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13 September 2011


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They have one of these on the mega-crossing at Oxford Circus. It's rather exciting, and adds a nice game factor to crossing the road – can you beat your high score?


Of course it does mean the middle of the road is full of people bumping into each other as they stare at the countdown.


We have these in some places in Canada - Banff and Nelson (in the Kootenays) are two places I've seen them. Some start off normal and then count down the last 10 seconds others are like the ones pictured although none give quite that much time in our small towns.


In Mexico as well. Only the guy in the lights walks when green and speeds up as the timer approaches zero. I thought it was really nice.

The best part is that the guy standing when the light is red, taps his foot on the ground while waiting. Brilliant!


We just came back from a holiday in northern Cyprus and they had these controlling the car traffic too.

At first we were amused by the novelty of them too.

But it didn't take long before we began to find it frustrating sitting there in our hire car watching the countdown every time we got caught at a red light.

I remember thinking to myself, a watched pot never boils as it seemed the countdown in seconds didn't ever match up with seconds in real life.

I also remember, ashamedly, speeding up towards them on approach when i saw the green countdown at the 4/3 second mark just to avoid the 60 second wait at the red light I knew we'd have to endure.

As much as it's good for them to remind you of how much/long you have to wait and therefore something to look forward to, I couldn't help but sit there and be reminded of how much/long I have already waited and more so the time I have wasted.

Without the timer I was oblivious and unawares and ergo happier.

As you can tell, I had a lot of time on my hands to think about this this!

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