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Thread: LED Crosswalk signs failing all over NYC

  1. #1
    *Flashaholic* PhotonWrangler's Avatar
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    Default LED Crosswalk signs failing all over NYC

    ...but not for the reason that you're thinking. They're failing in a mode where the Walk and Don't Walk signs are lit at the same time. They've already noticed an increase in pedestrian accidents in the affected areas.

    I'm betting that the electrolyc caps have dried up after five years and the excessive hum is trashing the CPU's ability to control the LEDs.
    Last edited by PhotonWrangler; 01-18-2010 at 10:06 AM.

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    Flashaholic* JohnR66's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED Crosswalk signs failing all over NYC

    That could be as there has been bad electrolytic capacitors produced (see badcaps.net). Could be a shorted driver transistor.

    Looks like a string of red LEDs has gone dim in the picture due to a bad LED or driver.

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    *Flashaholic* PhotonWrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED Crosswalk signs failing all over NYC

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnR66 View Post
    That could be as there has been bad electrolytic capacitors produced (see badcaps.net). Could be a shorted driver transistor.

    Looks like a string of red LEDs has gone dim in the picture due to a bad LED or driver.
    Could be, John. This kind of stuff gives LEDs a bad name, even though the problem is in the driver electronics, not the lamps themselves.

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    Default Re: LED Crosswalk signs failing all over NYC

    Note though that the article said they're approaching the end of their 7-year design life. Given that they're made with indicator-type LEDs, I'm surprised they held up as well as they did. I wonder if the next version will use a couple of power LEDs instead? And yes, the driver electronics are the culprit here.

    One thing I vehemently disagree with here is the idea that a bad pedestrian signal is somehow responsible for increased pedestrian injuries. You're supposed to look before you cross the street, regardless of whether you have a clear signal or not. Even when you have a signal to cross, there could be cars turning ( this is NYC, the cars generally WON'T yield to pedestrians while turning regardless of what the law says they're supposed to do ). Also, a little common sense is in order. If the signal for the traffic is green where you'll be crossing, then that always means the pedestrian signal would be red, regardless of what it's actually displaying. Sorry but this is a pet peeve of mine. I've gotten tired of hearing how many pedestrians die on busy throughways such as Queens Blvd when I see a lot of those same pedestrians looking at a 2" screen while crossing, instead of looking out for traffic. No signal system is going to protect against such stupidity. Leave the cell phone/iPod/Blackberry/GPS in your pocket while crossing.

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    *Flashaholic* PhotonWrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED Crosswalk signs failing all over NYC

    Quote Originally Posted by jtr1962 View Post
    One thing I vehemently disagree with here is the idea that a bad pedestrian signal is somehow responsible for increased pedestrian injuries. You're supposed to look before you cross the street, regardless of whether you have a clear signal or not. Even when you have a signal to cross, there could be cars turning ( this is NYC, the cars generally WON'T yield to pedestrians while turning regardless of what the law says they're supposed to do ). Also, a little common sense is in order. If the signal for the traffic is green where you'll be crossing, then that always means the pedestrian signal would be red, regardless of what it's actually displaying. Sorry but this is a pet peeve of mine. I've gotten tired of hearing how many pedestrians die on busy throughways such as Queens Blvd when I see a lot of those same pedestrians looking at a 2" screen while crossing, instead of looking out for traffic. No signal system is going to protect against such stupidity. Leave the cell phone/iPod/Blackberry/GPS in your pocket while crossing.
    jtr, I agree with you 100% on this. I read an article just yesterday about the increase in pedestrian injuries from texting while walking. People are actually walking into light poles, falling into manholes and making other dumb mistakes as they develop tunnelvision with their iThing as they walk down the sidewalk.

    However we can't control people's attention - we can only try to educate them about the consequences of such stupidity. And that includes people getting confused by conflicting walk/don't walk signals and not paying attention to traffic lights or the traffic itself.

    You've gotta admit that there is a possibility, depending on the location of the traffic light relative to the crosswalk, where a pedestrian might not be able to see the color of the light facing the road perpendicular to their crosswalk, and they might assume (yeah, I know) that a conflicting signal means that oncoming traffic has a red light, thus it's safe to cross. I'm not trying to justify their behavior in the least, however I can see a circumstance where this could happen.

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    Default Re: LED Crosswalk signs failing all over NYC

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotonWrangler View Post
    You've gotta admit that there is a possibility, depending on the location of the traffic light relative to the crosswalk, where a pedestrian might not be able to see the color of the light facing the road perpendicular to their crosswalk, and they might assume (yeah, I know) that a conflicting signal means that oncoming traffic has a red light, thus it's safe to cross. I'm not trying to justify their behavior in the least, however I can see a circumstance where this could happen.
    Of course that could happen, no denying it. Some wider roads it's difficult to see what color the traffic signal is on the cross street unless you're far from the corner. For this reason and others, I actually try to cross in the middle of the streets, where there are no signals, because I only need to look for cross traffic, not turning cars. The turning cars are a bigger hazard than malfunctioning signals IMO, and you can't always see them well in a crosswalk. Some intersections do in fact only give the signal to cross when both directions of traffic are stopped to keep pedestrians safe from turning cars ( assuming the cars actually stop on red, which isn't a given in this city ). I still prefer to cross in the middle of the street however, even though it's technically illegal.

    I read an article just yesterday about the increase in pedestrian injuries from texting while walking. People are actually walking into light poles, falling into manholes and making other dumb mistakes as they develop tunnelvision with their iThing as they walk down the sidewalk.
    I honestly didn't know it had gotten that bad. All I can say is

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    Default Re: LED Crosswalk signs failing all over NYC

    Quote Originally Posted by jtr1962 View Post
    I honestly didn't know it had gotten that bad. All I can say is
    Yup... see for yourself...

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    Default Re: LED Crosswalk signs failing all over NYC

    Note though that the article said they're approaching the end of their 7-year design life.
    Given this is NYC I wouldn't be surprised this is by intent - keeps some dept busy replacing them.

    Yup....you can see the bad string that's out in the picture. And guess what...it's red....which means it's over-volted.

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    Default Re: LED Crosswalk signs failing all over NYC

    Quote Originally Posted by jtr1962 View Post
    For this reason and others, I actually try to cross in the middle of the streets, where there are no signals, because I only need to look for cross traffic, not turning cars.
    HEAR! HEAR!

    Since I was a kid, I have *always* crossed streets instead of intersections, for the simple reason that I only have to watch out for traffic from two directions instead of four (and just ONE, if it's a one-way). I still question the insanity of forcing pedestrian traffic into intersections, even though I do understand the point of jaywalking laws (i.e. people popping out of nowhere in streets).

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