The Problem With Signalized Intersections

This video demonstrates in startling fashion the design and safety problems of signalized four-way intersections (not to mention large pickup trucks).

(via The Huffington Post)

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 14th, 2009 at 5:56 am and is filed under Traffic Engineering. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

10 Responses to “The Problem With Signalized Intersections”

  1. ksarge Says:

    And the alternative is what? Enforcement of red light violations.

  2. Jack Says:

    It’s amazing to watch how quickly a disaster is created by a brief moment of driver’s irresponsibility. Imagine the catastrophe if a family was crossing with the green walk sign.

    Using roundabouts would be better IMO but we now have a serious problem with that simple solution. Around our country we have built most of our signalized intersections for large multiple lane roads. It is nearly impossible to use roundabouts when a six lane road meets another six lane road… even worse when it’s multiple eight lane roads.

  3. spiderleggreen Says:

    jack~ that’s why we shrink the roads with segregated bicycle lanes and increased pedestrian space.

  4. chrismealy Says:

    I’m sure the traffic engineer in that town would say the intersection is perfectly safe because it’s up to code and there’s only been one accident there in the last two years.

  5. scott Says:

    It looks like the problem isn’t necessarily with signalized intersections, but with drivers who are too selfish to stop for red lights.

  6. DE Says:

    You’re all missing the point. Enforcement problems assume the problem is that this guy intentionally blew the light, which doesn’t seem likely given good sight lines and zero braking even when it was clear that other cars were in the way. For all we know, the driver of the truck had a heart attack; even if it was inattention or drunkenness, that isn’t going to be meaningfully stopped by more enforcement. The trouble with signalized intersections is that the cars with the green proceed without looking. It is the presumption of right of way = safe to go that is the problem.

  7. Brigham Says:

    Keep an eye on the chap waiting to turn right. Do you think he wants to avoid the cops?

  8. Jeroen van Wilgenburg Says:

    The guy in the truck didn’t even look right, you must be blind to miss the accelerating cars and I think he didn’t use his brake at all. Otherwise you would’ve seen the nose of the truck go down.
    I don’t think there is a problem with this intersection, just the driver (who probably crashed into a car when he was doing this trick on a roundabout)

  9. Ryan Says:

    Man… the driver of the white car that caught on fire sure vacated that vehicle in a hurry.

  10. aec_avid Says:

    Roundabouts are a safer choice for many intersecting roads. Read more:

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