Changes to Taipei pedestrian crossing lights

Apparently they’re changing the pedestrian crossing lights in Taipei. Here’s the new proposal: … tw01%2ehtm


Rant deleted, I thought it was good news. I should have known better, smack my legs.


Is this what you’re trying to link to?

Thanks Cranky. That link worked last night, but not today. :slight_smile:


I was going to start a thread on this long ago…
What could possibly be the advantage to pedestrians of having a LED countdown display on the walk/don’t walk signs?
A Chinese friend of mine explained it this way: “Oh, this is just a perfect example of a program specifically put in place so that money can be skimmed. Large volume items of indeterminate price with no oversight – whose relatives make these devices? How many are skimming off the total budget? Who could possibly be tracking how many there are and what is being paid for them?”
Seriously, the little man is red, you don’t walk. When he is green, you walk. What in God’s name is the purpose of a countdown? This is as asinine as the expenditure (of my tax dollars) on street signs in Taipei for avenues and boulevards, which no one uses.
What next? Rhinestone in the center stripes? Braille stop signs?

I was kind of wondering about the (orders of magnitude larger) expenditure of my tax dollars on building new sidewalks which pedestrians can’t use because they are used as parking areas for scooters.
Isn’t the countdown supposed to give the pedestrian a fair idea of whether he or she will make it to the other side of the road before selfish motorists begin to try to kill them?

The old system of red-man flashing when time is almost up was sufficient that I hardly ever had the chance to plow over a pedestrian. :smiling_imp:

These are new? I’ve been seeing them around for at least the past year. On some intersections I like them, such as the one on Minchuan and Fushing. That’s a wide intersection and can take you some time to get across. It’s good to know how much time you have remaining. I’m sure old people appreciate it.

That said I agree it’s a waste of money in a city that is lacking in so many other ammenities.

they are slightly better than the old ones which took 60 seconds to cross, but only gave you 5 seconds warning that they were going to change to red. Of course, noone could see anything wrong with that. Now you still have the problem that. They still give cars the green light at the same time as pedestrians ? Who’s ass-hat idea was that ? Sometimes the only way to cross as a pedestrian crossing is to wait for a policeman and ask them to help you, even then they either ignore you, or laugh at you. Corrupt Liars. Again, everyone thinks that’s perfectly ok.
Jay-walking is usually safer because you only have traffic coming from one direction, instead of 4 at a pedestrian crossing.

Yes, I have been hit several times on a pedestrian crossing. All I get is “mei you guanxi”

Who cares about pedestrians. They’re fantastic for scooter riders. If I’m riding along and I want to make a left-hand turn at some point, but don’t want to have to wait in the box for ages, the countdown lets me know if I’ve got time to make it another block or not. It also lets me know how long until I’ve got a green light, so I can be ready to be the first one away without having to watch the opposite light all the time. Fantastic idea, those lights, if you ask me.


No-one in Taiwan, that’s obvious.

I thought they were meant for scooters. The countdown signals save me a great deal of red lights. I look at them from a distance and speed up if necessary. I can get off the starting line without delay. Countdown signals are almost like drag racing lights.

They are for cyclists, or they should be. Help you pace your pedalling - you know when you have to hurry to reach the lights in time, when there’s no point because you ain’t gonna make it; they provide warning in some instances to get up on the pavement. When dumb lights are red, my natural response is to jump them. Smart lights allow a more nuanced response.
I can think of very few (off the top of my head, no) urban improvements that have had as positive an impact on my life getting round the city.

Actually, I think the pedestrian countdowns are fairly useful, especially for older people.

The thing I’m still perplexed over is the new countdown lights in Tainan(and please… if anyone can help me out…). At a few lights they have the same countdown lights, but for cars, counting down to the green light. It is seriously like a dragrace: you’re sitting at a red light, and next to it is a big timer… 3… 2… 1… Green light.

I still cannot fathom one advantage to having those, except giving the kids down there in their race cars more of a feeling of being in a race, which can’t be good in the middle of a congested city. Any help…?

My favourites are the one at the Kuangfu/Jilong junction and another on Roosevelt Rd at Tapingling – they just miss out the last 15 seconds altogether, so you get 18-17-16-15-RED MAN! Its so funny! Sometimes its 25 seconds, sometimes its 10, sometimes it goes all the way in normal fashion. Never a dull moment.

I love those ones too…Or the ones at some intersection that don’t start flashing until it gets down to 4 seconds. To cross a three lane road…with two large medians…that are used as parks. I like the animated green guy who turns red. I explained to my mother who also got a kick out of these signs when she visited, that it was like a little allegory…

Once upon a time, there was a little green man walking across the street. He had 60…59…58…seconds to cross the street so he strutted along leisurely…soon it got down to the last 7 seconds and he began running, but alas, he wasn’t fast enough and became flattened out into Taiwanese road pizza.

It takes three seconds from the red guy to the light turning red so there’s an extra three seconds to get across. I had a theory back home that if you could count to seven before a vehicle crossed your path, then you had enough time to cross a typical road. I guess this must have some basis in reality since most functional lights start flashing at the seven seconds count.
The countdown at Chunghsiao Dunhua station is useful to me. If there is at least 90 seconds on the other intersection signal, I have enough time to stop into the convenience store there, get a drink, pay for it and cross at my own intersection in time to catch a bus to work. But surely this isn’t new. I’ve seen this countdown since I got here almost two years ago.

When you see that, you’ll also see a cop with the grey box open manually overriding the lights. I’d assume he would check if there was any pedestrians still crossing before he ended the pedestian countdown and moved the traffic again … but then again :unamused:

Sometimes, but not always, on the Jilong/Guangfu one. Never at the Tapinglin one. And its when there are pedestrians crossing that it funniest of all, because then you get your two basic types – the brazens, who are crossing the road so stay out of my way dammit, and the deer-in-the-headlights, should I stay or should I go types who dart back and forth in the middle of the crossing as the cars and bikes rev up to mow them down.

The countdown is good for old people? What are you going on about? You mean feeble 99-year-olds with walkers?
Refresh my memory, were there stories like these in the papers before:
“Elderly pedestrians are being killed by the dozens each month because they can’t get across the street in time for the light.”
“Elderly pedestrains are dying by the dozens of starvation after standing on corners, afraid to try to start across the street for fear of not making it.”
Give me a break.

Life is hard, then you can’t make it across the street.

I cross Dunhua South Road to work everyday. I noticed that first they had the countdowns which were a nice touch. then some were removed, then some “came back” then finally none are to be seen. (yah bad grammar)

As for those scooters, and I see some of you are also, if anyone comes to close to me, cuts me off too much, i swear i will clothesline you or shove you off your little 2-stroke piece of crap. then i’m walking over to stomp you on your face. luckily i will be able to make a quick getaway b4 the cops come (not that i seen many).

…it’s too bad i can’t ride a bike here (well, won’t because of lack of traffic safety and too much pollution).