How do pedestrian countdown signals work?
Most people think the "flashing hand" means it's time to run, or turn back to the sidewalk from the middle of the street, rather than understand the intended meaning is to not start crossing when the hand begins to flash. Countdown signals tell pedestrians the number of seconds that are left to cross the street before the traffic signal changes.
Traffic engineers calculate crossing distances based on a pedestrian walking speed at 3.5 feet per second, which is slower than most people walk. An even slower walk speed may be used in the equation when other factors are present, such as high volumes of children or seniors, or pedestrians with disabilities using the intersection.
What should you do at a pedestrian countdown signal?
When the pedestrian signal shows a steady white image of a walking person, it is your turn to cross. Watch for turning traffic.
When the red hand is flashing, pedestrians should not begin to cross, but those already crossing may continue. The countdown timer display shows pedestrians how many seconds they have to finish crossing.
The solid (not flashing) red hand means do not start crossing. Pedestrians should not be in the crosswalk. Push the pedestrian button and wait for the next "walk" signal.
The new countdown signals are funded by Redmond's Targeted Safety Improvement Program. If you are concerned about pedestrian signal timing at a particular location, or have another traffic safety issue, contact Traffic Operations at 425.556.2882 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Pedestrian countdown signals are installed at all of Redmond's signalized intersections. These new signals improve safety by helping pedestrians make an informed decision about crossing the street.