December 15, 2010

Short Walk Signal Results in Death on the Crosswalk

Interesting optimization problem. Utilitarianism at its highest.

Translation: 男子在斑马线处被撞身亡 协管员称绿灯时间太短 from

Yesterday morning at the intersection of East Jiangbin Avenue and Kuaian Street in Fuzhou (福州), a SUV ran over a pedestrian while he was still traversing the crosswalk. The man died instantly. One traffic warden told the reporter that the zebra crossing spans 8 traffic lanes and requires 65 humans steps to cross. The green walk signal, however, only lasts about 13 seconds, enough for 30 steps.

Right now, all that remains to show an accident had occurred was a leather shoe and blood stains on the opposite sidewalk. "The collision happened on this crosswalk, but the man's body landed on the crosswalk on the opposite side." Weng Yibo believes that the man came from Kuaian Street and was crossing Jiangbin Avenue before the SUV hit him.

The police have not been able to identify the deceased person due to lack of personal identification documents.

Jiang Bin Avenue has 8 traffic lanes. Six are fast lanes, and the other two spares.

"The pedestrian signal is too short, only allowing people to cross half of the road." According to one traffic warden, adults walking under normal speed need 65 steps to go from one side of the road to the other. But due to limited time, they must take 30 steps and then jog the rest of the way to the median divider, where they wait for the next walk signal.

Chief Chen of Mawei District's police patrol team said that they have already gone through several rounds of discussion concerning the walk signal. Vehicle traffic volume exceeds pedestrian traffic volume, and a longer signal can lead to traffic jams on Jiangbin Avenue.

The case is still being processed.

2010-12-12 14:54:59 Beijing Cellphone User

The main reason is that you can't tax pedestrians. So of course pedestrians get little time.

2010-12-12 15:27:27 Beijing 大虎

In other countries, cars are required to stop for pedestrians on the crosswalk.

2010-12-12 14:52:24 Suzhou, Jiangsu Cellphone User

I suspect that SUV driver was intentional. The collision happened at high velocity, not when he was accelerating from a stop. I don't think he slowed down at all!

2010-12-12 14:34:38 Hebei Cellphone User

I recall similar experiences. Bicyclist and pedestrians have no rights anymore....

2010-12-12 16:23:42 Suzhou, Jiangsu Cellphone User

Yea, all you think about is traffic jams, never people who must walk. A man has to die to catch your attention.

2010-12-12 18:09:53 Shanghai squll2001

For the sake of common people's safety, China should convert zebra crossings to bridges.

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