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Q: Why do traffic lights take so long to change?

I was in the outskirt of Beijing when traffic came to a complete standstil for about 10 minutes, 10 full minutes. I had thought there was an accident up ahead, but instead it was just a traffic light that refused to change lights.

 

Is this progress?

7 years 6 weeks ago in  Transport & Travel - Beijing

 
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Here in town the traffic lights changing pattern was changed a couple of years ago. They used to be green in opposite directions at the same time (so people coming towards you would also have green, but people from left or right would have red)

Now the lights are just green from one direction at a time. I guess this is to limit left hand turn accidents (as an alternative to teach people to drive) For some junctions, you can be at a red for many minutes while the cars from the 3 other directions honk their way through. In some places there will be a last step to the pattern where all cars have red, to let pedestrians cross. 

The change is most likely a consequence of our small town getting more and more cars, but it is a change for the worse. If the rulers loved the country they would help people to be better rather than just ban them from killing themselves. 

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7 years 6 weeks ago
 
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Governor

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'where all cars have red, to let pedestrians cross.' WHAT? Is that in China? Sounds like heaven!

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7 years 6 weeks ago
 
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Here in dongguan the lights usually take about 90 seconds to change, each direction has 30 seconds to move...although it usually takes the driver at the front 20 seconds to get his car into gear and begin moving at snails pace.

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7 years 6 weeks ago
 
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Governor

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Because this is China and in China there are many people.

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7 years 6 weeks ago
 
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Governor

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I think in China, walkers don't get the same respect from car or scooter drivers like in Europe. If you have green lights, but cars also can go they won't let you go first like in other countries. Scooters are worse, they never stop, also use the walking road...So the result will be chaos, everybody cross the road everywhere, doesn't matter if have the light are green or red.

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7 years 6 weeks ago
 
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Shifu

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i thought the traffic lights are just decoration. seems no one cares about it anyways

 

especially there seem to be never a red light for people who turn right

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7 years 6 weeks ago
 
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