In their never-ending quest to be somehow relevant and “cool,” Scottsdale has introduced a new pedestrian signal. The system, which has no green lamp and stays dark when not being utilized, uses a flashing red to indicate to motor traffic that it’s safe to go:
When the light starts flashing yellow, slow down. When it turns solid yellow, prepare to stop. When it turns solid red, stop. When the light converts to flashing red, check that pedestrians are clear and proceed when it is safe to do so.
The use of a flashing yellow that is then followed by a solid yellow is a phenomenal idea that should be expanded to all signals. However, the lack of a selective green signal might make some think the light is inoperable… or not know that the signal actually exists.
Worse yet is the idea of using a flashing red to indicate “proceed with caution,” the most obvious reason why being that cities and the state have used the “Red Means Stop” advertising program for many years now.
More troubling is how many traditional signal lamps will flicker if they’re about to burn out, to indicate to city workers that the lamp needs replacing. If someone sees a flickering red at Thomas and Scottsdale, are they going to ram though it at 45Mph?