Summary: On November 2, 2006, approximately 60 people gathered at the University of
Idaho to discuss the potential uses for Smart Signals traffic controller technology,
particularly focused on serving the often overlooked needs of pedestrians. Dr.
Richard Wall, UI Professor of Electrical Engineering, facilitated the workshop. At-
tendees represented universities, state and federal agencies, representatives of ad-
vocacy groups for pedestrians, cyclists, and people with disabilities. Experts in the
design of the Smart Signals technology, as well as traffic experts and groups inter-
ested in traffic safety, addressed the assembly. Participants also engaged in ques-
tion/answer sessions and small group work. The workshop comprised a full day of
thoughtful work on the question of how the new technology could best serve the
interests of efficient human transportation and safety, the technological and regula-
tory assets and barriers to its use, and the long term vision for Smart Signals appli-
The focus of the work shop was how to use technology to improve safety and
access for pedestrians with a range of physical capabilities. It is universally agreed
that current traffic signal timing practices treat pedestrian with a "one size fits all"
attitude regardless of physical capability. When a vehicle and pedestrian collide, the
pedestrian always is at the greater risk.
Despite the fact that advanced communications technology exists, a universe of