I was almost mowed down this evening, as a pedestrian, at one of the monster intersections in NYC. We both had the light -- I was crossing in a North/South direction, and the cager was going North/South and attempting to make a left turn West.
The fact we both had the light is an indication that the whole thing hasn't really been thought through.
It was one of those situations where you're watching him, you're expecting him to hit the brakes, and he just doesn't. I put out my hand and stopped him, Superman-style. The only injury was a slight sprain (I hope) to the hand. Good thing one of us was paying attention, or I would've been toast.
The whole design is so damn primitive. As society moves towards more drivers being imbeciles, and more tendency towards excessive rushing/multitasking, it's a wonder there aren't more accidents. There's gotta be a better way:
* Pedestrian bridges
* Motorized pedestrian "people-movers" that swoop you up and over the intersection
* Car ramps so left-turning cars can swoop up and over everyone else
* Making cars illegal
* Traffic lights broken down into more increments: for instance I saw something out West once, where everything stopped except pedestrians could cross in all 4 directions. That worked pretty well out there.