Every City Should Give Seniors A Card That Extends The Crosswalk Time

Every City Should Give Seniors a Card That Extends the Crosswalk Time

We've all seen what happens when someone can't cross the street in the allotted signal time -- the pedestrian gets frustrated and drivers get mad. A program in Singapore lets seniors swipe a card at an intersection so the signal will give them extra time to cross. It's a smart solution to a problem that's increasingly going to be troubling our ageing cities.

Most pedestrian signals are timed for an able-bodied human to briskly cross the street -- which is usually pretty impossible for anyone moving at a slower pace or using a wheelchair. While cities should certainly be designed to be accessible to all, sometimes lengthening all lights to accommodate varying abilities all the time doesn't make a whole lot of sense from an efficiency standpoint. This solution allows the signal to be extended, but only when a person needs it.

Every City Should Give Seniors a Card That Extends the Crosswalk Time

The Green Man Plus program was launched in 2009 by Singapore's Land Transport Authority to specifically aid seniors and pedestrians with disabilities, who can apply for the special card. At the signal, a person swipes the card, which is validated by the blink of a red light. The crossing will then add up to 13 extra seconds of walking time, depending on the size of the intersection. Over 500 intersections will be outfitted with the new system by the end of 2015.

While the program seems to be working well in Singapore, this idea would be incredibly easy for any city to implement. Most cities already offer a discounted transit pass for seniors, so that card could double as an intersection-lengthening tool. It's also a worthwhile investment for improving infrastructure: Every city on the planet is getting older, and we're all going to need a bit longer to cross the street eventually.

This is a simple tech solution that delivers a little dignity to the people who deserve it most -- like giving them the key to the city. [Quartz]

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    Just have another button for a longer cross time. No need to administer a card system, far less complex and cheaper.

    Some may abuse it, but who cares.

      Some may abuse it, but who cares.

      Traffic authorities trying to reduce traffic congestion?


    Everyone will use that button, all the time. Your traffic problems just got worse.

    Since you don't seem able to grasp that basic concept, I doubt you'd understand the economics of productivity and just how expensive traffic congestion is for cities. That's possibly the dumbest comment I've read today, and I was on YouTube for nearly an hour this morning.

    Last edited 09/08/14 2:14 pm

      How much would such a system cost to not only develop, install, maintain and administer?

      That money would be better spent on public transport and roads than a fancy card.

      Anyone that needs extra time can push a button, no need for a bureaucrat to send you a card. A card that visitors can't use,and many others.

      So yeah. Instead of having a thoughtful discussion let's just call each other retards.

      Last edited 09/08/14 6:25 pm

        Nah. You are a little bit wrong on some parts. The cards are the same card used for public transport (smart rider cards) so it doesn't add a useless card to your wallet. You just have to activate this type of function at any ticketing offices. it just has the added advantage of doing this and other stuff for convenience of the elderly.

    Before you know it, some people would come up with a "hack" and sell the illegal version of these "crossing cards" on eBay...

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