Looney Labs Something Mailing list Archive

Re: [Something] Cheerio, chaps. A question for the Brits...

  • From"Timothy Hunt" <games@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateTue, 6 Mar 2007 10:13:19 -0600
Zebra, toucan, pelican, puffin?  I speak English, and I have no idea what this page is talking about.

OK, a Zebra crossing was so named because of the black and white
stripes marking it.
Then came the Pelicon  (PEdestrian LIght CONtrolled) crossing.  This
crossing was one where the pedestrian pressed a button to indicate a
desire to cross, and the lights for the traffic would change in  order
to allow the pedestrian to cross.

Because of the homophonous nature of the word to pelican, plus the
fact that it, like the zebra, was an animal, the name has changed over
time to be "pelican".

Then, with the growth of bicycle lanes, there came the Toucan crossing
(because Two Can cross the motoro traffic - both pedestrians and
cyclists), and an improvement in traffic/people detection abilities
resulted in the Puffin - the Pedestrian User Friendly Intelligent
crossing.  Here, the use is much the same as the pelican, but it was
redesigned to improve visibility to the pedestrian of their signals to
let them know it's safe to cross, and also has detectors to allow the
pedestrian phase to be extended if there's lots of them, or to cancel
the request if the pedestrian has moved off.  (it was a fun passtime
as a child to walk past a pelican crossing and press the button, even
if you had no intention to cross, just to watch the lights change and
the motorists get frustrated.  Well.  Of course, I would never have
done such a thing.  no.  Not me.  Of course not.  ahem.)

So there you go.  A brief guide to UK pedestrian crossing types :)