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Old 06-09-11, 09:16 AM   #1
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Stupidest Traffic Lights in NorCal

I nominate the light here (Google map -- and just a few blocks from Google!) where the bayshore road crosses San Antonio near highway 101. If you look at the street view you can see that there are bike signs/lanes/markers on BOTH sides of San Antonio, but the light will NEVER change for a bike and there's no button to press to request a light change. I cross this one almost every day and 85% of the time I just have to advance through traffic on a red light
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Old 06-09-11, 10:37 AM   #2
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This one right here.
Popular cycling road. No cross walk. No push button to walk. Sensors don't read bikes. Busy intersection. There's no way to safely or legally make this corner work.
I get pissed off every time I ride there.
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Old 06-09-11, 01:48 PM   #3
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I nominate the light here (Google map -- and just a few blocks from Google!) where the bayshore road crosses San Antonio near highway 101. If you look at the street view you can see that there are bike signs/lanes/markers on BOTH sides of San Antonio, but the light will NEVER change for a bike and there's no button to press to request a light change. I cross this one almost every day and 85% of the time I just have to advance through traffic on a red light
Unfortunately, State Highway crossings fall under the jurisdiction of Caltrans. Good luck with their bureaucracy.
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Old 06-09-11, 03:32 PM   #4
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Shoreline/El Camino, crossing el Camino. The light is too short for a bike to get across. I have been nearly hit by cars 3-4 times as the light goes from Green -> Red -> cross traffic green in the time it takes me to traverse 1/2 the road.
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Old 06-09-11, 04:04 PM   #5
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How about all 19 lights on Mathilda between Moffett Park and Ahwanee in Sunnyvale, encompassing the 101 and 237 interchanges (the aptly-named Mathilda Monster)? They need to nuke that area from orbit and start over.

But at least the lights at Moffett Park and Ahwanee sense bicycles.
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Old 06-10-11, 07:22 AM   #6
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How about all 19 lights on Mathilda between Moffett Park and Ahwanee in Sunnyvale, encompassing the 101 and 237 interchanges (the aptly-named Mathilda Monster)? They need to nuke that area from orbit and start over.

But at least the lights at Moffett Park and Ahwanee sense bicycles.
I typically take the bike bridges overcrossing 101 and 237 (especially since my office is adjacent to the bike bridge crossing 237). The left turn from Moffett Park Dr onto Mathilda is just suicidal ... and it is a mess even in a car.
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Old 06-10-11, 10:39 AM   #7
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I typically take the bike bridges overcrossing 101 and 237 (especially since my office is adjacent to the bike bridge crossing 237). The left turn from Moffett Park Dr onto Mathilda is just suicidal ... and it is a mess even in a car.
I live near Fair Oaks & Tasman, so I cross Mathilda at Moffett Park, then take the bike bridge over to Persian to get home, or of course the reverse to get to work. But even just crossing Mathilda is tough because of all of the cars in the intersection when they shouldn't be. You simply can not synchronize that many lights and that much traffic. Or at least the city of Sunnyvale and Caltrans can't.
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Old 06-10-11, 10:41 PM   #8
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I ride from Ellis down the road alongside 101 to Mathilda and go through that weird U-turn onramp intersection thing. It's scary every time from any direction.
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Old 06-12-11, 10:51 AM   #9
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Does Borregas cross under 237? I was looking at that triangle on Google maps with "Bicycling" turned on and man, from that perspective the alternatives all seem like.. not really alternatives. But maybe Borregas?
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Old 06-12-11, 11:30 AM   #10
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Does Borregas cross under 237? I was looking at that triangle on Google maps with "Bicycling" turned on and man, from that perspective the alternatives all seem like.. not really alternatives. But maybe Borregas?
There are bike overpasses over 237 and 101 on Borregas. Even going straight on Moffett Park Dr to cross Mathilda is sometimes impossible because cars coming south on Mathilda stop in the middle of the intersections between the three tightly spaced lights.
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Old 06-12-11, 12:05 PM   #11
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This mess.

This is 218, Canyon Del Rey road and the intersection of Del Monte Blvd in Seaside. The Embassy Suites hotel is located at this intersection, for reference.

Here are the problems!

There are FOUR traffic lights within a quarter mile on Canyon Del Rey here, at Sonoma, Del Monte, Home Depot, and the on ramp to south bound Hwy 1. It is a very busy stretch of road, and there are NO bike lanes. The Coastal Rec Trail passes through here, so many of us riders (and runners, and walkers) pass through this maze trying to get to and from the Rec Trail.

Heading west
: Bikes will NOT trip the lights. Trying to turn left on Canyon Del Rey at Del Monte requires a car to trip the left turn light for the cyclist. Most cars are patient with cyclists, but some are not. Trying to get to the left turn lanes is an adventure, and can be flat out dangerous.

If a rider wishes to go straight on Canyon Del Rey to get to the coast (and the Rec Trail), the right lane is wide, but cars just love to use the extra width to 1) turn right into a Starbucks located on the NW corner of Canyon Del Rey/Del Monte, 2) turn right into the McDonalds located just past the Starbucks, 3) turn right into the parking lot at Home Depot, next trap, 4) turn right into a Shell gas station, 5) turn right onto the NB on ramp of Hwy 1, and lastly, 6) turn right onto the access road paralleling the Rec Trail. I've been cut off and almost hit COUNTLESS times traversing this mess!

Eastbound: Coming from the Rec Trail onto Canyon Del Rey is fun, too. Canyon Del Rey widens from two lanes to four after the Hwy 1 interchange, and there is room for cyclists, as well as there being a short stretch of Rec Trail going under the overpass. However: 1) You have to cross the on ramp for SB Hwy 1. Not so bad, except for the impatient cars wanting to turn right on red to go up that on ramp. Then, 2) You have to cross the off ramp from NB Hwy 1. That's usually okay, the drivers are looking left for on coming traffic and they see a cyclist. 3) The light at Home Depot loves to turn red, so be prepared to stop. The shoulder is wide, so that's okay and safe. 4) When a rider gets to the Canyon Del Rey/Del Monte Blvd intersection, if they intend to continue east on Canyon Del Rey, it is wise to "take" the right lane. Cars turn right onto Del Monte on red here, and guess what, they don't look to their right before they make the turn! I've learned the hard way about this. 5) After a cyclist crosses Del Monte on Canyon Del Rey, the lanes narrow down A LOT - there is NO shoulder. Many motorists seem to think a green light is a drag strip Christmas Tree and they'll run a cyclist into the curb - I've been pushed into the gutter several times! I stay out in the lane and make them wait, and I have been known to use "feminine wiles" to get my way ;~). Just be careful! 6) The light at Sonoma is on a hair trigger and will turn red for Canyon Del Rey traffic at the drop of a feather or a push of the cross walk button. This can back traffic up into the Del Monte intersection, and once again, the right lane is narrow with no shoulder. You've got to be sure the cars know you're there!

Once you clear the Sonoma light (in front of Embassy Suites) things become a little more sane. Riding through that maze, which I do almost every day, is an adventure that doesn't need to be one, had it been planned better.
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Old 06-13-11, 07:12 PM   #12
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The following:

Any and all lights on descents that are red when I want to go through them;
And and all lights on climbs that are green when I want an excuse to take a break;
Any and all lights in Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Walnut Creek, Alamo or Danville.

I think that pretty much covers it.
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Old 06-13-11, 10:24 PM   #13
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Every single traffic light in Modesto/Riverbank/Oakdale/Stockton.... oh nevermind, it is useless. Even the police officers are ignorant.
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Old 06-14-11, 11:03 AM   #14
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Unfortunately, State Highway crossings fall under the jurisdiction of Caltrans. Good luck with their bureaucracy.
I've found Caltran District 4 (Bay Area) and District 5 (Central Coast) to be *very* responsive to traffic light complaints and other inquiries. Has your experience been different?
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Old 06-14-11, 11:59 AM   #15
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I've found Caltran District 4 (Bay Area) and District 5 (Central Coast) to be *very* responsive to traffic light complaints and other inquiries. Has your experience been different?
Hmm... I wonder if they would respond to complaints about the suicidal bike lane that exists on both northbound and southbound sides of Shoreline crossing over 101. Got surprised there one night as I was cruising up there from Shoreline Park and noticed that, out of nowhere, the bike lane suddenly disappears and you're now stuck with very hostile traffic trying to get onto 101. Had to get off and walk...
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Old 06-14-11, 12:10 PM   #16
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Any of the lights in Fairfield, especially the light at Lopes and Gold Hill in Cordelia that will not even allow a single car to cross when going from red to green and back to red again.
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Old 06-14-11, 01:16 PM   #17
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After DeadHeadSF cited the exact same light as "suicidal," and Richard's suggestion, I went hunting to see who manages that traffic light. An interesting thing about CalTrans District 4 -- there's a bike picture right on the front page that leads to this page about bike paths and safety. So I'm already +1'ing them

That light is actually managed by the City of Mountain View http://www.ci.mtnview.ca.us/city_hal...ic/default.asp so I called the Traffic Engineering Dept at 650-903-6311 and they were actually very attentive and wrote down all the details. Here's hoping!

Edit: I suggest that others call too -- let them know it's not just me, the one grump!

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Old 06-14-11, 01:25 PM   #18
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How about all 19 lights on Mathilda between Moffett Park and Ahwanee in Sunnyvale, encompassing the 101 and 237 interchanges (the aptly-named Mathilda Monster)? They need to nuke that area from orbit and start over.

But at least the lights at Moffett Park and Ahwanee sense bicycles.
Haha! I knew someone was going to bring that mess up. Thats the mess I learned to drive and bike in on my daily commute to Cogswell College.

Mathilda Monster

Seriously tho, stay away from that area all together. While I was going to school one of the many accidents that happened involved a death where the cyclist got hit by a car entering the onramp, into the lightrail. There are pedestrian/bike bridges built just a little to the east. They are hella easy to find.
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Old 06-15-11, 11:10 AM   #19
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Hmm... I wonder if they would respond to complaints about the suicidal bike lane that exists on both northbound and southbound sides of Shoreline crossing over 101.
Caltrans design manual for urban freeway crossings is seriously broken, but that's a completely different issue. Call them about broken signal lights and they'll at least look at it and usually respond within a day or two.
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Old 06-15-11, 04:05 PM   #20
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So.. Mountain View called back and said the City of Palo Alto manages that light at San Antonio. So I called them at (650) 329-2520 , and since there's not a crosswalk they say there should not be a button -- though the light won't change for traffic in the marked lanes. They'll "look into it" :/
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Old 07-14-11, 10:26 AM   #21
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Followup on the San Antonio/Bay crossing light.

The car sensor can sense bikes. In fact there was a bike symbol painted there on the LEFT LANE. But it's almost 100% worn away by cars. So to cross on the (right) bike lane, go over to the left lane just at the corner, and switch lanes as you cross the intersection to get back into the bike lane marked there on the other side.

Still dumb but better than never working

(Related post: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...raffic-Sensors )
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Old 07-14-11, 01:59 PM   #22
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Hmm... I wonder if they would respond to complaints about the suicidal bike lane that exists on both northbound and southbound sides of Shoreline crossing over 101. Got surprised there one night as I was cruising up there from Shoreline Park and noticed that, out of nowhere, the bike lane suddenly disappears and you're now stuck with very hostile traffic trying to get onto 101. Had to get off and walk...
+1
i just try to make it across as fast as i can and not get hit. its bad...
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Old 07-15-11, 11:43 AM   #23
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No push button to walk. Sensors don't read bikes. Busy intersection. There's no way to safely or legally make this corner work.
I get pissed off every time I ride there.
Similarly, this one. From the looks of it, there was a cross button at one time but they removed it. And the fog rolls in,and you're freezing your behind off waiting for a car to come so you can finally cross. The traffic on Skyline are traveling at 60 mph and, sometimes the fog is so thick you only have a few hundred yards visibility. I usually get lucky near commute hours, but you never can tell at other times. It may not be stupid, but it is the most frustrating, and maybe the most dangerous of any that I know of.

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Old 07-15-11, 01:11 PM   #24
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Haha! I knew someone was going to bring that mess up. Thats the mess I learned to drive and bike in on my daily commute to Cogswell College.

Mathilda Monster

Seriously tho, stay away from that area all together. While I was going to school one of the many accidents that happened involved a death where the cyclist got hit by a car entering the onramp, into the lightrail. There are pedestrian/bike bridges built just a little to the east. They are hella easy to find.
One wonders if the Mary Avenue Bridge would alleviate some congestion in this area... too bad it'll never happen.
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Old 08-05-11, 05:34 PM   #25
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This mess.

This is 218, Canyon Del Rey road and the intersection of Del Monte Blvd in Seaside. The Embassy Suites hotel is located at this intersection, for reference.

Here are the problems!

There are FOUR traffic lights within a quarter mile on Canyon Del Rey here, at Sonoma, Del Monte, Home Depot, and the on ramp to south bound Hwy 1. It is a very busy stretch of road, and there are NO bike lanes. The Coastal Rec Trail passes through here, so many of us riders (and runners, and walkers) pass through this maze trying to get to and from the Rec Trail.

Heading west
: Bikes will NOT trip the lights. Trying to turn left on Canyon Del Rey at Del Monte requires a car to trip the left turn light for the cyclist. Most cars are patient with cyclists, but some are not. Trying to get to the left turn lanes is an adventure, and can be flat out dangerous.

If a rider wishes to go straight on Canyon Del Rey to get to the coast (and the Rec Trail), the right lane is wide, but cars just love to use the extra width to 1) turn right into a Starbucks located on the NW corner of Canyon Del Rey/Del Monte, 2) turn right into the McDonalds located just past the Starbucks, 3) turn right into the parking lot at Home Depot, next trap, 4) turn right into a Shell gas station, 5) turn right onto the NB on ramp of Hwy 1, and lastly, 6) turn right onto the access road paralleling the Rec Trail. I've been cut off and almost hit COUNTLESS times traversing this mess!

Eastbound: Coming from the Rec Trail onto Canyon Del Rey is fun, too. Canyon Del Rey widens from two lanes to four after the Hwy 1 interchange, and there is room for cyclists, as well as there being a short stretch of Rec Trail going under the overpass. However: 1) You have to cross the on ramp for SB Hwy 1. Not so bad, except for the impatient cars wanting to turn right on red to go up that on ramp. Then, 2) You have to cross the off ramp from NB Hwy 1. That's usually okay, the drivers are looking left for on coming traffic and they see a cyclist. 3) The light at Home Depot loves to turn red, so be prepared to stop. The shoulder is wide, so that's okay and safe. 4) When a rider gets to the Canyon Del Rey/Del Monte Blvd intersection, if they intend to continue east on Canyon Del Rey, it is wise to "take" the right lane. Cars turn right onto Del Monte on red here, and guess what, they don't look to their right before they make the turn! I've learned the hard way about this. 5) After a cyclist crosses Del Monte on Canyon Del Rey, the lanes narrow down A LOT - there is NO shoulder. Many motorists seem to think a green light is a drag strip Christmas Tree and they'll run a cyclist into the curb - I've been pushed into the gutter several times! I stay out in the lane and make them wait, and I have been known to use "feminine wiles" to get my way ;~). Just be careful! 6) The light at Sonoma is on a hair trigger and will turn red for Canyon Del Rey traffic at the drop of a feather or a push of the cross walk button. This can back traffic up into the Del Monte intersection, and once again, the right lane is narrow with no shoulder. You've got to be sure the cars know you're there!

Once you clear the Sonoma light (in front of Embassy Suites) things become a little more sane. Riding through that maze, which I do almost every day, is an adventure that doesn't need to be one, had it been planned better.
Funny, I rode through here back and forth for a couple of days as a tourist. I agree, I got off my bike and used the crosswalks and sidewalk..it's got many bad things going for it. What's ironic about it, it must be obvious to the planners this is heavily traveled bike route, but it looks designed to kill - and the mapped tourist bike routes send people in this direction - correct?. I assumed it's about money, and the city has none. If it gets sued they'll realize it would have been cheaper to invest in a safe intersection.
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