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Old 07.12.2011, 14:57
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Pedestrian Crossings...

I know this has probably been discussed many times, but it seems this subject may be getting a little more air time at the moment, so would be keen to hear the points of view.

Over the past week/s quite a few accidents have occoured involving pedestrians and cars at pedestrian crossings. I'm sure most have read this in recent newspapers/publications.

It seems that now this could all come to a head (my guess), I.e. that authorities feel they now have to do something about it (knee-jerk reaction). Or are trying to figure out what to do.

What scared me was that supposedly there was an initiative to reduce the speed limit within city limits to 30 km/h... Good grief...

My personal point of view is that there are far too many crossings and that quite a few are placed in potentially dangerous locations, with little logical sense behind them. A fact seemingly confirmed by the TCS (read it in Blick, so I don't know how reliable this is...), who had a look at 100 pedestrian crossings and found that 55 of them where deficient or severely deficient (exactly what that means, I don't know).

On the other hand, I cant lay all the blame on pedestrians and the crossings, as I have also witnessed quite a few pretty aggressive drivers.

So what is the solution?
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Old 07.12.2011, 15:09
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings...

a major problem is people wearing dark clothing and walking straight out onto the crossing rather than waiting to see if the car is going to stop.

the " im in the right" attitude isnt going to help much when you are lying in hospital with broken legs or arms.
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Old 07.12.2011, 15:12
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings...

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a major problem is people wearing dark clothing and walking straight out onto the crossing rather than waiting to see if the car is going to stop.
True, I find this particularly dangerous when this takes place at night, while raining (i find the road markings very difficult to see at night when its raining...).
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Old 07.12.2011, 15:15
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings...

There are some crossings in strange places around here, eg just after a bend or a bus stop. I've been on a bus once or twice which has stopped and a car has overtaken the bus whilst someone is crossing the road.

I always thought drivers in Switzerland stopped at crossings even if someone just looked as if they might be thinking about crossing the road. Seems I was wrong. Pedestrians and drivers alike need to be more cautious and better educated.
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Old 07.12.2011, 15:41
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings...

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There are some crossings in strange places around here, eg just after a bend or a bus stop. I've been on a bus once or twice which has stopped and a car has overtaken the bus whilst someone is crossing the road.
Where else would you make a crossing if not by a bus stop? Surely a bus stop is almost by definition a place that people walk to from their houses and if there isn't a crossing for them to use they're going to cross without one which is even more dangerous.
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Old 07.12.2011, 15:45
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings...

pedestrian crossings are my pet hate here. I know if something happens as a car driver I'll be in big trouble but they're set up is totally rubbish.

I've got around 20 pedestrian crossings on my way home and over half of them are on or after bends or corners.

The signs I find aren't very clear as well. They're dark blue which doesn't attract my attention immediately, especially if they're set up on the farside of the pavement which they often are. Somethimes they're even covered by trees.

The signs also aren't in the same position. Sometimes they're on the right, sometimes on the left and sometimes in the middle. Sometimes there's a mixture of them. This makes it harder for a driver to see them. Especially as they're often not positioned right at the edge of the road

I find the clolour not very wisely choosen either. In a nice sunny day you clearly see them but now when it's dark and raining it's not very clever to have an orange light showing orange markings. Especially when it's raining the water just reflects the light so that everything is orange.

I hope something gets done about them. Personally I feel cats eyes (the reflectors, not actual eyes) are under used here. Having a couple of them accross the width of the street will make them clearly seen from a distance in the typical dark wet weather in which these accidents often happen.

I was reading last month that to upgrade it costs around 50K per crossing and it's the job of the villages to do this. They have so far refused to spend so much money on this.

In the end though even though drivers may often be at fault, the pedestrians always have their lifes in their hands. They should only walk out when it is clear the car will stop in time. If they did there wouldn't be any accidents. Kids I see along the way often wait till my car comes to a complete stand still and thats the way it should be
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Old 07.12.2011, 15:47
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings...

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Where else would you make a crossing if not by a bus stop? Surely a bus stop is almost by definition a place that people walk to from their houses and if there isn't a crossing for them to use they're going to cross without one which is even more dangerous.
I guess the better option would be if the pedestrian crossing was in the middle of the bus stop? Then, pedestrians would be forced to wait until the bus has left and then only cross (as you then have an unhindered view either way). No?

Although as an add-on, I don't know how the road markings would work in this regard, as it could be a bit of a mess.
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Old 07.12.2011, 15:49
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings...

Also just after roundabouts. When there is a pedestrian you have to stop and if the car that waits to get on the roundabout just after you does not see that you are stoped...
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Old 07.12.2011, 15:54
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings...

I agree, there are far too many pedestrian crossings, sometimes only a few hundred metres away from each other. The ones in the rotaries are the best Not only is it dangerous, but on my way to work and back home it leads to traffic jams, which is really annoying. Somebody crosses the street, everybody stops, somebody else crosses the street 200m further, and then another 200m further and the comes the school crossing guard another 200m further.
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Old 07.12.2011, 15:55
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings...

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Also just after roundabouts. When there is a pedestrian you have to stop and if the car that waits to get on the roundabout just after you does not see that you are stoped...
Good point. I don't know if anyone drives through the newly revamped Triemli "round about" on Birmensdorferstrasse, but this has turned into a giant mess, especially when traffic is heavy.
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Old 07.12.2011, 16:09
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings...

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I guess the better option would be if the pedestrian crossing was in the middle of the bus stop? Then, pedestrians would be forced to wait until the bus has left and then only cross (as you then have an unhindered view either way). No?

Although as an add-on, I don't know how the road markings would work in this regard, as it could be a bit of a mess.
If it would make people miss their bus they wouldn't use it (unless I've maybe misunderstood what you're saying). Most bus stop crossing that I can think of are actually staggered though, so the bus stops on either side are not directly opposite one-another but staggered and the zebra crossing is between the two so that for both directions the crossing is behind the bus and the bus doesn't obscure oncoming traffic (with the added advantage that nobody attempts to cross in front of a bus that's about to leave). Many of the stops along Hohlstrasse are set up that way, for example. From what I've understood though it's the older bus stops such as from the 1980s and earlier that are the problem with the crossing being in front of the bus, and it's the cantonal authorities that are dragging their feet when it comes to changing them (which is why the ones that are in the city's own juristriction and off major roads where they don't have to ask the Canton's permission are mostly more modern and better designed).
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Old 07.12.2011, 16:15
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings...

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If it would make people miss their bus they wouldn't use it (unless I've maybe misunderstood what you're saying). Most bus stop crossing that I can think of are actually staggered though, so the bus stops on either side are not directly opposite one-another but staggered and the zebra crossing is between the two so that for both directions the crossing is behind the bus and the bus doesn't obscure oncoming traffic (with the added advantage that nobody attempts to cross in front of a bus that's about to leave). Many of the stops along Hohlstrasse are set up that way, for example. From what I've understood though it's the older bus stops such as from the 1980s and earlier that are the problem with the crossing being in front of the bus, and it's the cantonal authorities that are dragging their feet when it comes to changing them (which is why the ones that are in the city's own juristriction and off major roads where they don't have to ask the Canton's permission are mostly more modern and better designed).
True. I have also seen the newer stops (when not staggered), and on those they now have either a solid line or small island in the middle to stop cars overtaking. Makes sense.
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Old 07.12.2011, 16:56
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings...

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Where else would you make a crossing if not by a bus stop? Surely a bus stop is almost by definition a place that people walk to from their houses and if there isn't a crossing for them to use they're going to cross without one which is even more dangerous.
They would be better if they were positioned behind the bus while it is stopped. The ones I am talking about are in front of the bus, so cars behind the bus can't see people who have just got off the bus on the pavement, and overtake as people start to cross.
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Old 07.12.2011, 17:34
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings...

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........

The signs I find aren't very clear as well. They're dark blue which doesn't attract my attention immediately, especially if they're set up on the farside of the pavement which they often are. Somethimes they're even covered by trees.

The signs also aren't in the same position. Sometimes they're on the right, sometimes on the left and sometimes in the middle. Sometimes there's a mixture of them. This makes it harder for a driver to see them. Especially as they're often not positioned right at the edge of the road

I find the clolour not very wisely choosen either. In a nice sunny day you clearly see them but now when it's dark and raining it's not very clever to have an orange light showing orange markings. Especially when it's raining the water just reflects the light so that everything is orange.
.......
I concur that the zones are especially hard to see in bad light/bad weather. It would be enormously helpful if somehow the signage could be adapted to have some sort of flashers. They would not even need to operate at all times, but could be activated with a button by the pedestrian wishing to cross, like the crossing signals at traffic lights.
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Old 07.12.2011, 17:39
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings...

Belisha Beacons and a white light would help, a bit like Britain has had for years.
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Old 07.12.2011, 19:45
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings...

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In the end though even though drivers may often be at fault, the pedestrians always have their lifes in their hands. They should only walk out when it is clear the car will stop in time. If they did there wouldn't be any accidents.
But how on earth is a pedestrian supposed to know when a car will stop in time? I saw the car coming very slowly; I thought the driver had seen me. They hadn't.
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Kids I see along the way often wait till my car comes to a complete stand still and thats the way it should be
...and I assure you that the drivers just LOVE me now when, being 'once hitten(sic) twice shy', I wait until they stop completely. "Any fool could tell that I've seen that idiotic pedestrian and am slowing down to let her cross".
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Old 07.12.2011, 20:00
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings...

I always flash the headlights to let the pedestrian know i've seen them. That way even when i am a bit far they can b sure and start crossing.

On a funny note, once an old woman was standing at the start of yellow lines to perhaps cross. The lady in front of me stopped to let her pass. This old woman instead started to walk towards the car and tried to open the rear door. Imagine the shock ...turns out she was waiting for someone to pick her up at that yellow line and when this woman stopped the old lady thought it was her pickup.
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Old 07.12.2011, 20:42
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings...

A very apt thread. I have a theory about the drivers in Basel, and probably every other Swiss village like this with under 200,000 people :-).

They drive, without thinking, following the traffic rules. This works in most circumstances. But when something out of the ordinary happens, they get confused. It's been very dry for ages but last night and tonight it's been pissing down during the evening rush hour. This evening I saw four ambulances (usually I see none) while cycling home. One was wrecked having rammed, or been rammed by, a car at a junction. Someone was directing traffic around the smash. Two cars crashed into each other, both doing some crazy u-turn to avoid the accident. Later, a cyclist skidded over on a tram track (got up, seemed OK) and I cycled past a young woman who had fallen over in the middle of the road, slipped whlst crossing (two people had run over to help her up). I slowed to make sure she was OK, a car going the oppposite way stopped to check, and the car behind that one braked hard, swerved and ABS'd to a stop, but managed to miss everyone.

A few cyclists had no lights, and most pedestrians were wearing all black and crossed roads (at crossings) by nonchalantly sliding up to them sideways, in full camouflage, before strolling out in front of moving traffic. In a sort of "hit me if you dare" game. "But I was right!" epitaphs will be a big seller.

Crazy evening.
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Old 07.12.2011, 21:06
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings...

Round by our place there is a woeful disregard for pedestrian crossings to the point where my son's school has urged parents of the younger kids not to allow them to walk to school unaccompanied.

There are idiots that park on the PAVEMENT blocking access to a pedestrian crossing, there are other idiots that stop right behind a tram which means they are basically straddling the pedestrian crossing immediately behind the tram.

My personal favourite (?) are drivers who seem to have no respect for the rules of the road by overtaking a waiting tram on the wrong side of the road which involves them driving over a crossing from the opposite direction a pedestrian would expect them (my husband almost got squished earlier this week by one of these drivers).

I am considering compiling a series of photos and video footage of such stuff because it's only a matter of time before there's a serious incident.

The police would make a fortune (probably enough to cover the cost of their Christmas bash with change for a kebab on the way home) if they came out in force and started issuing fines.
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Old 08.12.2011, 08:40
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings...

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A very apt thread. I have a theory about the drivers in Basel, and probably every other Swiss village like this with under 200,000 people :-).

They drive, without thinking, following the traffic rules. This works in most circumstances. But when something out of the ordinary happens, they get confused. It's been very dry for ages but last night and tonight it's been pissing down during the evening rush hour. This evening I saw four ambulances (usually I see none) while cycling home. One was wrecked having rammed, or been rammed by, a car at a junction. Someone was directing traffic around the smash. Two cars crashed into each other, both doing some crazy u-turn to avoid the accident. Later, a cyclist skidded over on a tram track (got up, seemed OK) and I cycled past a young woman who had fallen over in the middle of the road, slipped whlst crossing (two people had run over to help her up). I slowed to make sure she was OK, a car going the oppposite way stopped to check, and the car behind that one braked hard, swerved and ABS'd to a stop, but managed to miss everyone.

A few cyclists had no lights, and most pedestrians were wearing all black and crossed roads (at crossings) by nonchalantly sliding up to them sideways, in full camouflage, before strolling out in front of moving traffic. In a sort of "hit me if you dare" game. "But I was right!" epitaphs will be a big seller.

Crazy evening.
I had similar experiences over the last 2 evenings commute home. I drive from Küsnacht to Uitikon-Waldegg.

Rain coupled with darkness, dark clothes and a healthy disregard for one's own personal safety seem to work well together in creating these situations. Amazing how people seem to feel safe in the theory, but forget that physics will ultimately win.

In the end, I would personally prefer to be un-injured and maybe a few seconds later, than be injured or worse saying "i was allowed to cross, he should have stopped". Survival instinct should be the ultimate factor.
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