Photo: DUB

Traffic lights at De Uithof don’t quite do what they’re supposed to

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At the Heidelberglaan pedestrian crossing, it’s a common occurrence that traffic lights flash and warning installations ring, without a bus in sight. The consequence: pedestrians and cyclists decide for themselves whether it’s safe to cross the road.

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It’s been a well-known image at De Uithof for quite some time now: students and employees calmly crossing the new tram/bus tracks, while a loud sound signal and a flashing traffic light warn them to wait.

The new installations at the Padualaan and Heidelberglaan are there to warn people crossing that a bus is approaching. When the Uithoflijn tram starts running next year, the signals are also going to be used to warn pedestrians and cyclists that a tram is approaching the crossing. They’re supposedly more noticeable than regular traffic lights.

But students and employees have noticed that they’re often waiting while there’s no bus coming at all, after the bus has already passed, or while a bus is standing still on the road, waiting for something, with no obvious intention to start driving. As a result, people care less and less about the signals.

It’s true that the installations don’t work perfectly yet, the organization responsible for the Uitfhoflijn construction admitted on its website last week. The collaboration between the installations at separate crossings isn’t optimal, and the signals from the bus or the road aren’t coming through to the installations the way they’re supposed to.

The organization promises improvement. They’re working hard on adapting the software and fixing the settings on the installations. An improvement should be noticeable sometime this month. “The traffic safety at the Padualaan and the Heidelberglaan has our full attention.”

Translation: Indra Spronk

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