Green light, red hand
There are still 15 seconds left to cross this intersection.

If you are attempting to cross Lindell at Euclid and you see that the pedestrian signal is showing a solid red hand, chances are you can still safely cross the road. That is because the pedestrian countdown timer lies, reaching zero a full 15 seconds before the traffic light turns yellow.

Because the countdown timers at this intersection are so far out of sync with the traffic lights, I now completely ignore the pedestrian signals. I have seen other people ignoring the pedestrian signals and have even told people who stopped that they can safely proceed. What’s the purpose of having countdown timers if they are wildly inaccurate and ignored by the pedestrians they are meant to inform and protect?

The pedestrian countdown timers at this intersection are hardly the only ones I’ve seen that mislead pedestrians trying to cross the road. Long ago, I reported an issue with the countdown timers crossing DeBaliviere at Lindell in front of the Missouri History Museum; the intersection of Skinker and Forest Park has been a long standing issue; and countdown timers throughout downtown Clayton shortchange pedestrians by 6 seconds before the traffic lights turn yellow.

After reporting the problem with the countdown timers on Euclid at Lindell to the St. Louis CSB last month, the Traffic and Lighting division “supposedly” adjusted the timing of the signals. Supposedly is in quotes because, as of today, the pedestrian countdown timers still lie by the same 15 seconds as they did before.