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Tired of red lights...

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Tired of red lights...

Old 07-05-08, 03:46 PM
  #1  
paulwwalters
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Tired of red lights...

So it seems every day in the intersection in front of my work I sit through 3 cycles of red lights for the cross traffic before I end up running the light. The sensors here must not pick up bikes.

The worst part is when you've got 18 cars behind you but you're first in the que so they all wait. I'm gonna conceal-carry and gun down lights that piss me off.

And before you ask, no, there is no other way to get to work avoiding this light.
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Old 07-05-08, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by paulwwalters View Post
And before you ask, no, there is no other way to get to work avoiding this light.
Sure there is.
Use the crosswalk.
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Old 07-05-08, 04:04 PM
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No crosswalk. 3 lane (each way) highway crossing the 1 lane (each way) street I'm on.
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Old 07-05-08, 04:10 PM
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Build a MIRT. My local geek buddy will show you how... and why it's soooo illegal (but sounds like it wouldn't be ill-founded in your case)

http://www.i-hacked.com/index.php?op...sk=view&id=176
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Old 07-05-08, 04:11 PM
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I have this same problem. Those street light sensors don't detect my bike so I end up waiting for another car to pull up behind me to trigger it to turn green, or I have to use the crosswalk which is lame.
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Old 07-05-08, 04:20 PM
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The car behind me doesn't trigger the green, which is the problem. And there's a sensor loop in the pavement, I don't think the lights are IR sensing (unless that's normal and the IR thing is for emergency vehicles only, in which case the lights probably do have them as well).
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Old 07-05-08, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by paulwwalters View Post
The car behind me doesn't trigger the green, which is the problem. And there's a sensor loop in the pavement, I don't think the lights are IR sensing (unless that's normal and the IR thing is for emergency vehicles only, in which case the lights probably do have them as well).
Almost all lights installed in the last decade or so have IR sensors for emergency vehicles. The transmitter is only for EVs or other traffic signal preemption-authorized users (funerals, presidential convoy, etc, usually escorted by police cars)
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Old 07-05-08, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by paulwwalters View Post
The worst part is when you've got 18 cars behind you but you're first in the que so they all wait.
It's actually spelled "queue". I think it's a silly spelling, so I prefer the word "line".

If there are 18 cars behind you, I don't see how it's a problem. Whenever that happens to me, I just move somewhere (ahead or to the side), and motion a car behind me to pull up, sometimes pointing at the ground and then the light. I dont know if they "get" the pointing, but car drivers love to roll forward, even if a few feet, so they do pull up and trigger the light.

Last edited by chephy; 07-05-08 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 07-05-08, 05:28 PM
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Thanks I thought I had it spelled wrong... I knew it wasn't cue.
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Old 07-05-08, 05:38 PM
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just like those damn cheques.
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Old 07-05-08, 05:50 PM
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right.
I just call them checks.
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Old 07-05-08, 06:29 PM
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scoot over and let a car trigger it.
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Old 07-05-08, 06:30 PM
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Rather than build/use that MIRT, which seems risky, why not try that magnet thing that trips the light sensor like a car would? I'm not sure if they work, but a magnet is cheap and legal!
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Old 07-05-08, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by paulwwalters View Post
right.
I just call them checks.
Or Czechs.

Az
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Old 07-05-08, 07:13 PM
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If a car is coming up behind me at the light, I always make room for them and motion them onto the sensor. They usually appreciate the gesture, even though they don't know why I'm doing it.

I took a magnet out of an old hard drive - those suckers are strong! - and stuck it underneath my bottom bracket. If you have a non ferrous frame you could always clamp it to one of the chainstays. When there are no cars around, I line my frame up with the sensor cut-outs in the road if they haven't been paved over yet.

Any rare earth magnet should disrupt the sensor field enough to trip the light.

Both systems work for me just fine.
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Old 07-05-08, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by paulwwalters View Post
And before you ask, no, there is no other way to get to work avoiding this light.
Umm... ever try moving forward and motioning the car behind you to pull over the senor?
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Old 07-05-08, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Powerarranger View Post
Any rare earth magnet should disrupt the sensor field enough to trip the light.

Both systems work for me just fine.
I think it really depends on how sensitive the light is. I trip about half of the induction loop lights with my steel framed bike (no magnet). The other half I don't. I actually had to run one (on my aluminum bike) the other day, there wasn't a car around and I'd waited through two cycles of the cross walk!

Maybe the OP should tell the city/county. They probably won't do anything, but I'd guess that if dozens of folks eventually register a request they'll consider putting in a motion system. It may do no good, but when a cop catches you running a red you'll have that official paperwork to bring to court documenting that this light doesn't work.
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Old 07-05-08, 07:42 PM
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Is there no break in traffic to "run the red"?

In Bicycling and the Law, bicycle racer turned lawyer Bob Mionske states on page 42: "It turns out that in every state, this is one instance where you can legally run a red light. The sensor is considered defective in this case, and it is not considered against the law to go through a defective red light. However, in order to be sure that the signal is defective (and to be able to demonstrate in court that you had sufficient reason to be sure), you should sit through the equivalent of one complete light cycle ... without the light being triggered. If you still don't get the green, the light is defective, and you can then proceed through the intersection, yielding the right-of-way to any approaching vehicles. If you were to receive a ticket for running the red light, fault should be placed on the person who installed the sensor. If you were to become involved in an accident as a result, fault would be apportioned among the person who installed the sensor, you, and the motorist, according to your comparative liabilities."

In an ideal world, of course...
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Old 07-05-08, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Az B View Post
Or Czechs.

Az
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Old 07-05-08, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by crhilton View Post
I think it really depends on how sensitive the light is. I trip about half of the induction loop lights with my steel framed bike (no magnet). The other half I don't. I actually had to run one (on my aluminum bike) the other day, there wasn't a car around and I'd waited through two cycles of the cross walk!

Maybe the OP should tell the city/county. They probably won't do anything, but I'd guess that if dozens of folks eventually register a request they'll consider putting in a motion system. It may do no good, but when a cop catches you running a red you'll have that official paperwork to bring to court documenting that this light doesn't work.
Dozens of requests? I am one of less than 10 bike commuters in my area.
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Old 07-05-08, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Az B View Post
Or Czechs.

Az
You mean Chex?
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Old 07-05-08, 09:22 PM
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This is not a problem that cyclists face alone, the same thing can and does happen to motorcyclists. The advice for motorcyclists is the same advice that bicyclists can follow: let the traffic light cycle about 2 times and then go ahead and run the red when it is safe.

The faster and more practical method, though, would be to move to the side of the road and let a car up where they can trigger the sensor.
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Old 07-05-08, 10:03 PM
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Okay...

So, OP, you know that these lights don't detect your bike, and you expect to sit through a few cycles every time. You know well in advance of arriving at the intersection, then. Plus, you're not willing to run the red light.

Why not get to each one already to the side of the road and leave room for any of the cars behind you to move up and trip the sensor?

I really don't see what the problem is, because the solution is too easy.
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Old 07-06-08, 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by crhilton View Post
I think it really depends on how sensitive the light is. I trip about half of the induction loop lights with my steel framed bike (no magnet). The other half I don't. I actually had to run one (on my aluminum bike) the other day, there wasn't a car around and I'd waited through two cycles of the cross walk!

Maybe the OP should tell the city/county. They probably won't do anything, but I'd guess that if dozens of folks eventually register a request they'll consider putting in a motion system. It may do no good, but when a cop catches you running a red you'll have that official paperwork to bring to court documenting that this light doesn't work.
I run across this problem more. With an aluminum frame, I often go straight for the cross walk if A) there is one, B) there's a lot of cross traffic and C) if there's no one to trigger the light for me and I've sat through, and ended up having to cut across, more cross walks that wouldn't change than lights that wouldn't change.

Cross walks suck. Lights suck. Being as safe and careful as I can, I usually just don't stop at all when possible...lol
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Old 07-06-08, 01:38 AM
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http://www.bikesense.bc.ca/ch4.htm

Search for "Traffic signals". There should be 3 pictures to the right. Does it match what you get?
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