How Many Seconds Do I Need to Cross the Street?

IMG_6522, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

My trigger finger was a bit too slow but the red hand actually started flashing at 21 seconds. 21 seconds! This is crossing New Hampshire avenue at Shepherd. We’re not talking about the Cours Mirabeau here. It certainly doesn’t take 21 seconds to finish crossing, so cut me some slack show me the walking guy for ten more seconds. Yeah?

11 Comment

  • what’s the cours mirabeau?

  • Prince Of Petworth

    A grand promenade in Aix en Provence, France that probably does take more than 21 seconds to cross…

  • I personally think the hand and walking guy are a bit played out, the’ve essentially got a blank canvass to work with all those little bulbs, the city should exploit it. I’m thinking happy walking guy (>35 sec) followed by a pissed off taxi (>15 sec) and finishing with a not so happy walking guy being struck by oncoming traffic (perhaps pissed of taxi guy) at around (

  • Don’t believe it. Even those 21 precious seconds are suspect… Many of those counting stop-lights are INSANE. They may go from something like 27 to 3 in one move. Irving/13th does that, as do several more in the neighborhood. …..that is, the ones that aren’t tilted so far off you can’t see the damned things.

    there. rant concludes.

  • They’re great, especially when you’re driving. You get a countdown till the yellow light, so you know when to punch it.

  • PoP, just observe: some of thugs and dudes that think they are the coolest thing on earth can easily take a minute crossing a street.

  • The federal government is in the process of changing the suggested times for street crossing. Currently it is something like 4 feet per second and is going to be reduced to 3.5. I still think it should be more (think about kids and old people), but at least they are thinking about it. If you’ve ever worked with traffic engineers, they are scared shi+less to do anything that doesn’t meet federal guidelines…

  • With all the fat asses being hauled around (although, I guess they are not walking anywhere), I too think it might be better to actually increase the time.. 😀 In general, everything that favors pedestrians should be promoted (not saying case by case consideration is not important). Take for example the M St renovations in Georgetown a couple of years back: it is unbelievable to me that the opportunity was not taken to widen the sidewalks (even at the expense of loosing some of the parking spots)! Off topic but..

  • The countdown at the intersection of Florida and CT on the Southbound side is divided into two crossing areas. For the larger one you get about 10 seconds total and the small one 55 seconds – huh?

    But, my favorite is Dupont Circle where you get to cross halfway onto a very small median and wait while traffic whizzes by for about a minute before you can cross the rest.

    No wonder there are so many peds hit.

  • I walk, a lot. I ride the bus, so I have to walk house to stop to office, and… you get the idea.

    I also have arthritis. I’m mobile, but it slows me some. I’m not as slow as some older folks though. And I have a HECK of a time crossing NH at Georgia. I also have trouble getting across Georgia at Quincy.

    Of course none of that beats when I was in grad school at AU, and the light to cross Massachusetts Ave at the main gate of the university gave us 12 seconds. That’s the worst.

  • MKing: the number of seconds has to do with how long the green light is, not how long it takes to cross the street.

    At the intersection of 16th and Irving there’s one of these that starts out flashing the red hand, there’s no actual walk signal. How crazy is that?

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