Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Is this crossing dangerous?

The new pelican crossing at the bottom of North Street is very usefully sited but open to dire misinterpretation by an unthinking pedestrian. The green light seen in the photo is not intended for pedestrians but for emerging East Street traffic.

A pedestrian coming from East Street sees  the self-same green light just where he is aiming to get to, so with his eye on this and mind elsewhere, he is tempted to just keep walking even though the pedestrian "stop-go" indicator mounted on the near post (the middle yellow box) will still be showing red.

It is true that the pedestrian has a clear view of traffic approaching from the left but this is not the case for traffic from the right which, because of the built-out kerb and the bend in the road, is approaching from behind the pedestrian's right shoulder. Buses clip this bend very closely and one incautious step could spell disaster.

Even those cautious types who pause at the kerb will be confused if they have approached the crossing from East Street.  With the light showing across the road, be it red or green, there is no visual incentive to seek a signal elsewhere and when standing at the kerb the pedestrian signal is behind one's right shoulder. Even glancing right towards Castle Square it is easily missed.

I know I am not the first person to mention this. I hope the Council's Traffic Control Department aren't waiting for us to be proved right.

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