Antwerp makes buttons at pedestrian crossings elbow-friendly
Share article:
Share article:

Antwerp makes buttons at pedestrian crossings elbow-friendly

© Albert Bridge/Wikimedia

The city of Antwerp today started installing new buttons at pedestrian crossings which can be operated with the elbow, for anyone who is wary of touching a surface that is probably touched by thousands of strangers every day.

The new button will be attached on top of the existing button, meaning it projects out further, making it easier to press with the elbow by pedestrians and cyclists waiting to cross.

It will be installed at the 73 pedestrian light-controlled crossings, where the lights change on request. Most other pedestrian crossings operate either on a fixed cycle or by using detectors in the road surface for cars or camera images to measure the density of traffic in the various directions.

The change comes at the request of pedestrians and cyclists, the city said, to make the city more corona-proof.

In total, the city is installing 508 push buttons,” said Koen Kennis (N-VA), city councillor for mobility.

Especially with winter approaching, it is worthwhile to make it easier for cyclists and pedestrians, if they are wearing gloves or mittens, to operate those buttons. And safer of course.”

At present the change only affects those roads that fall under the city’s authority, but Antwerp intends to suggest an extension of the measure to regional roads.

We will be asking the Agency for Roads and Traffic to also provide adapted push buttons on regional roads, so that all push buttons can be made corona-proof.”

In Antwerp, 50 intersections are equipped with smart lights, which use cameras to vary the length of time traffic from a particular direction should have a green light, based on the density of traffic in all directions.

However it is difficult for smart lights to deal with cyclists, who are able to approach from different directions or turn immediately to cross without riding over the intersection. Push buttons are therefore the best solution.

Pedestrians’ movements and intentions are even more difficult to predict, which is why push buttons have been in place for much longer.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Flanders introduces ‘invisible’ speed cameras
New digital speed cameras that are essentially invisible to the road user are being introduced on various roads and motorways in Flanders, Flemish ...
Warnings issued for slippery roads across Belgium
Drivers have been asked to watch out for slippery roads from Saturday afternoon until Sunday evening, as snow and cold temperatures are expected ...
Testing rules following high-risk contact eased for vaccinated people
The coronavirus testing policy following a high-risk contact has been eased, meaning a vaccinated person who was in contact with an infected person ...
New measures announced for Belgian schools
Stricter rules are being implemented across a variety of sectors in Belgium to curb the rising number of infections and limit the damage as a result ...
Majority of booster doses should be administered by March 2022
Invitations will be sent out in the following days for the general population in Belgium to receive a coronavirus booster vaccine, and most adults ...
Belgium adopts national plan to combat gender-based violence
Belgium has adopted a National Action plan for the Fight against Gender-Based Violence, which includes more than 200 measures and unites all levels ...
Antwerp cancels Christmas market and New Year’s Eve fireworks
The city of Antwerp has joined other cities including Leuven and Ghent by announcing it is cancelling this year's Christmas market, the end-of-year ...
Pharmaceutical companies looking into vaccines against new variant
Pharmaceutical companies have sprung into action to look into vaccine protection against the new coronavirus variant first detected in South Africa, ...
Belgium imposes entry ban on travellers from southern Africa
Belgium is introducing an entry ban for travellers from several countries in the south of Africa following concerns about a new variant (B.1.1.529) ...
What Ursula did next
BRUSSELS BEHIND THE SCENES • Weekly analysis and untold stories
Nightclub closures, limiting contacts: These rules come into force today
Just over one week after its last meeting, Belgium's Consultative Committee on Friday once again announced a set of new measures to curb the rising ...
Almost 3,500 Covid-19 patients in hospitals as new cases continue to skyrocket
The number of new coronavirus cases in Belgium is continuing to rise, and with it the number of Covid-19 patients who are hospitalised as a result of ...