Road Cycling ďIt is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

Intersection Madness

Old 06-13-05, 10:19 PM
  #1  
Vickie
Ex Member
Thread Starter
 
Vickie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 101
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Calm down, this post is NOT gender specific, I promise. Itís about car-centric intersections.

So Iím riding to the grocery store tonight. Since I donít have a car I have to ride. The grocery store is on top of a nasty little hill, which is perfect with me. But before I can start climbing that hill, I need to cross the Telegraph Road/Kings Highway/Huntington Avenue mega intersection. Itís in Alexandria, just outside the beltway.

Itís basically a huge double intersection. Telegraph road is 8 lanes of busy traffic, Kings Highway is 6, Telegraph road is 4, the I495 exit is 3, and Burgundy Road is 4 lanes. Itís busy as hell from all sides most of the time.

And thereís only one single pedestrian crossing - where nobody needs it. Itís basically useless.

This is a perfect example of idiotic traffic engendering. Even if people wanted to bicycle, that intersection would scare the bejesus out of most of them. You really need to be a hard-core fanatic Ė like myself. As for pedestrians, thereís a metro station nearby and I see a few brave souls darting through traffic Ė until they get killed.

Car-centric intersections suck. What morons design those things anyway?

And since some of the left turns cut across 3 lanes of busy traffic coming from the other side (with a green lights both ways), there are always accidents there, so thereís always glass all over the place, so Iíve made the Chinese rich buying their tubes.

But wait, thereís more!

Iíve long discovered that the only remotely safe way to cross that intersection is to do it like cars do Ė wait for my green light and go. During the day it works more or less OK, if you donít get caught in one of those frequent accidents. But at night it becomes a different nightmare. I come from Burgundy Road which is deserted at night. All the other roads are busy.

So there I was tonight standing at that damn intersection and waiting for my green light. Everybodyís getting a green light in succession except me. Why? Because thereís one of those stupid sensors embedded in the road and itís not sensitive enough to detect a bicycle. Duh!

Since I often bicycle late at night (Iím a night creature, I was born not too far from Transylvania ) I get stuck at those sensor intersections all the time. Thank Goddess I donít always have to run a red light and dart across 8 lanes of busy traffic Ė like I had to do tonight.

Whoever came up with those bloody sensors should beÖ Well, perhaps he shouldnít be shot but he certainly should be locked in a room with vociferous me for an hour. Thereís a few things Iíd like to tell him. And my county traffic engineers too.

Last edited by Vickie; 06-14-05 at 12:05 AM.
Vickie is offline  
Old 06-13-05, 11:08 PM
  #2  
UmneyDurak
RacingBear
 
UmneyDurak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NorCal
Posts: 8,929
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 213 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Yeah I hate those damn sensors too. On the back end of the loop of my ride there is this left turn on the light. If there is no cars, I have to cross the street on pedastrian lane, then wait for a green pedetrian light to cross it to the side I need. So damn anoying.
UmneyDurak is offline  
Old 06-13-05, 11:34 PM
  #3  
tribe3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Vienna, VA - USA
Posts: 412
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
vickie I love your threads you have a gift for finding troubled spots , Real Ones!
I see it all different because I'm from Argentina (living here for some years now). Back there a cyclist is like a deer in hunting season and the cars the hunters. Only the better ones survive. So to my experience in riding a hostile environment you add the MUCH more respectful drivers here in USA and I really see everything in place. Very safe. I still look at the eyes of the motorists before crossing in front of them, and I also see bad drivers (usually women)

As of advice I have none. Maybe jumping or dancing a malambo on the spot to activate the sensor?
regards,
Pablo

Last edited by tribe3; 06-13-05 at 11:56 PM.
tribe3 is offline  
Old 06-13-05, 11:45 PM
  #4  
Blossom
Senior Member
 
Blossom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Flagstaff, AZ
Posts: 204
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
One some of the sensors around here, you can see where they are buried in the asphalt. I have had some luck with getting as much of my bike as possible over the lines, with the tires right on top of the sensor. It seems to work about 30-40% of the time.
Blossom is offline  
Old 06-13-05, 11:52 PM
  #5  
Vickie
Ex Member
Thread Starter
 
Vickie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 101
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by tribe3
vickie I love your threads you have a gift for finding troubled spots , Real Ones!
I also have a fantastic gift for causing trouble.
Vickie is offline  
Old 06-13-05, 11:56 PM
  #6  
STEVO820
i am eddy.
 
STEVO820's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: SUB_CHI-TOWN
Posts: 517

Bikes: TREK 1000, Lemond Sarthe, Formaggio T.I.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
you really like complaining dont you vickie did you ever think to just pick up the bottle and tell your problems to your dog

PS i hate cars while im riding as do most people on this forum
STEVO820 is offline  
Old 06-14-05, 12:55 AM
  #7  
redfooj
pluralis majestatis
 
redfooj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: you rope
Posts: 4,206

Bikes: a DuhRosa

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 537 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
99% of the traffic is vehicular, so thats what the streets are engineered around... i dont see anything wrong there
redfooj is offline  
Old 06-14-05, 02:40 AM
  #8  
AnthonyG
Senior Member
 
AnthonyG's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Queanbeyan, Australia.
Posts: 3,850
Mentioned: 43 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1615 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
I can trip the road sensors 95% if the time although it is hard to do if the sensor is burried under many new layers of bitumen. The sensor is an electric coil. When metal moves over the top of it it generates an electric current. It is infact a primitive generator.

Simply ride your bike over the edge of the coil that you can hopefully see. Go around in circles on it if nessecary.

Regards, AnthonyG
AnthonyG is offline  
Old 06-14-05, 04:20 AM
  #9  
cryogenic
Campy or bust :p
 
cryogenic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 3,139

Bikes: Surly Karate Monkey commuter build

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If anyone's wondering how horrible that intersection really is... Look here

Wow... We don't have anything even remotely close to being that bad around here at all.
cryogenic is offline  
Old 06-14-05, 04:37 AM
  #10  
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Posts: 29,272

Bikes: Catrike 559 I own some others but they don't get ridden very much.

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1164 Post(s)
Liked 34 Times in 26 Posts
Originally Posted by redfooj
99% of the traffic is vehicular, so thats what the streets are engineered around... i dont see anything wrong there
What's wrong is that it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. When any infastructure is designed to benefit only one user group, that user group will always become progressively more dominate because it's inconvenient for anybody else to use it. Then you can use this new "fact" to justify desigining systems that are even more unfriendly to other potential users. The result has been suburban development around many American cities that is distinctly unfriendly to anything but automobile transportation. Fortunately, new federally funded projects are getting away from this kind of madness.
Retro Grouch is offline  
Old 06-14-05, 06:03 AM
  #11  
cryogenic
Campy or bust :p
 
cryogenic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 3,139

Bikes: Surly Karate Monkey commuter build

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My city has actually taken on quite the bicycling initiative as of late.. All new roads are designed with decent sized shoulders, all buses have been outfitted with bike racks and many businesses in downtown and campus areas have installed bike racks outside. Not only that, several miles of "greenways" have been built in the past couple of years as well. It's not perfect but it's certainly a ton better than 10 years ago.
cryogenic is offline  
Old 06-14-05, 06:12 AM
  #12  
jitteringjr
Senior Member
 
jitteringjr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,957

Bikes: 2018 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 2016 Bombtrack Arise Campy build cross bike 2005 Fuji Outland Pro

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 357 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Blossom
One some of the sensors around here, you can see where they are buried in the asphalt. I have had some luck with getting as much of my bike as possible over the lines, with the tires right on top of the sensor. It seems to work about 30-40% of the time.
That doesn't help with CF bikes though....
jitteringjr is offline  
Old 06-14-05, 06:14 AM
  #13  
cryogenic
Campy or bust :p
 
cryogenic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 3,139

Bikes: Surly Karate Monkey commuter build

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
well, the wheels are metal aren't they? though admittedly, that's probably not enough metal to trip the sensors
cryogenic is offline  
Old 06-14-05, 06:17 AM
  #14  
jitteringjr
Senior Member
 
jitteringjr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,957

Bikes: 2018 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 2016 Bombtrack Arise Campy build cross bike 2005 Fuji Outland Pro

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 357 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by cryogenic
well, the wheels are metal aren't they? though admittedly, that's probably not enough metal to trip the sensors
They are aluminum, but its not enough. On my Jamis Aluminum frame I could trip the sensors about half the time like that, but since I got my CF bikes, it has never happened.
jitteringjr is offline  
Old 06-14-05, 06:19 AM
  #15  
Doid23
Senior Member
 
Doid23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Westchester NY
Posts: 578

Bikes: Merlin Cyrene, 1989 Nishiki International, Specialized Stumpjumer M2 Hardtail, ProFlex 856 Full Suspension

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Northern Virginia roads are notorious for being unfriendly to pedestrians and cyclists alike (with the obvious exception of the W&OD sorts of trails). The had a story in the Washington Post magazine a few years back about a person trying to walk from Rosylyn to Middleburg, illustrating the inability of a pedestrian to get anywhere using sidewalks, and that most of the time the walker was forced to walk on a busy road or through brush and tall grass. Tysons Corner is the perfect example of this, basically a tightly concentrated city, where you can't walk from one shopping plaza to the next. What good is having a city when you can't walk or ride anywhere?
Doid23 is offline  
Old 06-14-05, 06:22 AM
  #16  
Hipcycler
OCP
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: MILWAUKEE
Posts: 6,289

Bikes: The kind with two wheels

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Eat More.
Get Heavier.
Hipcycler is offline  
Old 06-14-05, 06:28 AM
  #17  
joeprim
Senior Member
 
joeprim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Northern Neck Tidewater Va.
Posts: 1,688
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by redfooj
99% of the traffic is vehicular, so thats what the streets are engineered around... i dont see anything wrong there
That's 'cause you don't live in Virginia. VDOT is the worst DOT I've seen. Md roads are better, but probably cost more. N.C. roads are way better and probably cost less. Sure roads are and should be designed for cars and trucks, but with a little thought they can safely accomidate bicycles or even pedestrians. The MS150 I did a couple of weekends ago reminded me how bad all the roads are not just the ones around my house. The lucky thing is that the divers around here are much better than average about sharing the road with tractors and bicycles. But up where Vicky is talking about road rage predominates and eveything is stacked against you.

Besides her post are fun to read.

Joe
joeprim is offline  
Old 06-14-05, 06:30 AM
  #18  
cc_rider
Calamari to go
 
cc_rider's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 3,110

Bikes: Trek 750

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Vickie - got to admire your bravery for riding THAT intersection. I don't even like driving that one.

If you want to have intersection improvements, talk to your county supervisor, your state delegate, your state senator. Helping constituents is what they do. Write to Dr Gridlock at the Post. He can get you good coverage.

Those sensors aren't just a problem for bikes. I had a small, light-weight car once that couldn't trip the sensor at the light at the end of my street off route 50. Complained to my state delegate and the State Highway people fixed the sensor settings.

Ask for an cross-on-demand button. Or better yet, a pedestrian bridge.
You don't get what you don't ask for.
cc_rider is offline  
Old 06-14-05, 06:35 AM
  #19  
galen_52657
Banned.
 
galen_52657's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Towson, MD
Posts: 4,020

Bikes: 2001 Look KG 241, 1989 Specialized Stump Jumper Comp, 1986 Gatane Performanc

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Sometimes, you can trip the sensors by laying your bike over close to the crack in the paving where the sensor is. Otherwise, you have to run the light or wait for a car to come up behind you or across on the other side.

If it was late and traffice was light, you could run it half at a time - stop at the median.
galen_52657 is offline  
Old 06-14-05, 06:50 AM
  #20  
billwatson58
Planet Saver
 
billwatson58's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Near western burb of Chicago
Posts: 289

Bikes: Cannondale CAAD-10, Novara Randonee, Raleigh Super Grand Prix, Schwinn Mirada Sport winter beater

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by redfooj
99% of the traffic is vehicular, so thats what the streets are engineered around... i dont see anything wrong there
That's the problem don't you see....if they were more bike friendly, low and behold we might have more bikes! "Build it and they will come"
billwatson58 is offline  
Old 06-14-05, 07:08 AM
  #21  
indie kid
Road to Joy
 
indie kid's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 87
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Where I live, theres a bike lane on one side of the road, but then the other way theres not one....Am I supposed to ride against traffic?!
indie kid is offline  
Old 06-14-05, 07:20 AM
  #22  
cydewaze
Emondafied
 
cydewaze's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Maryland
Posts: 4,939

Bikes: See sig

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 63 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Vickie
Itís basically a huge double intersection. Telegraph road is 8 lanes of busy traffic, Kings Highway is 6, Telegraph road is 4, the I495 exit is 3, and Burgundy Road is 4 lanes. Itís busy as hell from all sides most of the time.
I used to live around there (the place was called Riverside Park, but I think the name has changed) back in the late 70's, and back then those were all 2-lane roads. My parents would drive down Huntington Rd and it would end on Telegraph, and it was all bumpy and full of potholes.

You're making me kinda glad we moved away when we did.
__________________

my bike page - my journal
Current Stable: Trek Emonda SL - Trek Top Fuel 8 - Scattante XRL - Jamis Dakar Expert - Trek 9700 - AlpineStars Al Mega
cydewaze is offline  
Old 06-14-05, 08:05 AM
  #23  
skinnyone
Dude wheres my guads?
 
skinnyone's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Guess
Posts: 2,680

Bikes: Not enough

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
That intersection looks scary.. I have trouble trippin the sensors all the time... Whats worse is that here is MA it says something like Bicyclists stand on lines for green and there are no frikkin lines because the roads are bad.. Since it is juts a one lane road, I pretty much jump the signal most of the times ..
skinnyone is offline  
Old 06-14-05, 09:04 AM
  #24  
jreeder
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 116

Bikes: '04 Cannondale R600

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by AnthonyG
I can trip the road sensors 95% if the time although it is hard to do if the sensor is burried under many new layers of bitumen. The sensor is an electric coil. When metal moves over the top of it it generates an electric current. It is infact a primitive generator.

Simply ride your bike over the edge of the coil that you can hopefully see. Go around in circles on it if nessecary.

Regards, AnthonyG
That's pretty close, but here is a better explanation:

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/question234.htm

Also, I'm almost certain that the only frame material that would have any effect on the inductance of the coil sensor is steel since it's magnetic. Al, Ti, CF... you're all out of luck.
jreeder is offline  
Old 06-14-05, 09:41 AM
  #25  
jitteringjr
Senior Member
 
jitteringjr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,957

Bikes: 2018 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 2016 Bombtrack Arise Campy build cross bike 2005 Fuji Outland Pro

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 357 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by jreeder
That's pretty close, but here is a better explanation:

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/question234.htm

Also, I'm almost certain that the only frame material that would have any effect on the inductance of the coil sensor is steel since it's magnetic. Al, Ti, CF... you're all out of luck.
Thats true, it would need to be steel. Hmm the only things steel on my Jamis comet were the spokes in the K elites, the chain, chainrings, and the cassette. Comparitively the Bianchi has the same steel parts with the exception of the spokes. Would steel spokes be enought to make the difference to set one off or not?
jitteringjr is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.