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weight dependent traffic lights?

linsenlinsen Posts: 1,959
edited September 2008 in Commuting chat
I waited like a very good girl at the end of my work road today to get out on a green. It was red while the main road traffic zoomed ny, then the crossing man went green, then the main road traffic started up again! Grrr!
I guess the light only activates for me if I'm in a car. Or perhaps lardier. That does frustrate me.
Emerging from under a big black cloud. All help welcome

Posts

  • magnets an' ting, innit?
  • Induction loop - induces current which is a function of velocity and mass (of inductor - metal basically) and distance. Cars are lower, faster and bigger.

    This scenario is the only reason I ever RLJ (but only if I'm a falling tree in a wood with no one else there).
  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
    linsen wrote:
    I waited like a very good girl at the end of my work road today to get out on a green. It was red while the main road traffic zoomed ny, then the crossing man went green, then the main road traffic started up again! Grrr!
    I guess the light only activates for me if I'm in a car. Or perhaps lardier. That does frustrate me.

    Report it to the local council , say you want a button to push , national cycle routes have buttons for cyclists :)
    Specialized Hardrock Pro/Trek FX 7.3 Hybrid/Specialized Enduro/Specialized Tri-Cross Sport
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  • At the same time you report it to the council, place £1 in a bank account. As soon as the button is installed, take all the money out of the bank account and purchase a nice new Pinarello.
  • sc999cssc999cs Posts: 596
    In that situation if turning right, I'd dismount, push over with the green man and then get back on again once at the other side. If turning left I'd honestly would have to think about it. This might be one time RLJ would be acceptable (coming out of a T junction and turning left).
    Steve C
  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
    sc999cs wrote:
    In that situation if turning right, I'd dismount, push over with the green man and then get back on again once at the other side. If turning left I'd honestly would have to think about it. This might be one time RLJ would be acceptable (coming out of a T junction and turning left).

    I thought that you could legally pass a red light if safe to do so after it fails to operate .
    Specialized Hardrock Pro/Trek FX 7.3 Hybrid/Specialized Enduro/Specialized Tri-Cross Sport
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  • linsenlinsen Posts: 1,959
    Is there a difference though between it failing and just not working for you :lol:

    I
    Emerging from under a big black cloud. All help welcome
  • At the same time you report it to the council, place £1 in a bank account. As soon as the button is installed, take all the money out of the bank account and purchase a nice new Pinarello.

    :)
  • BrainsBrains Posts: 1,732
    On a bike you need to pass over the middle of the induction loop
    (the diamond shape in the tarmac in front of the stopline)
  • linsenlinsen Posts: 1,959
    I didn't see one of those. I'll look out for it on Monday!
    Emerging from under a big black cloud. All help welcome
  • PhekdraPhekdra Posts: 137
    Brains wrote:
    On a bike you need to pass over the middle of the induction loop
    (the diamond shape in the tarmac in front of the stopline)

    That's handy - I'm sure there's one of those on my daily commute, and I've been trying to work out where the loop is so I can position myself over it. It's on a quiet road (at my time of the morning) where there is frequently nothing coming in either direction and I've sat there for five minutes on my own on a couple of occasions waiting for the lights to change before giving up and wheeling the bike across the road and continuing on.

    I don't like doing it, but it's one of the few times I hope for a car to come along behind me in order to allow me through. :oops:

    Phekdra
  • linsen wrote:
    Is there a difference though between it failing and just not working for you :lol:

    I

    Sure about that? If a car arrives at a junction and the lights only work on operation of a ped crossing, I'll bet that the car can proceed when safe.

    AndyManc - good tip. That'll come in useful!
  • nwallacenwallace Posts: 1,465
    There is a blue information sign at the Tay Bridge in Aberfeldy providing information to cyclists on how to active the traffic lights. Didn't get a chance to read it though.
    Do Nellyphants count?

    Commuter: FCN 9
    Cheapo Roadie: FCN 5
    Off Road: FCN 11

    +1 when I don't get round to shaving for x days
  • linsenlinsen Posts: 1,959
    SSE that's interesting. I think I'll just push my bike round the corner and hop back on for now though :)

    Reminds me of a Mr Bean sketch I saw years ago where he sees a cyclist do that and does the same with his mini......
    Emerging from under a big black cloud. All help welcome
  • MwnciMwnci Posts: 18
    Has anyone tried the Neodymium Magnets thing?

    Most of the traffic lights I go through do sense bikes. The one that I have found that doesn't is in a place where RLJ'ing would be a very bad idea. As it is a relatively low traffic route in the direction I travel at the time I am there I have altered my route to avoid it.

    If the magnet thing works I wouldn't mind doing that so I can go back to the old route.
  • ToshmundToshmund Posts: 390
    edited October 2008
    Thanks for the "heads up" about the magnets. As a point of interest, if the traffic lights are on roadworks, they are on light sensors. If you are in a car, and they are on red - give them a flash of mainbeam, they will go to green (on the basis someone has not reached them before you, they will then have priority) don't make it a race though! :lol: Same goes for many traffic lights actually, if they do not sense any traffic - they will activate to the light.
  • RufusARufusA Posts: 500
    Mwnci wrote:
    The one that I have found that doesn't is in a place where RLJ'ing would be a very bad idea. As it is a relatively low traffic route in the direction I travel at the time I am there I have altered my route to avoid it.

    Might be worth contacting the relevant highway authority for the traffic lights.

    There were lights over a narrow bridge near me that were similarly bicycle insensitive. A phone call to East Surrey highways and within a week a man had come out and tweaked the sensitivity of the induction loop, and changed the angle of the above traffic light sensor. Now I can trigger it each time if I position myself correctly each time.

    The ones in the opposite directly stupidly have an ASB which is in front of the induction loop so if waiting in the box, the traffic lights will ALWAYS fail to trigger. I tend to hover just behind the ASL in the "car" bit, and when the opposing traffic light goes red, move in to the ASB to get a run up for the bridge!

    YMMV - Rufus.
  • beverickbeverick Posts: 3,461
    Not all 'on demand' lights are triggered by induction loops. Many have infra-red sensors on the top of at least one of the lights facing oncoming traffic (they're about the size of a shoe-box).

    Either way, report it to the local authority, they should be able to adjust the set the sensitivity of the sensor to detect a bike. However, if your bike is non-ferrous (ie carbon alminium or other alloy) it'll never trigger an induction loop.

    By the way, has anyone else noticed that where induction loops are installed adjacent to on-road cycle lanes/ASLs the loops don't cross into the cycle lane?

    Bob
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