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'[OT]:Berlin - Speaker Boxes in Traffic light poles'
2006\06\06@064234 by Mohamed Ismail Bari

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Hello all,

Last week I visited Berlin on a business trip. During my free time, I just
wandered the streets by walk. I happened to notice that the traffic light
poles near the pedestrain crossing has some kind of Speaker system. Each
pedestrain crossing corners has this speaker box and they are beeping in a
cyclic manner. I wonder for what they are used? May be its some kind of
primitive sonar to detect pedestrains.. You guys should be knowing more.

Thanks,
Ismail

2006\06\06@064746 by Michael Rigby-Jones

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>-----Original Message-----
>From: spam_OUTpiclist-bouncesTakeThisOuTspammit.edu [.....piclist-bouncesKILLspamspam@spam@mit.edu]
>Sent: 06 June 2006 11:43
>To: piclistspamKILLspammit.edu
>Subject: [OT]:Berlin - Speaker Boxes in Traffic light poles?
>
>
>Hello all,
>
>Last week I visited Berlin on a business trip. During my free
>time, I just wandered the streets by walk. I happened to
>notice that the traffic light poles near the pedestrain
>crossing has some kind of Speaker system. Each pedestrain
>crossing corners has this speaker box and they are beeping in
>a cyclic manner. I wonder for what they are used? May be its
>some kind of primitive sonar to detect pedestrains.. You guys
>should be knowing more.

At a guess it's to help blind people locate the crossing?

Regards

Mike

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2006\06\06@065503 by Rolf

face picon face
Mohamed Ismail Bari wrote:
> Hello all,
>
> Last week I visited Berlin on a business trip. During my free time, I just
> wandered the streets by walk. I happened to notice that the traffic light
> poles near the pedestrain crossing has some kind of Speaker system. Each
> pedestrain crossing corners has this speaker box and they are beeping in a
> cyclic manner. I wonder for what they are used? May be its some kind of
> primitive sonar to detect pedestrains.. You guys should be knowing more.
>
> Thanks,
> Ismail
>  
This is for the blind, so they know when it is safe to cross the road.

Rolf

2006\06\06@070747 by Richard Prosser

picon face
Not one of these was it?
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/05/03/camera_shout_pole/

RP

On 06/06/06, Rolf <.....learrKILLspamspam.....rogers.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2006\06\06@071145 by Mohamed Ismail Bari

picon face
Oh.. I see. May be I should close my eyes and try it once. I am afraid, I
may cross the junction diagonally as the beep is cyclic over the corners...
;-)

Thanks guys.

-Ismail

2006\06\06@072531 by Mohamed Ismail Bari

picon face
No.. not the horn speakers but just boxes with normal cone speakers. And the
purpose is definetly not to shout at people.

On 6/6/06, Richard Prosser <EraseMErhprosserspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTgmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2006\06\06@072821 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 04:41 PM 6/6/2006 +0530, you wrote:
>Oh.. I see. May be I should close my eyes and try it once. I am afraid, I
>may cross the junction diagonally as the beep is cyclic over the corners...
>;-)

I don't remember what they do in Berlin, but in Hong Kong, they make a
rhythmic noise alternating in the direction in which it is safe to cross.

As others have said, for the blind.

>Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
@spam@speffKILLspamspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com
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2006\06\06@091410 by Herbert Graf

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face
On Tue, 2006-06-06 at 16:12 +0530, Mohamed Ismail Bari wrote:
> Hello all,
>
> Last week I visited Berlin on a business trip. During my free time, I just
> wandered the streets by walk. I happened to notice that the traffic light
> poles near the pedestrain crossing has some kind of Speaker system. Each
> pedestrain crossing corners has this speaker box and they are beeping in a
> cyclic manner. I wonder for what they are used? May be its some kind of
> primitive sonar to detect pedestrains.. You guys should be knowing more.

We've had those at various intersections for a while now. They are for
the visually impaired. In my area North/South has a "bird chirping"
sound, East/West has a two tone sound.

At most intersections the audible signal is only activated if the button
is held for more then 3 seconds.

TTYL

2006\06\06@102627 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
On Tue, 06 Jun 2006 06:55:01 -0400, Rolf wrote:

> Mohamed Ismail Bari wrote:
> > Hello all,
> >
> > Last week I visited Berlin on a business trip. During my free time, I just
> > wandered the streets by walk. I happened to notice that the traffic light
> > poles near the pedestrain crossing has some kind of Speaker system. Each
> > pedestrain crossing corners has this speaker box and they are beeping in a
> > cyclic manner. I wonder for what they are used? May be its some kind of
> > primitive sonar to detect pedestrains.. You guys should be knowing more.
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Ismail
> >  
> This is for the blind, so they know when it is safe to cross the road.

Yes, we've had these in Britain for a number of years now.  To find the crossing itself the pavement at the
edge of it has bumps on it that you can feel through your shoes, and when the light goes green for pedestrians
the bleeper sounds from the poles on each side.  Having got used to it, people who have perfect sight tend to
step out when they hear the bleeps, without looking at the signals themselves.  Which means you could cause
someone to step out into the traffic by doing an impression of the sound!  (I see a possible "whodunit"
storyline there :-)

Having seen how traffic deals with pedestrians crossing the road in New York, I can see that it would never
work there - it's never "safe" to cross the road there even with perfect eyesight, as far as I can tell!

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\06\06@104728 by Lenihan.Eugene

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face
Salt Lake City Utah has had sound along with its Walk-Don't Walk signals
for decades.  If I remember correctly a chirping sound indicates it's OK
to walk one way while a cukoo sound indicates it's OK to walk the other
way.

{Original Message removed}

2006\06\06@113202 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
>> > Last week I visited Berlin on a business trip. During my free
>> > time, I just
>> > wandered the streets by walk. I happened to notice that the
>> > traffic light
>> > poles near the pedestrain crossing has some kind of Speaker
>> > system. Each
>> > pedestrain crossing corners has this speaker box and they are
>> > beeping in a
>> > cyclic manner. I wonder for what they are used? May be its some
>> > kind of
>> > primitive sonar to detect pedestrains.. You guys should be
>> > knowing more.



A look through my Berlin photos produced the following candidates.

       http://public.fotki.com/RussellMc/atw/berlintrafficlights/

Click on thumbnails for larger view and a larger view again is
available if desired via link at bottom of all except one photo.

There are two types of structures which may be what you are referring
to. One sort is a roughly cubical box, and on some posts there is a
flat panel - may be a very local area cellphone cell-site antenna.
Photos were adjusted to show lights as well as reasonably possible.
These were in all cases not the main subject so lighting and quality
is less good than if the lights had been being photographed.

   .
Goodish view here

       http://images17.fotki.com/v319/fileKdZs/7370c/7/760471/3634995/BerlinPICT4177.jpg

560 kB file.

There was a rollerblade / inline skates protest at the Brandenburg
Gate. How easily and how soon the days of Checkpoint Charlie are
forgotten.



       Russell McMahon



2006\06\06@123508 by Robert Rolf

picon face


Spehro Pefhany wrote:
> At 04:41 PM 6/6/2006 +0530, you wrote:
>
>>Oh.. I see. May be I should close my eyes and try it once. I am afraid, I
>>may cross the junction diagonally as the beep is cyclic over the corners...
>>;-)
>
>
> I don't remember what they do in Berlin, but in Hong Kong, they make a
> rhythmic noise alternating in the direction in which it is safe to cross.
>
> As others have said, for the blind.

And up here, they have different tones for the different directions.
That way a blind person uses whichever tone for the intersection they want
to cross.
And some intersections only generate the tone if you press a button
on the pole (since the 'walk' light always appears).

R

2006\06\06@175846 by Peter

picon face

On Tue, 6 Jun 2006, Mohamed Ismail Bari wrote:

> Last week I visited Berlin on a business trip. During my free time, I just
> wandered the streets by walk. I happened to notice that the traffic light
> poles near the pedestrain crossing has some kind of Speaker system. Each
> pedestrain crossing corners has this speaker box and they are beeping in a
> cyclic manner. I wonder for what they are used? May be its some kind of
> primitive sonar to detect pedestrains.. You guys should be knowing more.

They are a very un-primitive device for the blind, telling them when
it's safe to cross the street and when not to.

Peter

2006\06\06@213556 by Juan Cubilo

flavicon
face
Here in Costa Rica they are used to help blind people cross roads. Every
time they are in an intersection (street - avenue) and the avenue trafic
light turns red they begin to sound. They still have to know if they are
crossing a street or an avenue...

Juan Cubillo


{Quote hidden}

> --

2006\06\06@221450 by VULCAN20

picon face
Just curious is there a difference in a street or an avenue?  If so what
is the difference?

Juan Cubilo wrote:

{Quote hidden}

>>--

2006\06\07@070900 by Mohamed Ismail Bari

picon face
This is indeed a neat method to help the blind people. I feel that (in
Berlin)the vehicle noise zipping near by would easily distort the soft beep
sounds. May be blind people have very sharp ears.

In my country this will not work out due to vehicle noise.... and not to
mention people honking at each other.

2006\06\07@072518 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 04:38 PM 6/7/2006 +0530, you wrote:
>This is indeed a neat method to help the blind people. I feel that (in
>Berlin)the vehicle noise zipping near by would easily distort the soft beep
>sounds. May be blind people have very sharp ears.
>
>In my country this will not work out due to vehicle noise.... and not to
>mention people honking at each other.

The ones in Hong Kong are *very* loud, and so is the traffic noise. More of
a raucous clacking than a "soft beep". I have also heard more pleasant ones
that sounded like an electronic bird tweet, but I can't remember where.

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
KILLspamspeffKILLspamspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com
->>Test equipment, parts OLED displys http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZspeff


2006\06\07@081758 by Dan Smith

face picon face
On 6/7/06, Mohamed Ismail Bari <RemoveMEizmileTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
> This is indeed a neat method to help the blind people. I feel that (in
> Berlin)the vehicle noise zipping near by would easily distort the soft beep
> sounds. May be blind people have very sharp ears.

The best ones that I've seen (heard?...) were in Dublin.  They sounded
just like the original Space Invaders arcade machine.  Took me a while
to work out where the noise kept coming from!

Dan

2006\06\07@112427 by Vasile Surducan

face picon face
On 6/6/06, Robert Rolf <spamBeGoneRobert.RolfspamBeGonespamualberta.ca> wrote:
>
>
> Spehro Pefhany wrote:
> > At 04:41 PM 6/6/2006 +0530, you wrote:
> >
> >>Oh.. I see. May be I should close my eyes and try it once. I am afraid, I
> >>may cross the junction diagonally as the beep is cyclic over the corners...
> >>;-)
> >
> >
> > I don't remember what they do in Berlin, but in Hong Kong, they make a
> > rhythmic noise alternating in the direction in which it is safe to cross.
> >
> > As others have said, for the blind.
>
> And up here, they have different tones for the different directions.
> That way a blind person uses whichever tone for the intersection they want
> to cross.
> And some intersections only generate the tone if you press a button

How they found the button ?
In White Plains NY there are a few intersections where is very
difficult to found the button even if you can see... Some of those are
well masked by the newspaper auto-stores. And there are others where
DON't WALK signal is permanent.

greetings,
Vasile

2006\06\08@191944 by Robert Rolf

picon face
Vasile Surducan wrote:

{Quote hidden}

It's BIG (2" diameter) and sticks out of a 3"H x 2"W x 2"D box.
And it's at a standard height (40"?) and place on all poles.
There are usually two per pole (one for each direction).
It's also above the height of the newspaper stands (at least
around here).


> In White Plains NY there are a few intersections where is very
> difficult to found the button even if you can see... Some of those are
> well masked by the newspaper auto-stores. And there are others where
> DON't WALK signal is permanent.
>
> greetings,
> Vasile

2006\06\22@165810 by Martin McCormick

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face
       I first learned to use the white cane in the late sixties
and we were taught to listen to the traffic flow which was a
common practice back then.  The signals were a lot simpler
without as many turning arrows so it was usually no problem to
know when it was safe to go for it.  In the eighties, I lived in
a direction from work that required crossing a couple of streets
that had lights.  They did have pedestrian buttons, but no
beepers.  Contrary to what you might think, busy streets are
actually safer than intermittently-used streets because you get a
constant traffic sound.  These streets were moderately busy, but
there are still long pauses in which nobody is coming from
anywhere.

       You go up, push the button, and probably set a bit on a
controller which is honored the next cycle of red for cars so
there is no way to guess when the signal actually changed.  There
are also inductive loops in the pavement which give cars the
chance to influence the flow and motorcycles fits when they don't
have enough iron to trigger the sensor.:-)

       After getting the hell scared out of me a couple of times
when there wasn't anybody around to hear, pushing the button, and
still managing to jay-walk, I called up our mayor at the time and
asked about the chances of getting some of those beepers right
here in relatively small Stillwater, Oklahoma.

       As luck would have it, the mayor was a little more
visionary than some folks in similar positions and thought it was
a great idea and, one of the Electrical Engineering classes at
Oklahoma State University was in need of a project.

       This was all back in 1983 so some of the details are a
bit fuzzy, now, but I recall, it was a record short time like
maybe a few weeks before there was a nice chirping bird sound for
North/South traffic and a video game warbling sound from one of
those Radio Shack noise maker chips for East/West streets.

       Ten years later, we moved to the other side of the campus
and I didn't have to use the audible signals any more for years.

       Fast forward to 2006.  There has been lots of new
construction on the campus and the way I normally get to work was
blocked for a while so I had to go a different direction and
begin using the audible signals once more.

       The first day I used them, something was dreadfully
wrong.  The chirping bird was still there and the video game
sound effect was now a cuckoo which is no big deal as long as the
sounds are different.  What was wrong was that in the
intervening years, somebody in their infinite wisdom reversed
the sound so that the chirping bird was now East/West and the
cuckoo is North/South.  Fortunately, the one time I got it wrong,
nobody was coming, but I was sure confused when the sound was
180-degrees out of phase with what the traffic was doing.  The
sounders and it appears, the whole system had been replaced
somewhere along the way and, I guess, there is no standard so the
moral of the story is to know what is normal for this
intersection.

       They've got those pedestrian beepers all around the
campus, now, and I always feel a little glad that I started the
ball rolling in 1983.

       I think the original beepers were wired to the 120-volt
power to the Walk light and the very first ones succumbed to a
lightning strike.  Some of the modern ones adjust their volume to
get louder when there is a lot of ambient noise so that they
don't drive permanent residents crazy by beeping loudly at 3
o'clock in the morning.

       The inductive loops I mentioned used to thoroughly jam AM
car radio reception and you could hear the carrier swish across
when the car de-tuned the loop.

Martin McCormick WB5AGZ  Stillwater, OK
Systems Engineer
OSU Information Technology Department Network Operations Group

2006\06\22@172354 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Thanks for sharing that, Martin. Its a great story.

--Bob

Martin McCormick wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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