Traffic lights



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Steve Vallee

Guest
This might sound like a dumb question... If you're supposed to obey traffic signals, what do you do
when you're the only one in, say, a left turn lane and the light won't turn green because it doesn't
sense that you're even there? No cars come to make a left so the light never turns green. Do you
just go through it? Will a cop pull me over?

Steve
 
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Eric S. Sande

Guest
>This might sound like a dumb question... If you're supposed to obey traffic signals, what do you do
>when you're the only one in, say, a left turn lane and the light won't turn green because it
>doesn't sense that you're even there? No cars come to make a left so the l ight never turns green.
>Do you just go through it?

After a decent interval you run the light.

>Will a cop pull me over?

Highly unlikely, but that's your problem.

--

_______________________ALL AMIGA IN MY MIND_______________________ ------------------"Buddy Holly,
the Texas Elvis"------------------
__________306.350.357.38>>[email protected]__________
 
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Steve McDonald

Guest
What you can do is avoid that turn lane. A cop will ticket you if you're spotted running it, as
like all predators, they never pass up an easy kill. Since none of them have ever ridden a bike
through it, your protestations will be unheeded. Find another nearby place you can navigate to
where you want to go and avoid the light. Or, you can just zip through the light like most riders
would do, not noticing or caring that it doesn't change. If you want to stand up for the rights of
bicyclists, protest the non-functioning light sensor to the public works dept. and when they take
no action, sign up for an appearance before your city council. They'll tell you to contact the
public works dept.

Steve McDonald
 
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Ryan Cousineau

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, "Steve Vallee" <[email protected]> wrote:

> This might sound like a dumb question... If you're supposed to obey traffic signals, what do you
> do when you're the only one in, say, a left turn lane and the light won't turn green because it
> doesn't sense that you're even there? No cars come to make a left so the light never turns green.
> Do you just go through it? Will a cop pull me over?
>
> Steve

The other day, I saw a skeleton lying in a little-used left-turn slot. It was still clipped into the
carbon-fibre frame that clearly doomed the rider into never triggering the left-turn slot!

Legally, you probably have to wait until you can declare the signal "broken" (i.e. it won't respond
to the presence of your bicycle, a legally operated vehicle) and obey the local procedure for a
broken traffic signal, which is usually to revert to a four-way stop.

In practice, just use the simpler rule of thumb that if you can go through the light with sufficient
confidence that you won't get run over and won't get spotted by a police officer, you're safe to do
so. If this is a chronic problem (say, because it's on your commute or favourite training ride),
either find an alternate route or just use crosswalks and get a more creative path through the
intersection.

--
Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
 
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Harris

Guest
"Steve Vallee" wrote:
> This might sound like a dumb question... If you're supposed to obey
traffic
> signals, what do you do when you're the only one in, say, a left turn lane and the light won't
> turn green because it doesn't sense that you're even there? No cars come to make a left so the
> light never turns green. Do
you
> just go through it? Will a cop pull me over?

Not a dumb question at all.

First, you need to learn how to trip the sensor. You will usually see rectangular cut marks in the
pavement where the sensor wires are located. Place your bike (vertically) directly over one of those
cut marks. The light may not change instantly; give it about 30 seconds. If that doesn't work, try
leaning your bike (horizontally) over the center of the loop.

If the light still won't change, carefully go through the red light. THEN, when you get home, call
or write your local traffic safety department. Explain this dangerous situation, and ask them to
adjust the sensor's sensitivity.

I had a situation like this in my neigborhood last year. Within two days of notifying the traffic
department, they had 1) adjusted the sensitivity, 2) painted white lines showing where to position
the bike, and 3) sent me a nice letter explaining what they had done.

Art Harris
 
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Dan Daniel

Guest
On Sat, 19 Apr 2003 23:53:52 -0500, "Steve Vallee" <[email protected]> wrote:

>This might sound like a dumb question... If you're supposed to obey traffic signals, what do you do
>when you're the only one in, say, a left turn lane and the light won't turn green because it
>doesn't sense that you're even there? No cars come to make a left so the light never turns green.
>Do you just go through it? Will a cop pull me over?
>
>Steve
>

You could get pulled over and ticketed. Then you go to court and claim that it was a non-functioning
traffic signal, and that you are allowed to use 'due caution' and proceed in the case of a
non-functioning traffic signal.

Until you get ticketed, follow others' advice and call your local public works department and
explain the situation. In the meantime, if it is a dangerous intersection where I would need a green
to make the turn safely, I would go to the right side of the intersection, enter the cross street
traffic and wait for the green in that direction.
 
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David Kerber

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
> This might sound like a dumb question... If you're supposed to obey traffic signals, what do you
> do when you're the only one in, say, a left turn lane and the light won't turn green because it
> doesn't sense that you're even there? No cars come to make a left so the light never turns green.
> Do you just go through it? Will a cop pull me over?

Depends on the local laws. In some areas, if the light goes through two cycles without giving you
your light, you are allowed to go through it, because it's assumed to be broken. Of course if
there's no cop around, and it's safe to go through after waiting your turn, I wouldn't worry about
not waiting another cycle.

--
Dave Kerber Fight spam: remove the ns_ from the return address before replying!

REAL programmers write self-modifying code.
 
F

Frank Krygowski

Guest
Harris wrote:
>
>
> Not a dumb question at all.
>
> First, you need to learn how to trip the sensor. You will usually see rectangular cut marks in the
> pavement where the sensor wires are located. Place your bike (vertically) directly over one of
> those cut marks. The light may not change instantly; give it about 30 seconds. If that doesn't
> work, try leaning your bike (horizontally) over the center of the loop.

Good answer. Here's a fine point I've learned.

Around here, they put in special bike-sensitive loops at a few intersections. Instead of being just
4 ft x 8 ft rectangles, the visible saw cuts have an additional line down the middle. It looks like
two 2 ft x 8 ft rectangles, immediately adjacent to each other.

I found that these did NOT work if I lined up on the outer line, as usual! I had to be on the center
line - then they detected me very reliably. So that's another thing to watch for.

>
> If the light still won't change, carefully go through the red light. THEN, when you get home, call
> or write your local traffic safety department. Explain this dangerous situation, and ask them to
> adjust the sensor's sensitivity.

Also a good idea. I've done this with good results. They may eventually get complaints, however,
because when a standard loop is turned up enough to detect a bicycle, it sometimes responds to false
signals caused by vehicles driving by in the opposite direction in the adjacent lane. Apparently a
three ton truck ten feet away looks just like a bicycle right inside the loop.

But I didn't point that out to them. I just asked that it be turned up.

--
Frank Krygowski [email protected]
 
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Jmk

Guest
<<SNIP>>

IIRC, Minnesota has laws that indicate that vehicles can go through the intersection if the traffic
light does not detect you for 2 cycles. Again IIRC, the law was intended for motorcycles that have
the same problem. I don't know if this law was passed or not, nor do I know how a bicyclist would be
treated by the law in these circumstances.

This is just from memory, which seems to get a little worse each day. YMMV.

Jim

> Depends on the local laws. In some areas, if the light goes through two cycles without giving you
> your light, you are allowed to go through it, because it's assumed to be broken. Of course if
> there's no cop around, and it's safe to go through after waiting your turn, I wouldn't worry about
> not waiting another cycle.

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Chris Zacho "Th

Guest
Steve Vallee wrote:

"This might sound like a dumb question... If you're supposed to obey traffic signals, what do you do
when you're the only one in, say, a left turn lane and the light won't turn green because it doesn't
sense that you're even there? No cars come to make a left so the light never turns green. Do you
just go through it? Will a cop pull me over?

Steve"

Assuming your machine has some metal in it's construction, I think you'll find your answer here :-3)

http://geocities.com/czcorner/mac15.html

May you have the wind at your back. And a really low gear for the hills! Chris

Chris'Z Corner "The Website for the Common Bicyclist": http://www.geocities.com/czcorner
 
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Chris Zacho "Th

Guest
Dan Daniel wrote:

"You could get pulled over and ticketed. Then you go to court and claim that it was a
non-functioning traffic signal, and that you are allowed to use 'due caution' and proceed in the
case of a non-functioning traffic signal."

DON'T run the light. Your bicycle is considered a vehicle and bound by the vehicular codes of your
area. That includes traffic lights.

If you wan't to try to fight this in court, go ahead. The judge will probably ask you why you didn't
use the walk button and cross the street when the light changed. If it was a left turn, same thing,
why didn't you just make your turn in two stages push button, go when green, wait at opposite corner
for light to change back. I know this, because that's what he asked me just before he awarded the
case to the "arresting" officer.

There IS a way to trip the street sensor and get a green light, just like a car. This has worked on
99% of the street light's I've encountered, both in California and in Carolina (North and South).

Here's how: http://geocities.com/czcorner/mac15.html

May you have the wind at your back. And a really low gear for the hills! Chris

Chris'Z Corner "The Website for the Common Bicyclist": http://www.geocities.com/czcorner
 
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Dennis P. Harri

Guest
On Sun, 20 Apr 2003 00:54:41 -0700 in rec.bicycles.misc, Ryan Cousineau <[email protected]> wrote:

> If this is a chronic problem (say, because it's on your commute or favourite training ride),
> either find an alternate route or just use crosswalks and get a more creative path through the
> intersection.

no, if it's a chronic problem, call the gummint authority responsible for that traffic signal and
complain. ask them to set the sensitivity so that a bike will trigger it, and ask them to stencil a
bike symbol (as shown in figure 9C-6 of the manual of uniform traffic control devices, aka to
traffic engineers as the MUTCD) at the best spot for triggering it.
 
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Art Harris

Guest
Chris Zacho wrote:

> DON'T run the light. Your bicycle is considered a vehicle and bound by the vehicular codes of your
> area. That includes traffic lights.

If the light doesn't change after waiting a reasonable time, and after trying to trip the sensor,
why not carefully proceed through the light? Even when driving my car, I occasionally encounter a
"stuck" traffic light. Usually the only reasonable thing to do is to CAREFULLY go through it. I
can't believe any policeman would ticket someone for that.

Art Harris
 
A

Alex Rodriguez

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
>
>
>This might sound like a dumb question... If you're supposed to obey traffic signals, what do you do
>when you're the only one in, say, a left turn lane and the light won't turn green because it
>doesn't sense that you're even there? No cars come to make a left so the light never turns green.
>Do you just go through it? Will a cop pull me over?

Just go through when it is safe to do so. If a cop stops you, explain the situation.
-----------------
Alex __O _-\<,_ (_)/ (_)
 
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Doug Kanter

Guest
"Steve McDonald" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
>
> What you can do is avoid that turn lane. A cop will ticket you if you're spotted running it,
> as like all predators, they never pass up an easy kill. Since none of them have ever ridden a
> bike through it, your protestations will be unheeded. Find another nearby place you can
> navigate to where you want to go and avoid the light. Or, you can just zip through the light
> like most riders would do, not noticing or caring that it doesn't change. If you want to stand
> up for the rights of bicyclists, protest the non-functioning light sensor to the public works
> dept. and when they take no action, sign up for an appearance before your city council.
> They'll tell you to contact the public works dept.
>
> Steve McDonald
>

The sensors are electromagnetic, and made to detect big chunks of metal, like cars. I seriously
doubt they could be adjusted to detect a bike.
 
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Fritz M

Guest
"Doug Kanter" <[email protected]> wrote:

> The sensors are electromagnetic, and made to detect big chunks of metal, like cars. I seriously
> doubt they could be adjusted to detect a bike.

In the U.S., all modern inductive loop detectors are designed to detect bicycles. If they don't
detect bicycles, they are not designed to current traffic standards and are defective.

RFM
--
To reply, translate domain from l33+ 2p33|< to alpha. 4=a 0=o 3=e +=t
 
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Harris

Guest
Doug Kanter <[email protected]> wrote:

> The sensors are electromagnetic, and made to detect big chunks of metal, like cars. I seriously
> doubt they could be adjusted to detect a bike.

Nonsense. My bike easily triggers most sensors. You have to know where to position your bike, and
the sensor's sensitivity has to be adjusted properly.

Art Harris
 
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Doug Kanter

Guest
"Fritz M" <[email protected]+> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> "Doug Kanter" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > The sensors are electromagnetic, and made to detect big chunks of metal, like cars. I seriously
> > doubt they could be adjusted to detect a bike.
>
>
> In the U.S., all modern inductive loop detectors are designed to detect bicycles. If they don't
> detect bicycles, they are not designed to current traffic standards and are defective.
>

Hmm. Interesting. Do you know if they suffer more wear in places where salt is applied to the roads
at a rate of 1 ton per minute per 100 sq feet?
(i.e.: Rochester NY)
 
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John David Powe

Guest
Jon Isaacs wrote:
>
> >The sensors are electromagnetic, and made to detect big chunks of metal, like cars. I seriously
> >doubt they could be adjusted to detect a bike.
>
> The can be adjusted to detect a bike and they often are adjusted to detect a bike.
>
> Jon Isaacs

They can be, but will they be. I contacted my local traffic engineer to request some of the lights
on my commute be adjusted to detect my bike. No response. I place both wheels on the edge of the
inductive loop and get no detection. It's fine now that I commute during high traffic hours but this
summer I'll be leaving for work before dawn to stay cool and will have to run the red lights.
 
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Doug Kanter

Guest
"Harris" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> Doug Kanter <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > The sensors are electromagnetic, and made to detect big chunks of metal, like cars. I seriously
> > doubt they could be adjusted to detect a bike.
>
> Nonsense. My bike easily triggers most sensors. You have to know where to position your bike, and
> the sensor's sensitivity has to be adjusted properly.
>
> Art Harris
>

In the pavement here, I don't see any of the shapes described by others in this newsgroup. How
shallow is the placement of these detectors?
 
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