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Old 2nd February 2012, 20:24   #61
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Default Re: Request from a pedestrian

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Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
This 9th species of Crittur as per Rohan's post is a common one as per my Wife. Till some time ago I used to drop her on the left side of the Inner Ring Road so that she could cross the road and walk across to her office in EGL.
She told me that on many occasions she has requested fellow pedestrians to walk with her on the Zebra crossing but to no avail. Apparently they started looking at her like she was nuts and continued crossing in gangs, shoulder to shoulder as described!
So she simply gave it up as a useless effort and stopped asking them.
I now prefer to drop her at her doorstep rather than have her brave the chaos on the blighted Inner Ring Road in the mornings.

Shankar, rightly said. I also work at an office on the Inner Ring Road and pray daily for the day when the government will build a pedestrian sky-bridge for the people who work out of the offices in EGL and on the main road. We have had pedestrian accidents since this is a busy and fast moving traffic road with no pedestrian signals (how many people stop for them even on zebra crossings.) To add to the woes are the bikers who drop people off by stopping next to the divider on the right hand side of the road so that they can avoid crossing at least one side of the road.

Having said that, I have realized that honking very little purpose, as the honk travels in all directions and is not unidirectional, and hence, not targeted to any one individual or vehicle.
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Old 4th February 2012, 22:48   #62
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Default Re: Request from a pedestrian

Just got back from a mall. Complete moron on a bike honked N times on the ramp up from the basement to the exit with a stream of cars and bikes ahead. Gave him a piece of my mind about his utter lack of civic/common sense (he wasn't getting anywhere faster). Dude even appears incredulous and says "have you gone bonkers?" I didn't know what to make of that - but my faith in my fellow road users being more sensible took a bit of a hit.
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Old 6th February 2012, 17:01   #63
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Default Re: Request from a pedestrian

In the past week that I've been driving/cycling/busing/walking around, I've been consciously observing instances of traffic-traffic versus traffic-pedestrian honking. The latter accounts for less than 15 cases that I observed. And the former was - well - I heard thousands of honks!! A lot of it was pointless (had no impact, and no real reason to occur in the first place), and in the most extreme and hilarious/irritating case - done without any vehicle/person ahead of/behind/around the honker at all!

The pedestrian's ears are still assaulted and affected negatively by all that pointless noise.
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Old 6th February 2012, 17:18   #64
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Default Re: Request from a pedestrian

I am in complete agreement with zenx, despite spending almost 100% of my time on the road INSIDE the car driving. It hit me the other day how annoyed I get when some car comes and honks at me needlessly when I am driving: imagine how much worse this must be as a pedestrian! My dad doesn't drive anymore but walks a lot and one time I was walking with him since the road outside my home is rather narrow, has fast-moving traffic and no pavement: that short walk was so harrowing that I absolutely forbade him to walk there anymore. Made him wait near a shop while I went and got the car for the return journey.

And about pedestrian rights not being absolute: well why on earth NOT? i used to find this very annoying in Singapore- that a pedestrian can only cross when his light is green (even at a zebra crossing). Even in a place like Bahrain, I have been cheerfully waved across by drivers who don't mind waiting to allow me to cross.

That may be a distant dream but at least avoiding hoking like a moron for no reason should stop now! am heartened that a significant proportion of car drivers at least wait patiently without honking in bad traffic situations in the bigger cities like Bombay and Pune these days. And I sincerely apologise to all the pedestrians out there for scaring the hell out of them when a gentle tap on the horn was probably all that was needed.
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Old 6th February 2012, 19:21   #65
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Default Re: Request from a pedestrian

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Originally Posted by noopster
And about pedestrian rights not being absolute: well why on earth NOT? i used to find this very annoying in Singapore- that a pedestrian can only cross when his light is green (even at a zebra crossing).
Maybe I did not understand correctly, but I hope you are not suggesting that pedestrians should be able to dart across the zebra crossing, whenever they feel like ? The traffic-system exists for a reason and all entities (motorists, pedestrians) need to abide by the laid-down rules. Just as even though the road is primarily for motorists, they need to stop at a red, pedestrians also need to wait for the green-light even when crossing at a zebra crossing which is primarily for them.

BTW as things stand today (atleast in Chennai), it would be great if motorists just respected the pedestrian-green light. In Chennai, motorists inch ahead even before it is green for them, thereby impinging on the time for pedestrians to cross the road, making them run helter-skelter to avoid being run over.

Instead of waiting at bends in groups of 2-3 to nab those without helmets, why can't the cops stand at signals and once again enforce the StopSign rule (which was followed by all in the nineties here). And while enforcing this, they can also nab those that are not wearing helmet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster
Even in a place like Bahrain, I have been cheerfully waved across by drivers who don't mind waiting to allow me to cross.
In Europe also I have seen drivers do this - it is called the eye-contact policy or something. If you are waiting to cross the road (at a zebra crossing), and if the motorist makes eye-contact with you, you can be sure that he stops for you to cross. But this works in disciplined societies where "all" follow the rules. I used to do this for ladies/elderly/kids, but later learnt that this could be actually harmful for them unless done properly. Earlier, I would check my RVMs and stop for them to cross. But the risk here is that when I stop and let them cross, the guy driving on my right would not be aware why I stopped and he would continue ahead, by which time, the crossing pedestrians would be in his way and possibly get hit.

I am (like most Indians) playing a different role various times a day. At times I am driving a car, other times on a bike, sometimes walking along the road. So, I would rather that all of these are treated the same and stress is on everyone to play by the rules.

Last edited by supremeBaleno : 6th February 2012 at 19:28.
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Old 6th February 2012, 19:24   #66
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Default Re: Request from a pedestrian

Honking is totally different from using the horn. Normally a slight jab/dab at the horn switch is ok (for example just when cutting a curve-blind one, whilst overtaking a long body vehicle ,coming out of a parking lot -when there is direct lane ahead). In US honking is taboo except when you want to register your contempt for the behaviour of the offender or someone who has lost his civic sense of driving and walks with his car parked in the midst of the lane. We at India are a very generous lot and since honking does not consume fuel we are willing to go full blast with it.

Not to enter a blame game pedestrians have complete right of way on a pedestrian crossing and signal tuned road crossing sections. Overall a bit of patience from both ends will help reduce noise pollution.

Cheers
Prasad
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Old 6th February 2012, 19:51   #67
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Default Re: Request from a pedestrian

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Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
Maybe I did not understand correctly, but I hope you are not suggesting that pedestrians should be able to dart across the zebra crossing, whenever they feel like ?
You're understanding is spot-on supreme. And I agree 100% with your post. "Darting" pedestrians is certainly not what I had in mind .

The "eye contact policy" is reversed in India: here if pedestrain and motorist make eye contact, that is treated as a challenge. Say I am crossing a road and spot a car approaching me from a distance, if I glance his way and he KNOWS I know he is coming, he will gun it! This is not a statement made in lighter vein, I have actually seen it happening .

Things are getting better, though. I hope that at least my grandchildren live in a country where there is more mutual respect between users of the road, whether they be pedestrians, motorists or cyclists.
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Old 6th February 2012, 20:29   #68
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Default Re: Request from a pedestrian

^^Good discussion Noops and SB. And loved that eye-contact bit. So true indeed.

Here in Singapore, its considered like this - people adopt various modes for transporting them from point A to B. It can be by public transport, private cars, bikes, or by walking. Each road user has their space and rules are same for all. But in most Indian cities, it’s the right of the road user in a bigger travelling medium to bully the smaller one. And obviously, pedestrians suffer the most.
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Old 7th February 2012, 10:33   #69
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Default Re: Request from a pedestrian

@Dieseldunk, you have actually made a very valid point about difference between honking and using the horn. A short tweet in the interest of safety is not a bad thing, while using the horn without any reason or using it for long bursts is to be avoided.

@noopster, but when you said "i used to find this very annoying that a pedestrian can only cross when his light is green (even at a zebra crossing)" what do you mean ? It seems to suggest that a pedestrian should be allowed to cross even when his light is red at a zebra crossing. But this is not done, since at that point it would be green for the vehicles and so unsafe for pedestrians.

I do agree with your Indian eye-contact policy - see it often here.

BTW, it is interesting to note the different pedestrian-crossing cultures in various countries. While in Atlanta, I liberally walk to the mall/restaurant etc (avoiding the hotel-shuttle) and found that they have this pedestrian-operated switch at crossings. So, normally there won't be a green for pedestrians, but when you are at a crossing, you press the switch and it switches the green for you to cross. But I noticed that the time allowed is just about enough for an able person to run (not walk) across the wide roads. Wonder how elderly would manage.

In Japan, on my first visit, again I am walking the streets and when the pedestrian signal is green, I cross the street with countless others and heard a cuckoo coo continously. Funny thing was everytime I crossed a street, I heard this coo-ing. While it was too odd to be a coincidence, the mystery was made clear to me by a friend who said that this is the audible equivalent of the pedestrian-green signal for the blind. Imagine the concern ???

And it does not stop there. Almost all pavements have this pattern of thick white lines painted and I wondered what these were for - again the friend clarified that this is for the blind to find their way on the pavements, into metro-subways, in metro stations etc. Japan, in a nutshell, is the most amazing place in the world - the concern they have for others is a culture, imbibed in every person there. Hats off !!!
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Old 7th February 2012, 10:54   #70
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Default Re: Request from a pedestrian

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Originally Posted by esteem_lover View Post
Yes, the pedestrian does, in a ZEBRA crossing, not wherever he pleases. It is the good sense of the vehicle driver that he brakes, which most of us do, in other places.
That too when the signal is green for the pedestrian. At all other places where there are no signals or policemen, they must use their discretion to cross the road. I am not saying drivers are all angels, but come on! If your vehicle - no matter whether car/ bike or even bicycle - so much as brushes a pedestrian, the first rude question will be "are you blind? Why did you not honk / ring the bell?", before going in to the family antecedents!
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Old 7th February 2012, 16:41   #71
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Default Re: Request from a pedestrian

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Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
While in Atlanta, I liberally walk to the mall/restaurant etc (avoiding the hotel-shuttle) and found that they have this pedestrian-operated switch at crossings. So, normally there won't be a green for pedestrians, but when you are at a crossing, you press the switch and it switches the green for you to cross. But I noticed that the time allowed is just about enough for an able person to run (not walk) across the wide roads. Wonder how elderly would manage.
Unless you are in a pedestrian heavy area, most of the pedestrian crossings durations in US are pretty short (10 seconds), 'cos there are rarely any pedestrians most of the time.
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Old 7th February 2012, 19:08   #72
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Default Re: Request from a pedestrian

^^^I do see your point and Duluth in Atlanta is indeed a place where the only pedestrians you would see are guys like me on short onsite trips - actually I have seen people in cars stare at us like some alien creatures when we used to walk around the place.

But still, in such cases, I would only expect them to make the interval between 2 pedestrian-green lights high. It would be illogical for them to make the crossing duration itself so short that it is not enough time for a guy to walk across at brisk pace. Infact as I mentioned, we often ran across the crossing because it was just too short for that wide road.
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Old 7th February 2012, 21:45   #73
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Default Re: Request from a pedestrian

Good discussion.

But going back to the point of the thread - most people seem to be honking needlessly at other vehicles on the road, not pedestrians. The latter just bear the brunt of the honking - and the horns are getting shriller and louder all the time.
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Old 7th February 2012, 21:51   #74
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Default Re: Request from a pedestrian

Talking of shriller horns, why cannot regulations enforce horns that are below certain decibel level. We cannot live without horns - then atleast lets regulate their sound. Is this covered under the Euro / BS regulations ?

Talking of honking, I think we could introduce a new sticker in the TBHP sticker-set which says something on the lines of "Honking reduces your car's mileage & battery life" and have it plastered on the rear of our cars. Given that we are an FE-obsessed nation, this could have an impact.
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Old 8th February 2012, 09:26   #75
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Default Re: Request from a pedestrian

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Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
Talking of honking, I think we could introduce a new sticker in the TBHP sticker-set which says something on the lines of "Honking reduces your car's mileage & battery life" and have it plastered on the rear of our cars. Given that we are an FE-obsessed nation, this could have an impact.
Hehe - good idea. The word just needs to get around, and we'll be seeing quieter (and by virtue of that, slightly less chaotic) roads pretty soon!

I do remember someone's share on FB with a pic of a sticker on the back of a car that said (paraphrased from Hindi) - "Even dogs bark only when there's a reason. Stop honking pointlessly".
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