Some drivers won't like New West's signal changes. That's just too bad

The City of New Westminster is set to make some much-needed changes to help some pedestrians get across the street.

The big question is how crazy will this make those New West drivers who are not known for their patience.

A number of pedestrian signals in the city have been modified with longer pedestrian clearance intervals.

A city report noted the general practice has been to use pedestrian walking speed of 1.2 metres per second. The report states a review of current North American best practice indicates a walking speed of 1.0 metres per second is now preferred, and suggested the walking speed should be reduced to 0.9 metres per second or slower near destinations likely to attract slower-moving pedestrians such as children, seniors and people with disabilities.

According to the report, the review also determined that pedestrian clearance intervals should be completely contained within the green phase and should not rely on the subsequent amber or all-red phase for pedestrians to complete their crossing.

The changes are a good idea to allow people with mobility issues to have more time to cross the street.

But many drivers are angry and impatient – behaviour which sometimes (often?) leads to accidents. It might not seem like a lot of extra time for a driver to wait, but to some it will feel like forever – raising their blood pressure even higher.

Well, tough luck. This is how it is and drivers need to calm down and just wait. Yeah, I know, you’re rushing home so you can do something really important, like watch TV or go on Facebook.

That crucial part of your life can survive being a few seconds later.

Just chill, Winston.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.


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