From Iceland — City To Extend Walk Times At Stoplights

City To Extend Walk Times At Stoplights

Published January 26, 2011

In response to a heated response from Grapevine readers and others, among them contributor Ryan Parteka, the city of Reykjavík has reversed its decision on traffic lights, and will now extend the time allowed for pedestrians to cross the street.
As reported, a fatal accident on Snorrabraut last December prompted Ryan Parteka to write an open letter to city council demanding something be done. The Grapevine was the only media to publish this letter.
The initial response of city council was disclosed in Fréttablaðið last Monday, “Umferðarljósunum verður ekki breytt” (“The traffic lights will not be changed”). At the time, city council saw no reason to extend the time on walk signals at intersections.
Parteka and others responded to this news with considerable frustration and anger. However, today the city has reversed its position.
City council announced on their official website that all parties agreed to walk times being lengthened. In their research, they found that someone walking 4.3 km/s will typically only make it about 60% across the road before the “red man” appears. “Children, the elderly, and people who have difficulty walking fall even shorter, and in some cases do not make it across the street before car traffic resumes again.” the resolution says in part.
Karl Sigurðsson, chairman of the environmental and transport committee, said that he looks forward to changes being made to traffic lights and longer times being allowed for crossing the street.
In Response To The City’s Findings
An Open Letter Regarding Saturday’s Death

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