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Old 07-28-07, 01:55 PM   #1
NoNaYet
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I am responsible for my safety....

On week days I ride the road, and on weekends like to do MUPs and rails to trails.

Did 20 miles today on the trike on the Cady Way / Cross Seminole MUP in Orlando. First time. At one point there is a traffic light just for the MUP crossing, never saw that before. I hit the crosswalk button and wait for the light, even though there were several gaps I could have crossed on.

The light trips red and the outside lane stops. You'd think that was a visual clue. Instead of crossing I wait for the inside lane to stop as well, and sure enough a PT Cruiser passes all the stopped autos and blows the red light at about 30MPH.

Sure glad I didn't go on the traffic signal alone.
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Old 07-28-07, 05:19 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by NoNaYet View Post
On week days I ride the road, and on weekends like to do MUPs and rails to trails.

Did 20 miles today on the trike on the Cady Way / Cross Seminole MUP in Orlando. First time. At one point there is a traffic light just for the MUP crossing, never saw that before. I hit the crosswalk button and wait for the light, even though there were several gaps I could have crossed on.

The light trips red and the outside lane stops. You'd think that was a visual clue. Instead of crossing I wait for the inside lane to stop as well, and sure enough a PT Cruiser passes all the stopped autos and blows the red light at about 30MPH.

Sure glad I didn't go on the traffic signal alone.
So which is the maneuver with less risk? Cross when the gaps indicate a collision is not possible regardless of the color of the light, or trust the traffic signal to stop ALL oncoming traffic?
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Old 07-28-07, 06:31 PM   #3
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probably a look to the left then right, then left again (or vice versa in some countries) make sure path is clear, then proceed with caution. Or... treat it like a broken 4-way traffic light... perhaps?
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Old 07-31-07, 12:35 PM   #4
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So which is the maneuver with less risk? Cross when the gaps indicate a collision is not possible regardless of the color of the light, or trust the traffic signal to stop ALL oncoming traffic?
False dichotomy. Hit the button to tell traffic to stop. Then check to see that they do so. Then go.

In other words, do exactly what the OP did.
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Old 07-31-07, 12:46 PM   #5
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It pays to be very careful at stop lights that control a pedestrian, MUP, or golf cart crossing.

It's easy for motorists (and cyclists!) to miss the added visual cue of a full-sized cross street.

But PT Cruiser should have noticed other cars were stopped.

Your street smarts were in full operating mode. Glad you didn't get hurt.
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Old 07-31-07, 01:25 PM   #6
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So which is the maneuver with less risk? Cross when the gaps indicate a collision is not possible regardless of the color of the light, or trust the traffic signal to stop ALL oncoming traffic?
Traffic engineers often point out that installation of traffic signals usually do not increase safety over non-signalized conditions for the reason you point out. Crash rates as a percentage of traffic volume often get worse after signal installation unless there is a sight line/distance problem or other special condition that makes it hard for road users to see and react to one another without the signal.

The most common warrant for adding a traffic signal is to address an unacceptable amount of delay experienced by users of the lower priority road. If there are very few traffic gaps on the main road, those waiting for the gaps may wait a very long time without a signal to help them. But if there are lots of gaps, waiting for a gap may be faster on average, and a signal can actually increase these users' delay because obeying the law requires that they wait for the signal once it is installed. Signal installation also increases delay for users of the main road. This is why traffic engineers apply a rather strict set of formulas as warrants before installing a traffic signal, in order to balance safety and convenience for all users.

Oftentimes a better solution than a signalized crossing for a greenway is a wide median refuge area with adequate room to store bicycle traffic comfortably. Cary is experimenting with such designs now for mid-block greenway crossings at arterial roads. In some cases the greenway bends and turns toward traffic a short distance while in the median, to encourage users to face approaching traffic before crossing the second half of the road. This is similar to the offset crosswalk treatments that can be seen in much of the UK. Pedestrians and cyclists can get across the road more safely and conveniently by crossing only half the road at a time (smaller gaps can be exploited, one direction at a time) and without waiting for a traffic signal.
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Old 07-31-07, 05:25 PM   #7
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... Oftentimes a better solution than a signalized crossing for a greenway is a wide median refuge area with adequate room to store bicycle traffic comfortably. ... This is similar to the offset crosswalk treatments that can be seen in much of the UK. Pedestrians and cyclists can get across the road more safely and conveniently by crossing only half the road at a time (smaller gaps can be exploited, one direction at a time) and without waiting for a traffic signal.
I am very frustrated American society's insistence that pedestrians cross both halves of a divided road in one continuous motion, rather than sometimes regrouping British-style in a wide median.
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Old 08-01-07, 12:54 PM   #8
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Traffic engineers often point out that installation of traffic signals usually do not increase safety over non-signalized conditions for the reason you point out. Crash rates as a percentage of traffic volume often get worse after signal installation unless there is a sight line/distance problem or other special condition that makes it hard for road users to see and react to one another without the signal.

The most common warrant for adding a traffic signal is to address an unacceptable amount of delay experienced by users of the lower priority road. If there are very few traffic gaps on the main road, those waiting for the gaps may wait a very long time without a signal to help them. But if there are lots of gaps, waiting for a gap may be faster on average, and a signal can actually increase these users' delay because obeying the law requires that they wait for the signal once it is installed. Signal installation also increases delay for users of the main road. This is why traffic engineers apply a rather strict set of formulas as warrants before installing a traffic signal, in order to balance safety and convenience for all users.

Oftentimes a better solution than a signalized crossing for a greenway is a wide median refuge area with adequate room to store bicycle traffic comfortably. Cary is experimenting with such designs now for mid-block greenway crossings at arterial roads. In some cases the greenway bends and turns toward traffic a short distance while in the median, to encourage users to face approaching traffic before crossing the second half of the road. This is similar to the offset crosswalk treatments that can be seen in much of the UK. Pedestrians and cyclists can get across the road more safely and conveniently by crossing only half the road at a time (smaller gaps can be exploited, one direction at a time) and without waiting for a traffic signal.
On the issue of traffic lights removal and additions.
In barberton here in Ohio they removed pretty much every signal along Wooster road leading in to downtown barberton. Not do to the fact it was not needed (in fact it was and is needed) They did it to basically ruin the ability for various mom and pop shops to rent the cheap private ownership building to try and force them to rent the higher priced store fronts in the shopping plaza where the city gets a larger chunk of the cash from. Prior to 1996 to 97 many a mom and pop shop got their starts there after 97 not a single mom and pop shop has lasted more than 3 months.

If you look at Wooster road in barberton between 31st and the barberton shopping plaza you can see how many side streets there are. It averages about 4 buildings between side streets. This means there are 12 side streets with say 4 buildings between them so 48 nice but small store fronts. Each of these use to get walk ins because of stopped traffic seeing the computer shop or fresh veggie store or bike shop or what have you there and saying oh hell why not and walking in to see what they had.

Sad thing is every single one of those lights worked well for cyclists. Every one tripped properly and the road was easy to get on and off of for a rider. Now unless your simply riding that one road forget it take tusarawas.
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Old 08-01-07, 05:49 PM   #9
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False dichotomy. Hit the button to tell traffic to stop. Then check to see that they do so. Then go.

In other words, do exactly what the OP did.
I agree.

Today a friend of mine buried his 14 year old grandaughter. She, along with her 8 year old brother, was a passenger in a pickup truck driven by their mother (daughter of my friend). They were crossing a busy highway, and had the green light according to the witnesses, when a tractor-trailer loaded with steel plates decided he could beat the red light.

He didn't make it.

Neither did my friend's grandaughter.

Likely her mother won't either.

Last I heard the 8 year old had a broken back, and maybe other injuries.

Two days before the accident the kids' father left on deployment with his National Guard unit to Iraq. Luckily he was still in the States, and was given emergency leave to be with his family.

This hit home with me because my wife was almost hit at the same intersection, also by a tractor-trailer that tried to beat the light. There but for the grace of God.........

One thing to keep in mind about traffic lights: When that light turns yellow, some people take the hint and start to slow down. Other's step on the gas to try to beat the light.
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Old 08-01-07, 06:26 PM   #10
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My deepest sympathies go to you and your friend.
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Old 08-08-07, 12:23 AM   #11
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I think roundabouts are the answer. I love them. no traffice stops, very few points of intersection. The points of intersection are not perpendicular which lessens the impacts when they do happen and they're fun. Who doesn't like to drive in a circle.
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Old 08-08-07, 08:08 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by NoNaYet View Post
On week days I ride the road, and on weekends like to do MUPs and rails to trails.

Did 20 miles today on the trike on the Cady Way / Cross Seminole MUP in Orlando. First time. At one point there is a traffic light just for the MUP crossing, never saw that before. I hit the crosswalk button and wait for the light, even though there were several gaps I could have crossed on.

The light trips red and the outside lane stops. You'd think that was a visual clue. Instead of crossing I wait for the inside lane to stop as well, and sure enough a PT Cruiser passes all the stopped autos and blows the red light at about 30MPH.

Sure glad I didn't go on the traffic signal alone.
This is why when I ride, I ignore all "rights of way" established by lights. When I approach a green light, I assess the intersection and make sure that even if the cars that have the red light decide to violate my right of way, I will have a way out that prevents me from being hit. This doesn't mean I stop to let them through, I assert my right of way but always plan for the worst.

Same thing when I have the red, if I can do so without interfering with another cars right of way in any fashion, I run it.

Right of way may make you right, but not necessarily safe, and I'd rather be safe and alive, than right and dead.
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Old 08-08-07, 11:02 PM   #13
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I am very frustrated American society's insistence that pedestrians cross both halves of a divided road in one continuous motion, rather than sometimes regrouping British-style in a wide median.
Check out the southside ped crossing of PCH at Del Mar Heights next time you're in Del Mar. If I'm not mistaken, there is a ped button on the median.
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