Stoplights that ignore bicycles

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Pendejo, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. Pendejo

    Pendejo Member

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    There is a major intersection near my house that I must go through to get to good biking routes. The light is controlled by sensors in the road, and the sensors don't detect bicycles. So if I'm waiting at the intersection in a "go straight" or turn-lane, and no cars are in the lane with me, the light ignores me and never gives me a green. I have to wait through several cycles of the light until a car pulls up behind me in my lane. So I've learned to go through the red light when it's safe to do so, and I've wondered if my defense ("I'm a legal vehicle that the light does not recognize") would hold water if a policeman tried to give me a ticket. Does anyone else out there have experience with this sort of thing?
     
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  2. sogood

    sogood New Member

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    You are better protected if you ride onto the pedestrian path and press the crossing button to hurry things along.
     
  3. benkoostra

    benkoostra New Member

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    I have the same issue, which is compounded by the fact that my pedals are a pain in the ass to click into. SOGOOD has good advice. If you have to click out and wait, you might as well make it quicker.
     
  4. rule62

    rule62 New Member

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    I have only one light on my commute that is picky. Usually all that I have to do is to unclip, dip my bike over drive side down, and it will pick it up. It took me a few times experimenting to find the right contact point. The best place that I have found on most lights is typically towards the front of the prism shaped sensor cut-out, right in the middle between the pick-up wires.

    Now when it doesn't work for me, I know that it isn't going to be working for anybody. I call it in to the city streets department and they get it reset and working again within the next couple of days.

    In the meantime, I will proceed through it after an unclipped, foot on the ground, complete stop.
     
  5. DiabloScott

    DiabloScott New Member

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    I have a similar situation and I run the light when necessary. If a policeman stopped me for that, I would explain what I did including stopping completely, verifying that the sensor didn't pick me up, waited for a safe time, and then proceeded with caution - that's what the California vehicle code says to do for a light that doesn't work properly. If he gave me a ticket anyway I'd take it to court and make my case to the judge.

    Some cops might expect you to walk across - answer... cars don't have to, I shouldn't have to. If the cop lets you off with a lecture don't argue with him.
     
  6. Bikelyst

    Bikelyst New Member

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    I have the exact same problem, and I do the exact same thing. Just make sure no ones watching.
     
  7. mikeg

    mikeg New Member

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    Contact the relevant authority or department (here there is a phone number on the contol box, to call, and quote the signal box number) and ask them to adjust the sensitivity of the sensors to properly detect bicycles presence on the lanes that you use. Also determine from them the most sensitive position for stopping on the sensor.

    Mike
     
  8. BornInZion

    BornInZion New Member

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  9. sogood

    sogood New Member

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    The thing to do for a failed turning lane sensor is to do a hook turn.
     
  10. ontheroadid

    ontheroadid New Member

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    Hi:

    I can't find it right now, but I recently read an online "pamphlet" that recommended riding along one of the "seams" in the road where the sensor is embedded. So I've tried riding on those rectangular outlines about 10 feet from the intersection on my commutes with some success.

    A lot of communities are moving toward the camera-sensor system, and the municipalities using that type of system report that it is more responsive to bikes and pedestrians.
     
  11. JJakucyk

    JJakucyk New Member

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    I have found that it usually works when I put one of my pedals at the 6:00 position and ride it over the length of one of the sensor wires. No matter what frame material your bike is, your pedal and/or shoe cleat probably has some steel in it. Since your pedal can get a lot closer to the sensor than a car, it's a bit more likely to pick you up. Stopping with your pedal over the wire is usually necessary, because if you ride past it the signals may assume you turned right on red or something and won't give you a green light.
     
  12. scottmilk9

    scottmilk9 New Member

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    Some states, Arizona being one of them, have a statutue that basically states if the light is red and it is clear to go from traffic, you may proceed. My brother is a policeman and he told me about this a couple years ago.
     
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