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Making pedestrian crossings fun

A great concept for urban interaction from Germany that would definitely fit into the fun category.

A very modern and amazing traffic crosswalk in central Germany that allows you to play a game of pong with someone on the other side of the street while waiting for the light to change:

Urban Interactions.

STREETPONG is a concept of urban interaction by Sandro Engel and Holger Michel, developed at the HAWK Hildesheim, Faculty of Art. It is a simulation, not a permanent installation.

There are a couple of things really neat about this idea.

  • You can see the countdown timer for both the pedestrian and vehicle phases (I love the countdown timers on Queen St, I wish we had more of them)
  • It allows for interaction which can remove any frustration from waiting for the pedestrian phase. Although not so good if there is no-one on the other side

15 comments to Making pedestrian crossings fun

  • Kent Lundberg

    Fun, and maybe a little more functional- crosswalk in an arts district in Baltimore. via @promoandarts

  • Max

    You could always have the pong set up to be played by a computer whenever any one side is unattended. Then you rock up, and take over.

  • Luke C

    Games at traffic lights sorely needed in Auckland, considering the hopeless wait times as soon as you leave Queen St.

  • “I love the countdown timers on Queen St, I wish we had more of them”

    Spotted at 3x pedestrian crossing traffic lights on Sandringham Rd, one on Mt Albert Rd, and a couple of other places I can’t recall right now.

    AT appear to be rolling them out to pedestrian crossing traffic lights. Not sure when to expect them at “normal” intersections tho.

  • Rob Mayo

    Get this pong game into Auckland. We need it here.

  • Ari

    From what I understand, countdown timers are not permitted at ‘normal’ intersections because of safety issues. It is safer for pedestrians to run out in the last 10sec at a barnes dance or mid block crossing where all vehicles are stopped. But at ‘normal’ intersections pedestrians cross with cars in motion and some pedestrian running out in the last few seconds could end very badly. AT is risk averse so we likely won’t see it being done.

  • Sam

    Good fun.

    Are there any examples of kiwi urban design innovations like this?

    • bbc

      That’s an oxymoron I think.

      • Sam

        Does that mean kiwi’s just think they are innovative but there’s little evidence or is there just no money in NZ for “luxuries” like innovation?

        • bbc

          I am referring just to innovation in urban design, in that respect I think NZ lags a long way behind the curve. Or perhaps I’m being too cruel and there’s actually lots of innovation but we’re run by such a conservative backward thinking transport agency that none of it ever sees the light of day or is even considered. Best just to stick to widening roads.

  • Ari

    No, kiwi urban design is an oxymoron. NZ is 17th in the world for innovation, but we could do alot better.

  • RJ

    the should also have countdown timers for vehicles so they know how much time they have…and how do you add a photo? i want to show people what i mean

  • Jennifer Ward

    He’ll no! No countdown timers for the cars. Perhaps a lot more red light cameras though. Love the hopscotch pedestrian crossings.

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