One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(in the UK) a pedestrian crossing with traffic lights which go green again only when no more pedestrians are detected on the crossing by infrared detectors and mats.
- ‘Mrs Allen said the school had a puffin crossing and a crossing patrol, but there had been no applicants to man a second patrol post.’
- ‘They claim that replacing the zebra crossings on both streets with light-controlled puffin crossings would be unsafe and harm the appearance of the area.’
- ‘Mr Barton said the scheme would provide footpaths for pedestrians and cyclists with puffin crossings similar to those on the recently improved Manchester Road-Mayo Avenue roundabout.’
- ‘An application has been made to install a puffin crossing outside The Sun pub in Bradford Old Road and a mini roundabout at the road's junction with Cottingley Moor Road to ease heavy traffic.’
- ‘The work to convert the zebra crossing into a puffin crossing is set to start in October and has received funding from Bradford Council's Highways Department.’
1990s: puffin from p(edestrian) u(ser) f(riendly) in(telligent), respelled after the bird's name by analogy with pelican crossing.
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