Traffic Signal Madness

In downtown Montreal, many of the traffic signals have a timer showing how much time you have left to try and cross the street.

The other day, we were downtown and crossed a two lane street. I was surprised that we had 48 seconds to get across - since that was more than enough time. Later we crossed a six lane street, with a large median in the middle. This time, we only had 30 seconds to get across. With two little kids, it took about 20 seconds.

It makes you wonder how city planners decide durations for various lights - select them out of a hat?

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