Traffic signals must meet requirements of national standards, which are based on the numbers of cars and pedestrians on the main road and side streets. Many intersections do not meet the standards required to install a traffic signal. Traffic signals also require a traffic study, involving added time and money.
The specialized pedestrian-activated signals have additional benefits. Unlike a standard traffic signal, a pedestrian-activated signal prioritizes pedestrians over cars. Shortly after a pedestrian pushes the button, the yellow flashing light signals drivers to stop for pedestrians crossing the street. As soon as the pedestrians clear the roadway, the drivers may proceed even if the light is still flashing yellow. Traditional traffic signals with red/yellow/green lights do not allow pedestrians to cross as soon as they push the “walk” button. Pedestrians may need to wait several minutes before they can cross.