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Old 08-18-08, 11:29 PM   #1
mmounties
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Traffic light yellow-phase too short

What has been your experience with traffic light yellow phases? We ride in Orange County and on numerous occasions we have entered intersections when the light was green only to see red before we even got to the median. Has anyone had success trying to get the phases adjusted?
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Old 08-18-08, 11:47 PM   #2
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As part of the effort to implement AB1581, which requires new traffic signals to detect bikes, the Caltrans subcommittee is also looking at signal timing. But that will take a long while before that gets ironed out and filters down to the cities. Personally I haven't needed to request signal timing changes (I guess I'm just used to sprinting from a stop! ), but probably the best thing to do would be to call the city Public Works department. You should request that the green time should be longer, not the yellow.
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Old 08-19-08, 08:02 AM   #3
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Its probably because the streets in Orange County are 4 lanes in each direction. Thats a lot to cross during a yellow light.
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Old 08-19-08, 10:44 AM   #4
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I've stopped at some lights that turned green,yellow, and back to red before I even made it across!
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Old 08-19-08, 11:23 AM   #5
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Old 08-19-08, 03:26 PM   #6
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The time a light is yellow (and red) is 1/10 the speed limit in seconds. So if the speed limit is 35, the light will stay yellow (and red) for 3.5 seconds. Or at least it's supposed to. My ex-girlfriend's step-mom works for the DMV, so I learned a few of these random facts.
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Old 08-19-08, 04:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YOJiMBO20 View Post
The time a light is yellow (and red) is 1/10 the speed limit in seconds. So if the speed limit is 35, the light will stay yellow (and red) for 3.5 seconds. Or at least it's supposed to. My ex-girlfriend's step-mom works for the DMV, so I learned a few of these random facts.
Yes, the yellow has set requirements, so that's why they need to play with the green time.
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Old 08-19-08, 08:21 PM   #8
ir0nfist
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ride faster!
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Old 08-19-08, 11:56 PM   #9
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One thing I've noticed at intersections where there is a countdown display on the "walk/don't walk" signal:

At some intersections, when the countdown reaches zero, the light goes yellow immediately. At other lights, the countdown goes to zero, and the light goes yellow a few seconds later.

The inconsistency is difficult to predict for a biker who might take a little longer through an intersection than a car.
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