Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Diagacross: Pedestrian signals in Edinburgh.

I don't have a single favorite thing about Edinburgh. Anyone who knows me knows that I have a lot of favorite -- or shall I say favourite -- things about the city. But a strong contender is the diagacross™.

I've officially trademarked the term because a google search yields nothing. (We all know that you can legally trademark something by just being the first to type "™" in your blog, ha ha.)

Ah, one of my favorite places in Edinburgh. Check out my dreamy
husband just casually waiting for me in front of that van.
At most traffic junctions in town, there is not just a small interval of time in which a little green man* flashes and signals the pedestrian right-of-way to cross from two of the corners. There is actually an entire segment of time where all the cars are stopped! This means every single pedestrian can cross at the same time ... it also means you can cross diagonally during one signal.

Meanwhile in Louisville, the little white man* doesn't even appear in my neighborhood unless you actually arrive on foot in time to push the button. This means you often wait through an entire cycle before getting the little sign that it's your turn to cross. Grrrrr! Me and my whining about pedestrian troubles in this city.

Anyway, just daydreaming about diagacrossing this afternoon.

*Can I also whinge about why our signal is a "white man" not a "green man"? I'm trying to teach my kiddo to say "little man" rather than screaming "WHITE MAN!" when it's finally our turn to cross. It's not really a thing you want your toddler just shouting.

EDITED TO ADD:  This comment from a wicked-smart friend of mine from college ... we'll call him "Garret." FYI, my favorite name for it is the "Barnes Dance" named after the traffic engineer who is credited with helping it gain widespread adoption. They added one at a busy intersection on my route to a former job -- it was awesome. Sad that it started in the US and Canada but has fallen out of favor because of our love of cars and corresponding prioritization of them.  

The things I learn from this blog and my friends!

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