[Improve the Daily Life] Timing of Traffic Lights

Today I'm starting a new column Improve the Daily Life in this blog. This column is a repository of my ideas for improving our mundane life.

As a resident in a metropolitan, I walk and ride public transportation far oftener than using private car. I often find the traffic lights in the city are very badly timed for pedestrians.

There is a street in the city,  about 20 metres wide. But the green light for pedestrians lasts often only about 3 seconds. None of us is Usian Bolt. Pedestrians have learnt to disregard that traffic light.

Many green lights last long enough for people who can walk fast, but challengingly short for senior people. In Germany there are a lot of senior people.

Sometimes there is bad weather. Heavy rain, strong wind, or extremely cold or hot. Under such circumstances, pedestrians should be granted more and longer green lights.

I heard that in some cities, there is optimization of timing of traffic lights such as "green waves" for vehicles. But the cities are considering too little for the pedestrians.

Here in Europe, there is actually promotion for a lifestyle that is less dependent on private cars. Walking, biking and using public transportation is largely encouraged. In order to make the promotion more effective, we should do something to make "walking in the city" more convenient for more people. A more intelligent timing system for the traffic lights - granting pedestrians' needs higher priority over vehicles, granting public transportation higher priority over private cars - should be part of the programme.

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