Traffic in Buenos Aires can be daunting. While crossing the street, a pedestrian in the City is often faced with two decisions: to risk your life and race against the car charging towards you, or to wait patiently for the crowd of racing cars to dissipate. Because, as we all know, cars have the right of way in Buenos Aires — not the pedestrians.
The city of Buenos Aires is making plans to implement a pedestrian traffic light system. The goal is to avoid traffic accidents and to better organize the flow of street-crossing. The GCBA is constructing a light system on the intersection of avenues Libertador and Ramos Mejia, with LED lighting.
Interestingly enough, the purpose of these traffic lights are not to avoid cars from crashing into pedestrians. It is actually to avoid pedestrians, distracted on their phones, from walking into traffic as the traffic lights change. In a previous Bubble article, it mentioned that pedestrians account for 21% of traffic deaths in Argentina, in Buenos Aires they account for over 40%.
In addition, the city has discovered that the horizontal traffic lights are quite intense and distract pedestrians while crossing the street. In which case, these LED lights will aid pedestrians by aligning signalling to them when the lights are changing, as a sort of reinforcement to not cross.
The construction will be done by Mantelectric, and the estimated cost will total 200 thousand pesos. Construction is expected to begin in July.