I've seen these in other cities and they are great. Looks like Columbus is catching up to the curve .... or is that "curb"?Crossing street now timed exercise Four intersections trying out signals that count down to ‘don’t walk’
Saturday, November 18, 2006
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Columbus city officials are trying an experiment to see whether we can walk fast and count at the same time. New crosswalk signals that flash a countdown, alerting pedestrians to how many seconds are left before the traffic signal changes, are being installed at four locations in the city. It’s beat-the-clock, but it’s no game. Columbus ranks as the sixth-most perilous big city for pedestrians. The "Mean Streets 2004" study by the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership said nearly one of every 100,000 central Ohioans died crossing streets.
City officials think the countdown signs will help. "There seems to be a lot of confusion on the part of pedestrians with the traditional signs," said Mary Carran Webster, assistant public service director. When the flashing red hand appears, some are tempted to make a dash, though they shouldn’t start to cross at that point. Others, already in the crosswalk, get flustered and double back. With the new signals, the flashing sign also will count down how many seconds until the solid red hand appears and cross traffic gets the green light.
Full story at http://dispatch.com/news-story.php?story=dispatch/2006/11/18/20061118-B6-00.html