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Pedestrian Crossing with lights

A few years ago the pedestrian crossing lights in Hamilton Road were "improved". Unfortunately the new design has metal buttons which when it is really cold - like today! - freeze and cannot be activated. So at a time when the crossings are most necessary (people are huddled up in warm clothing, keeping their eyes on the ground, the streets are icy etc.) they don't work.

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Marc T inactive
It never fails to amaze me how "Improvements" actually make things worse.  We are always reading about cars with brakes that fail, planes that develop fuel leaks etc, etc,  

What ever happened to "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"?
Mike F
Many years ago, Patrick Hutber, a journalist coined Hutber's Law - Improvement means Deterioration.
Matthew G
Marc T don't you think that the reason we're always reading about these sorts of issues is because of enormous improvements in accident reporting, statistical analysis, journalism and universal and instant access to information through the media and internet?
Marc T inactive
Well Matthew, that certainly is a factor.  But it doesn't diminish the fact that new stuff is being produced that is actually worse than it's predecessor.  The traffic lights in OP are typical - some designer thought they would look better or smarter with metal buttons rather than plastic coated ... and now they freeze up.  Toyota cars famously have had accelerator linkages that break and brakes pedals that stick - and yet we've been designing cars without those problems for over 100 years.
It's a serious issue, that "upgrades" in all areas of life sometimes introduce more problems than they resolve - and yet, our society is hell-bent on constantly "improving" everything we use.  It's one of the negative aspects of capitalism, I suppose.
Matthew G
But you seem to be implying that this phenomenon is new.  Do you not think it more likely that there have always been "new" things which turn out to have unanticipated limitations relative to the old?  Isn't this the inevitable (and justifiable) price we pay for innovation?  It may be that a 100 year old car has reliable accelerator linkages, but in almost every other measurable way it is vastly inferior to any modern vehicle.

All that said, pedestrian crossings whose buttons freeze up in the winter do seem more than a little daft!
Nick W
so.. for one day when the outside temperature has plummeted, this innocent and helpful pedestrian crossing has frozen.  Along with a friend's brakes on her car, my car doors, and no doubt a huge assortment of other thi8ngs.  For the rest of the year, this pedestrian crossing that is aparently not an improvement, has helped disabled people by emitting a noise when its safe to cross (don't remember Belisha Beacons doing that), and actually stops traffic to make it safe to cross, rather than relying on motorists seeing pedestrians waiting, or even being bothered.

For pity's sake, what do we want to do?  Go back to the horse and cart?  Walk in front of cars with a red flag?  The World moves on and for the most part technology gives us things we didn't have before.  Progress!!

I suspect that the metal buttons are to make them less easy to damage.

Now on this occasion I really do think there are better topics for Streetlife.
Mike F
It's happened before, Nick, and it happens when children are going to school. The old plastic buttons didn't freeze.
Marc T inactive
You miss the point Nick.  No-one said that ALL improvements and advances were bad.  Just that sometimes, apparently pointless improvements to make things worse.  You say that is may have made the buttons more resilient, but I suspect it was more aesthetic than practical - a truly substantial mechanism would have been touch-sensitive, with no moving parts.

As this is about something that practically affects life in Felixstowe then I consider it a legitimate subject for discussion.
Mike F
The one outside Great Eastern Square in Hamilton Road has also stuck in the on position on occasion, stopping the traffic every few minutes even though nobody was crossing.
Nick W
Okay..fair enough.  Still think we should make allowances for pretty much everything in extreme weather.

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