Gov’t Downsizing

These mini-traffic lights were on a post in Gatineau. I could not determine if they were for cyclists. Or pedestrians. Or if they went off and on with the bigger lights.

I recall seeing these everywhere in France, but that is because they skip the big light fixtures on the far side of the intersection in favour of big ones over the stop line only.

The plethora of push buttons didn’t make it any clearer. I eventually walked my bike across against a red light (I was on a bike path detour that led me to the intersection and abandonned me).

It felt like bait and switch. Segregated bike path: good. Detour sign — they were thinking of me! good. Abandonned at the intersection: bad.

Ottawa has more overhead traffic signals than anywhere I have been in the world (and that’s lots of places!). More signalized intersections. More signals at the intersection. More posts. More big metal arms. More signage. No wonder we are high tax and low results sort of place, the highest and best use of tax dollars is installing signalized intersections. Maybe, just maybe, the new age of austerity will give us these cuter, more friendly and human scaled signals.