This is a welcome development.
A lot of pedestrians in Houston no longer have an excuse for holding up traffic.
New countdown signals that flash the seconds left to safely cross Houston streets are now posted at a number of intersections, including in downtown. Others will be up soon at more than 300 intersections in the Texas Medical Center, Midtown and other areas with heavy pedestrian traffic.
City leaders are expecting a big return on the $1.3 million investment, which the City Council approved this summer.
The energy-efficient signals are equipped with LED lights, which are brighter and last longer. New LED-equipped traffic signals also are being installed as the city works to get all traffic signals upgraded with the more efficient bulbs. The upgrade will save the city $10,000 a day in energy costs, said Frank Michel, a spokesman for Mayor Bill White.
One of the Council candidates I interviewed – I can’t recall offhand which – mentioned this in discussing red light cameras. I recall seeing one for the first time shortly after that interview, as it happens. I think it’s a great idea, and the fact that the replacement signals are more energy efficient is a bonus. I hope we see them everywhere soon.