I am quoted in this article on KARE11 about the FHWA adjusting crosswalk waking speeds from 4.0 ft/s to 3.5 ft/s in 2009:
Reuben Collins is a traffic engineer behind Streets.mn – a blog dedicated to safer transportation – and says the best solution hasn’t been implemented.
“When you think so many households have video-game consoles that can detect pedestrians and pedestrian movements in our own living rooms, we should have this technology in traffic signals,” said Collins.
He says it’s possible for signals to sense when someone is in the intersection, but why sensors aren’t used, Collins believes, goes back to a culture centered around wheels more than walking.
“I am not sure all the agencies out there will have the resources to necessarily comply with this. This is not new guidance. It’s been on the books for several years and agencies are just now starting the process,” said Collins.
Some additional context for the quote that didn’t make the article is that there are a lot of reasons why Crosswalk Occupancy Detection hasn’t been widely deployed. Culture is one. Cost, reliability, and a lack of local experience with the technology are other reasons.