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Old February 26th, 2007, 10:41 PM   #21
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here in Croatia we have often horizontal traffic lights (on portals above road). i was quite surprised when some foreign people found it unusual
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Old February 27th, 2007, 12:14 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billpa View Post
A light in the town of Baie-Saint-Paul, Québec. The province arranges its lights horizontally with the red in the shape of a stop-signish octagon; the amber, a diamond and green, a circle. Also note the provincial route marker and the countdown sign for pedestrians.
First time I was in Quebec, I actually was confused and mistook them for railway crossing signals.

You do have vertically aligned lights as well, especially in cities and not so major intersections (Montreal comes to mind)
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Old February 27th, 2007, 03:10 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by go_leafs_go02 View Post
Ontario traffic lights seem so luxurious compared to many.

I find this especially in comparison to many states in the USA, where their traffic lights simply hang from two wooden poles and a string across the intersection where the lights hang.

Funny thing is, our temporary Construction lights are built to a higher standard than the permanent American lights in certain cases. (Michigan comes to mind)
Where did you see those? I've seen them in construction zones (temp lights), but I don't know if I've ever seen many that are just hanging on a rope. That's pretty cheap.

The ones I see almost always look like this in the midwest:



Lights are hung above, and usually on either side of the street just above "walking" height. Poles are normally green or yellow/gold.

Left turn is allowed when traffic isn't coming, unless you get a green arrow. Green arrows are only at high traffic intersections, normally with a dedicated turn lane. This is different all around the country, as every city can do whatever they want to for stoplights. This of course creates a VAST variety of stoplights. I definitely notice this from say Florida to California to the Midwest.

In larger cities and more dense urban areas you will find these at many smaller intersections:



No overhead lights, just the two on each side of the road.

One thing I never realized until I moved here was the timing of stoplights in the US.

In Iowa, there is ALWAYS a 1-3 second delay from one light turning red to the next light turning green. This is to clear the intersection of cars waiting to turn left most of the time, and just for general safety.

In Chicago, I quickly found out, stoplights that turn red will signal the opposing traffic to turn green IMMEDIATELY. In Iowa, by the time the light turned green, opposing traffic had always cleared the intersection. In Chicago, your light will turn green, THEN the last car will fly through the intersection at times, and THEN the opposing turning traffic will make their turns and clear the intersection. This sometimes leads to 3 to up to 4-5 seconds of traffic clogging the intersection before you are clear to proceed through the green.

In the end it moves the same amount of traffic, but I was totally caught off guard by this when I moved here. In Iowa, everyone moves through when it's green. In Chicago you have to wait a few seconds after it turns green, but people will turn/pass through yellow and red lights at a greater frequency to make up for the loss of travel at the beginning of the cycle.

I also noticed the tradition of passing on urban 2 lane roads. When the light is about to turn green ( you can tell by looking at the walk signals on the other side of the street ) someone will start accelerating from 3-5 car lengths behind the first car waiting for the signal and pass at a decent amount of speed on the right edge of the road right as the light turns green. This lets people leapfrog over the few cars in front of them at the intersection. It works cause you can accelerate towards the intersection and blow through it as it turns green - whereas the first car in line would need a few seconds to speed up to your speed as you're going through the intersection. Obvioulsy this only works when no one is on the right side of the road waiting to turn right.

Of course this isn't "right" and it really pisses me off, but it gives people who are very impatient or bold a move to get ahead in traffic.

I haven't seen this in Iowa, and the few times I tried it there (just without thinking of where I was ) it REALLY freaked people out. I kinda felt bad. I only did this a few times when I moved here cause it kinda gives you a rush, but then I "grew up" and just waited my turn like most people.



Just looked out the window at the light outside my place There are 24 different lights controlling the 3 two lane roads that intersect. One on the near side of the intersection to the right, one above the intersection, and then two on each side of the street on the far side. All this, and no turn signals or anything. 4 lights each way that are either all red, yellow or green at once.

Last edited by Chicagoago; February 27th, 2007 at 03:27 AM.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 03:16 AM   #24
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http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...07607&t=k&om=1

They also had these in Iowa. There's NO other poles or lights at a 6 lane X 6 lane intersection other than this one large pole going across the intersection at an angle. There are literally a few dozen lights on this one pole, for all 4 directions of traffic and turn lanes.

It's kinda crazy when you first see it, it's like a christmas tree. Works well though, I never heard any complaints...
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Old February 27th, 2007, 03:57 AM   #25
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Quote:
In Chicago, I quickly found out, stoplights that turn red will signal the opposing traffic to turn green IMMEDIATELY.
Haha, I also noticed that on many intersections in Montreal when I visited there.
In Ontario lights also wait a few seconds before changing to allow left-turning
traffic to clear the intersection.

Quebec traffic lights are indeed horizontal (but doesn't seem to be so in
Montreal), and I took some pictures long ago. I'll post them later.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 04:17 AM   #26
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Ontario province, Canada:

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Old February 27th, 2007, 06:14 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagoago View Post
Where did you see those? I've seen them in construction zones (temp lights), but I don't know if I've ever seen many that are just hanging on a rope. That's pretty cheap.
I've been in Michigan the most, that's where they are most popular. You should check out their streetlighting too (its a small farmstyle lampfixture pointing downward hanging from a wire across the intersection.)


Last edited by go_leafs_go02; February 27th, 2007 at 06:50 AM.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 06:44 AM   #28
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I can't see most of the pictures, but from the 44 states I've seen, most traffic lights are not on strings.
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Old February 28th, 2007, 01:31 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maroon Grown View Post
whats with the blinking light? in oz no light blinks unless the lights are faulty, in that case, the yellows blink.
Blinking yellow lights in Europe (not sure is this is used all over Europe, but I would think so) are used mostly at night when there's not much traffic. Basically, it just means there's no lights and normal rules (yield to traffic coming from the right) apply.
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Old February 28th, 2007, 02:15 AM   #30
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^ They use those in the US in many places as well.

From say 11pm until 6am the busiest road will just have flashing yellow lights, and the less busy road will have flashing red lights. Stop at the red, proceed "with caution" through the yellow.

Of course this is only in areas that aren't too busy at night, not at major intersections.
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Old February 28th, 2007, 02:53 AM   #31
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I think these lights actually look pretty cool.

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Old February 28th, 2007, 11:34 AM   #32
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in France and Spain i've seen traffic lights without green light. they have red, yellow and blinking yellow (instead of green). so when that blinking yellow appears, that means that you can pass, but with much care
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Old February 28th, 2007, 12:00 PM   #33
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I've always wondered why most tunnels have traffic lights mounted above them,
never quite understood why. Is that in case there is a problem in the tunnel?
And if there is no problem, are they ever red? Because a lot of the time they
are actually on a highway.
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Old February 28th, 2007, 12:02 PM   #34
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In Germany lots of traffic lights have just the yellow and the red light (most the time for pedestrians who are waiting and have to press a button on the traffic light). You may continue driving when the traffic light is off.
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Old February 28th, 2007, 12:49 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicolás View Post
In Germany lots of traffic lights have just the yellow and the red light (most the time for pedestrians who are waiting and have to press a button on the traffic light). You may continue driving when the traffic light is off.
In Germany, i saw some traffic lights, when you want to turn left, crossing the other direction, the opposite direction gets green too, so although you have the green light, you still have to wait to turn left.

Those situations in The Netherlands are quite rare.
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Old February 28th, 2007, 01:19 PM   #36
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yep, it's very dangerous sometimes when the oncoming traffic is hidden by a car which turns right (into the street I want to turn left into). I was always afraid of situations like that when I was practicing for my driver's license.
In very dangerous situations or in big cities on large roads the "green/yellow/red arrow light" often is used (like in the Netherlands).

Furthermore for turning right sometimes the green arrow-shield (next to the red light) is used which allows you to turn right on red (like in the US). But it's still very rare.
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Old February 28th, 2007, 02:23 PM   #37
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What is the red cross that can be seen on French roads on the opposite side of the traffic light?

It looks like this: +
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Old February 28th, 2007, 06:42 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCat View Post
I've always wondered why most tunnels have traffic lights mounted above them,
never quite understood why. Is that in case there is a problem in the tunnel?
And if there is no problem, are they ever red? Because a lot of the time they
are actually on a highway.
because tunnels are very sensitive places and if a minor accident happens, it can be extremely dangerous. that's why tunnels are full of traffic lights. there is no reason for red if there is no problems in tunnel.
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Old February 28th, 2007, 07:49 PM   #39
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These are interesting. Where are they?
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Old February 28th, 2007, 07:55 PM   #40
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Traffic lights on the canals in Venice. Well... it is their streets...



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