General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Traffic lights with sensors Rss Feed  
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2014-08-11 2:48 PM

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Subject: Traffic lights with sensors
In the absence of cars to trip the sensor for you, do you walk over and hit the crosswalk button? make a right followed by a u-turn? just run it? pick your nose until a car shows up? something else?

I have some decent, traffic free routes for Saturdays & Sundays, but there are a few intersections that really don't favor bikes.


2014-08-11 2:51 PM
in reply to: bwalling

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Subject: RE: Traffic lights with sensors

If it seems safe to cross, I will eventually just go.    I THINK this is the law, in Minnesota anyway. I believe you have to wait a full cycle and then proceed when it's safe. This can happen with my scooter sometimes.

If it's a really busy intersection, I go and push the button.    I have also moved aside/up enough to get a car in the right spot, which sometimes requires gesturing to them to pull forward.

2014-08-11 2:58 PM
in reply to: bwalling

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Silicon Valley
Subject: RE: Traffic lights with sensors
It depends on how busy the street is. I will watch for a clear opening and go without hitting the cross walk button. On a busy street or one with a blind curve, I play it safe and hit the button.

However, I have found on a few roads that my bike will actually trip the light. I have to go out of the bike lane and into the left lane at two lights I routinely have to navigate but since there is no traffic, I go ahead and do it. Found out by accident one time so I am checking the lights a on my ususal routes just to see.
2014-08-11 2:59 PM
in reply to: bwalling

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Exton, PA
Subject: RE: Traffic lights with sensors
In PA it is legal to go through a defective traffic light after stopping. A cyclist is not large enough to trip the light, without a car at the light I go through when it is safe.
2014-08-11 3:09 PM
in reply to: bwalling

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Subject: RE: Traffic lights with sensors
I'll wait a full set of signals then blow the light if it's safe.

I've also walked the bike through the crosswalks if it's a busy intersection.

2014-08-11 3:44 PM
in reply to: DanielG

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Haymarket, VA
Subject: RE: Traffic lights with sensors

In VA it's legal to go through after 2 cycles or 2 minutes whichever is shorter.



2014-08-11 4:07 PM
in reply to: bwalling

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Grapevine, TX
Subject: RE: Traffic lights with sensors
For me, cycling is a balance between minimizing risk, maximizing training. The right-turn then U-turn tactic allows me to mostly keep up the tempo while minimizing the chance of an accident.

Of course, there are tons of lights here in TX, especially in remote areas, where one can see a mile down the road in all directions and there's no traffic. The tactic for those is obvious.
2014-08-11 4:07 PM
in reply to: bwalling


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Subject: RE: Traffic lights with sensors
If a tree falls in a forest and there is no one around. . . .

Go through the red. I only wait for the green if there are other cars at the intersection.

Indiana now has a red light rule, but it's stupid, I'm not waiting two full minutes.

2014-08-11 4:28 PM
in reply to: ziggie204

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Atlanta, Georgia
Subject: RE: Traffic lights with sensors

My state has a "Dead Red" law that allows motorcycles and bicycles to continue through a red light if it doesn't change in a “reasonable” amount of time.
It does not apply to stop signs.

2014-08-11 6:35 PM
in reply to: bwalling

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Subject: RE: Traffic lights with sensors
So, FHP (Florida Highway Patrol) apparently advises that cyclists should make a right turn and subsequent U-turn. They are also advised to contact the local authority to have the light repaired.
2014-08-11 7:08 PM
in reply to: bwalling

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Subject: RE: Traffic lights with sensors
Most loop detectors work on the presence of steel and iron, so it isn't a weight issue (jumping up and down won't help!). I usually pull far enough up that a car behind me will get their engine in the loop detector. If no car, I go for it when I can see myself clear. Loop detector area can often be seen by a sawcut in the asphalt that is filled in with a caulk bead.


2014-08-11 7:27 PM
in reply to: bwalling

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Vancouver (not Canada) Washington (not D.C.)
Subject: RE: Traffic lights with sensors
Good question. I've lived in Idaho where the laws were really bike friendly (maybe dangerous but friendly). A red light is a stop (just like the sign) and a Stop Sign is a yield.

I now live in Washington and many times will push the button if visibility is poor or there is a lot of traffic. If things are light and good visibility, I'll run the light.

2014-08-11 8:05 PM
in reply to: jbrookscga78

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Subject: RE: Traffic lights with sensors
Originally posted by jbrookscga78

Most loop detectors work on the presence of steel and iron, so it isn't a weight issue (jumping up and down won't help!). I usually pull far enough up that a car behind me will get their engine in the loop detector. If no car, I go for it when I can see myself clear. Loop detector area can often be seen by a sawcut in the asphalt that is filled in with a caulk bead.

There's been a switch to cameras here, rather than the in ground sensors. I don't find them to be any more bike friendly than in ground sensors. Interesting that FHP thinks they're supposed to pick up cyclists with the cameras.
2014-08-11 8:17 PM
in reply to: bwalling

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Greenville, SC
Subject: RE: Traffic lights with sensors

the law says i have to wait some period of time and then i'm allowed to run it, so i loosely follow the time requirement. 

2014-08-11 9:45 PM
in reply to: bwalling

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Bellevue, WA
Subject: RE: Traffic lights with sensors

Originally posted by bwalling
Originally posted by jbrookscga78 Most loop detectors work on the presence of steel and iron, so it isn't a weight issue (jumping up and down won't help!). I usually pull far enough up that a car behind me will get their engine in the loop detector. If no car, I go for it when I can see myself clear. Loop detector area can often be seen by a sawcut in the asphalt that is filled in with a caulk bead.
There's been a switch to cameras here, rather than the in ground sensors. I don't find them to be any more bike friendly than in ground sensors. Interesting that FHP thinks they're supposed to pick up cyclists with the cameras.

The ground sensors around here are marked with a symbol.  Just put the bottom bracket over it and you're sensed:

_MG_9049

Usually I just wait.  Sometimes I'll do the right turn and U-turn bit.

2014-08-13 12:52 PM
in reply to: jbrookscga78

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Oviedo, FLA
Subject: RE: Traffic lights with sensors
Originally posted by jbrookscga78

Most loop detectors work on the presence of steel and iron, so it isn't a weight issue (jumping up and down won't help!). I usually pull far enough up that a car behind me will get their engine in the loop detector. If no car, I go for it when I can see myself clear. Loop detector area can often be seen by a sawcut in the asphalt that is filled in with a caulk bead.


This...

The loop detectors should work as long as you don't have a full carbon bike including carbon wheels. Aluminium wheels will trip the sensor. You need to position your bike tires directly on top of the the saw cut line (running parallel). If it's a quadrupole - which looks like two rectangles in the road - position your tires on the center line since it has twice as many wires running on the loop.

Since I started doing this I have yet to find a light in Central FLA that doesn't sense me and trip the light.

Here's a pretty decent article that explains it.

http://www.humantransport.org/bicycledriving/library/signals/detect...


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