At Advanced Drivers of North America [ADoNA], we attend important road safety conferences in various countries to help keep ourselves as well-informed as possible regarding the latest research and developments in this complex, rapidly-changing field.
Even for the countries with the world’s safest roads, such as long-term, global leaders Sweden and Britain, the Vision Zero goal of having absolutely no deaths each year is a massive challenge, but — as the old saying goes — narrowly missing a difficult target is far better than achieving an easy one.
Back in 2004, it was reported in U.S. national media that the “push-to-cross” buttons at most of New York City’s crosswalks were disconnected to prevent pedestrians from interrupting traffic flow, and it has just been revealed that now, in 2018, an even greater proportion of the City’s crosswalks have non-functional buttons.
The stated purpose of delaying pedestrians in this manner is to keep vehicles moving and reduce traffic jams. This may be all well and good when traffic is busy but this approach, when used around the clock, inevitably will annoy pedestrians.