Last night the Bicycling Pedestrian Advisory Commission spent time on (gasp!) pedestrian issues. It seems — and the traffic control device manual confirms it — that those really nice countdown traffic lights are a frustration for pedestrians, because even if it says 16 seconds and you can make it in 8, if you deign to step into that street once the hand is flashing — and it *shall* (not should) be flashing whenever the numbers are showing — then you can get a ticket and even be cited for a “moving violation.” Apparently one of the University’s public safety officers makes a point of emphasizing this rule and that he proudly gives tickets for it.
Yesterday at Church & Prospect I’d noticed that it seemed the five-second delay between getting to zero on the countdown adn yellow wasn’t there, and today it mattered. Remembering that, I slowed a tad so that I was just before the intersection at zero and yes, it went to yellow, and I could stop easily. I’d thought this was a standardization effort, but I’m not sure, because it seemed an awfully fast jump from when the perpendicular countdown said “ten” and I got green… could be everything is simply five seconds out of synch. I’ll check tomorrow and call it in if it’s bonkers.