steady stream of vehicles.

However, are people becoming so self-absorbed that they are incapable of understanding that pressing the button just before the final car in a stream has passed them doesn’t only waste that driver’s time? It also wastes their own, as that car will have to slow down and stop before they cross, taking longer to do that than simply to pass at the speed it was doing in the first place. That causes unnecessary pollution, too, as the car that stopped must then accelerate again, using more fuel and producing more exhaust emissions than it would at constant speed.

Just have a look next time you pass a pelican crossing; time and again you’ll see perfectly able-bodied people walk up to the button, press it and only then look to see if there’s any traffic coming. Then one of two things will happen. One is that they wait there till the beeper goes, after which they cross the road when the light turns red, thus needlessly stopping traffic that wasn’t in sight when they pressed the button, and wasting their own time meanwhile. The other slightly brighter spark spots that the road is clear, crosses safely and wanders off as the light goes red behind them and cars have to stop, building up a bit more congestion and adding to pollution while nobody crosses the empty crossing in front of them.

What is the actual aim of these people? Is their intention mindlessly to stop traffic at random or is it to cross the road safely? The safest time to do that is not when a traffic signal beeps, it’s when there’s no traffic coming. Whatever is happening to peoples’ situational awareness? Are they so incapable of making rational decisions based on what is happening around them that they need beepers to beep and little green men to illuminate before they’ll cross a road? What is even more worrying is that some of them may drive cars as well and they’re all allowed to vote!
That's a relatively new JB rant then.....any particular reason for its generation ?

However, a couple of points here.

First, its not really a good idea to walk across the road with a stream of traffic flowing and with the expectation the traffic will stop to allow you to cross which is why, much to your chagrin it seems, crossings were developed. It can get a bit messy if they don't stop after all.

However, I know of a hamlet where this was considered the norm and even the local police and ambulance services were amazed that the were no accidents or fatalities given the average age was about 194.

Secondly, why should a pedestrian not press the button to stop the traffic before the last car has passed and let's be fair here, some crossings are almost immediate when pressing the button before the lights go to red, others take considerably longer. How would people be expected to know ?

And as for crossing when the road is, ostensibly, clear, how about for example outside Stafford station crossing from the park to the station. The road bends and you can't see traffic coming from the right until it's on the mini roundabout.

Pedestrians who blithely cross a road without looking behind them first, or who walk out from the opposite side when you are clearly indicating and have commenced turning into a road are clearly a danger to themselves...and anybody unfortunate enough to encounter them.
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Old 10th Apr 2018, 13:04
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If what you're really concerned about is the actual pollution and traffic congestion bit (as your title alludes to), then the answer to that is to get more of those car drivers to switch to being the ones using the pedestrian crossing. I know way too may people who are prepared to do journeys of less than a mile and at the same time complain that it took them 25 minutes because of the "ridiculous" congestion. "You can't move round here at school chucking out time!" Quite. My neighbour across the road is a teaching assistant, she drives her car to and from school every day. Distance via road, 700 metres, and approx 10 minutes in the school rush hour. Distance on foot 300 metres via a foot path, or 4-5 mins walk. Another guy I see drives his lazy wife less than 300 metres to the train station, then drives home again. Waaay too many of these lazy slobs around these days, it's those that are causing congestion... not pedestrians using crossings.

But I suspect that the real crux of your rant is that some pedestrians have the temerity to impede your progress for a few seconds with thoughts selfishly slanted towards their safety rather than towards your convenience.
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Old 10th Apr 2018, 13:07
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Originally Posted by Buster11 View Post
Are we pedestrians losing all traffic sense? Are we no longer able to assess a road situation and decide whether or not it’s safe to cross the road? Do we imagine that pressing a pedestrian crossing button makes it safer to cross the road than crossing it when there isn’t any traffic in sight?

One accepts that for the elderly, parents with children, or people with limited mobility pressing a button and waiting for the lights to go red may be the only way to get to the other side of the road. In some traffic conditions even the able-bodied may need to use the pelican lights to create a break in a steady stream of vehicles.

However, are people becoming so self-absorbed that they are incapable of understanding that pressing the button just before the final car in a stream has passed them doesn’t only waste that driver’s time? It also wastes their own, as that car will have to slow down and stop before they cross, taking longer to do that than simply to pass at the speed it was doing in the first place. That causes unnecessary pollution, too, as the car that stopped must then accelerate again, using more fuel and producing more exhaust emissions than it would at constant speed.

Just have a look next time you pass a pelican crossing; time and again you’ll see perfectly able-bodied people walk up to the button, press it and only then look to see if there’s any traffic coming. Then one of two things will happen. One is that they wait there till the beeper goes, after which they cross the road when the light turns red, thus needlessly stopping traffic that wasn’t in sight when they pressed the button, and wasting their own time meanwhile. The other slightly brighter spark spots that the road is clear, crosses safely and wanders off as the light goes red behind them and cars have to stop, building up a bit more congestion and adding to pollution while nobody crosses the empty crossing in front of them.

What is the actual aim of these people? Is their intention mindlessly to stop traffic at random or is it to cross the road safely? The safest time to do that is not when a traffic signal beeps, it’s when there’s no traffic coming. Whatever is happening to peoples’ situational awareness? Are they so incapable of making rational decisions based on what is happening around them that they need beepers to beep and little green men to illuminate before they’ll cross a road? What is even more worrying is that some of them may drive cars as well and they’re all allowed to vote!
This is probably my biggest bugbear when driving around towns in UK. There are far too many sets of pedestrian lights in our urban areas - to give an example there are 3 sets within 300m in the centre of a small town near me - Long Eaton, Derbyshire. Whatever happened to zebra crossings? They are becoming extinct probably at a faster rate than the animal after which it is named!

Pedestrians, as a consequence appear to have had bred out of them any notion of how to cross a road using what we older posters were taught as "kerb drill". The norm these days as a pedestrian is to walk up to a light controlled crossing, hit the button, then as the road is clear walk straight out. Obviously the crossing isn't intelligent and can't see that there is nobody waiting and goes red anyway, and as the OP said, this results in traffic stopping unnecessarily, creating additional pollution from vehicles. Why in heaven's name can't they stop at the crossing, assess the traffic flow, then either wait for a break in (often) light traffic then cross when it's clear OR press the button and WAIT.

I do practice what I preach, and rarely press the buttons, instead using my kerb drill and being patient, usually for no more than 30 seconds before crossing. When traffic is very busy, I press and wait for the green light.

I appreciate there is no point in making jay walking an offence, since there is neither the will nor the resources to enforce the laws we already have, let alone making new laws but perhaps a public campaign to encourage more considerate use of crossings by pedestrians wouldn't go amiss. by the same token, drivers need to understand that stopping at zebra crossings isn't somehow optional. If both these things were done then perhaps some of the needless sets of lights could be removed, and replaced by good old fashioned zebra crossings.

One other thing; when I was younger, and travelling abroad was less common there was an urban myth that only in Britain did we use zebra crossing properly, and those pesky foreigners across the channel didn't stop to let pedestrians over. Today the opposite is true; in most north European countries drivers fall over themselves to stop if there's a sniff of a pedestrian approaching, so clearly if the UK wasn't so risk averse a move back to zebras would be perfectly possible, and by and large safe.
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Old 10th Apr 2018, 13:25
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Slight thread drift, but as pollution was mentioned, I wonder how much additional CO2 will be created with the forthcoming London Marathon?

All that huffing and puffing by the runners will produce lots of the stuff.

Maybe they should be taxed?
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Old 10th Apr 2018, 13:40
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Slight thread drift, but as pollution was mentioned, I wonder how much additional CO2 will be created with the forthcoming London Marathon?

All that huffing and puffing by the runners will produce lots of the stuff.

Maybe they should be taxed?
Jesus wept.
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Old 10th Apr 2018, 13:41
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Originally Posted by Saintsman View Post
Slight thread drift, but as pollution was mentioned, I wonder how much additional CO2 will be created with the forthcoming London Marathon?

All that huffing and puffing by the runners will produce lots of the stuff.

Maybe they should be taxed?
Depends how many beans they've eaten before setting off. Methane emissions could rise to dangerous levels!!
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Old 10th Apr 2018, 13:44
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I read somewhere that four cyclists produce more Co2 than a small car would transporting them.
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Old 10th Apr 2018, 13:58
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Originally Posted by Fareastdriver View Post
I read somewhere that four cyclists produce more Co2 than a small car would transporting them.
"I read somewhere" is an all too typical JB preamble. It's sad that these things are trotted out too, because it's not even hard hard to research these things if you're unsure.
With everything taken into account, most reports agree that cycling is responsible for CO2 emissions of somewhere around 21g per km. An average car produces somewhere in the region of 271g.

So no, you'd need 13 cyclists deciding to jump in a single car to equal the CO2 effect. I know pedestrians and cyclists are the enemy of the car loving jetblast crowd, but come on... those seeking to get off their arses and use the car a bit less are not the bad guys here.
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Old 10th Apr 2018, 16:13
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"I read somewhere" is an all too typical JB preamble. It's sad that these things are trotted out too, because it's not even hard hard to research these things if you're unsure.
With everything taken into account, most reports agree that cycling is responsible for CO2 emissions of somewhere around 21g per km. An average car produces somewhere in the region of 271g.
No, it's not hard to research these things. I checked the UK government figures and they show that your calculations are well adrift!

The highest rate of vehicle tax is band M, at £535 per year, for vehicles producing over 255 g/km. The lowest taxable band i.e. Band B is £20, for vehicles producing 101-110 g/km.

Bearing in mind there are 13 bands in total, including band A for vehicles producing up to 100 g/km, I reckon the average, using government figures is probably band G, which is for vehicles producing 151-165 g/km.
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Old 10th Apr 2018, 17:16
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Originally Posted by ShyTorque View Post
No, it's not hard to research these things. I checked the UK government figures and they show that your calculations are well adrift!

The highest rate of vehicle tax is band M, at £535 per year, for vehicles producing over 255 g/km. The lowest taxable band i.e. Band B is £20, for vehicles producing 101-110 g/km.

Bearing in mind there are 13 bands in total, including band A for vehicles producing up to 100 g/km, I reckon the average, using government figures is probably band G, which is for vehicles producing 151-165 g/km.
The CO2 for which vehicles (and bikes, come to that) are responsible include the emissions produced during their manufacture as well as those while they are being driven.

For vehicles, each is typically about 50% of the overall total, so the Government figures are around half the true cost.
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Old 10th Apr 2018, 17:33
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
The CO2 for which vehicles (and bikes, come to that) are responsible include the emissions produced during their manufacture as well as those while they are being driven.
What about the emissions when the pedestrians are being manufactured?

(Can't believe I got in first with that one )
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Old 10th Apr 2018, 17:50
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You could always reduce Co2 by introducing Rent-a-Bike. I wonder how much Co2 was used to manufacture these.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...trys-arrogance
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Old 10th Apr 2018, 17:51
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
The CO2 for which vehicles (and bikes, come to that) are responsible include the emissions produced during their manufacture as well as those while they are being driven.

For vehicles, each is typically about 50% of the overall total, so the Government figures are around half the true cost.
Overall total of what?
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Old 10th Apr 2018, 18:09
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Originally Posted by Fareastdriver View Post
I read somewhere that four cyclists produce more Co2 than a small car would transporting them.
That's because they block the road cycling side-by-side and have a dozen cars crawling along behind them at 10mph as they try to find a safe place to pass.
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Old 10th Apr 2018, 18:29
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Has anyone said it's all the fault of Brexit yet?
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Old 10th Apr 2018, 18:45
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Originally Posted by ShyTorque View Post
Overall total of what?
Total of CO2 produced during manufacture + CO2 produced during use.
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