Triggering Traffic Lights

Ands
Ands Posts: 1,437
edited December 2009 in Road beginners
Is there a knack to this?

I have one particular set of lights on a route I regularly use where I don't trigger the lights to change. I always end up having to wait for a car to come along behind me but since it's the exit from a country lane there aren't always that many cars.

Just wondered if there any tips to getting the lights change.

Comments

  • soveda
    soveda Posts: 306
    Depends on what triggers the lights, some can be headlight triggered so a bright light might do it.
    Most are triggered by a sensor that detects a large amount of ferrous metal so you are never going to trigger it, you might have to just run the light.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    soveda wrote:
    Depends on what triggers the lights, some can be headlight triggered so a bright light might do it.
    Most are triggered by a sensor that detects a large amount of ferrous metal so you are never going to trigger it, you might have to just run the light.

    This one.

    Reasonable excuse IMO as long as you are safe whilst doing it...
  • Ands
    Ands Posts: 1,437
    NapoleonD wrote:
    soveda wrote:
    Reasonable excuse IMO as long as you are safe whilst doing it...

    Crossing 4 lanes of the A556 (very wide and fast)!! :shock: Not been brave enough so far although did contemplate it today while everyone else's lights were red. In the end a car came along behind me so I didn't have to make that call.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Which junction?
  • Ands
    Ands Posts: 1,437
    Bucklow Hill from the Lymm side. No probs on the Knutsford side.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    I would get off and walk across from there in two stages!
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    There was a set of lights on my sunday ride that would never trigger - even for three bikes at once. Luckily it was early on in the ride - so not much traffic at all.
    We'd check behind us to see if a car was coming to trigger it, in which case we'd wait - and if not - we'd carefully make our way across.

    Never a problem if you know your green cross code.

    But if yours is busy - weigh up time spent waiting for a car versus time to safely walk across.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    cougie wrote:
    There was a set of lights on my sunday ride that would never trigger - even for three bikes at once. Luckily it was early on in the ride - so not much traffic at all.
    We'd check behind us to see if a car was coming to trigger it, in which case we'd wait - and if not - we'd carefully make our way across.

    Never a problem if you know your green cross code.

    But if yours is busy - weigh up time spent waiting for a car versus time to safely walk across.

    I know the junction well, it's a freakin' nightmare!!

    Hardly any cars at all come out of that junction and it is one of the most dangerous stretches of road I know.

    And I was a Traffic Officer so I've been to a fair few bumps!
  • iain_j
    iain_j Posts: 1,941
    For roads like that I'd just go a different way. Cross it on the A50, not too far away.
  • Moaner
    Moaner Posts: 117
    I know it too - I'd suggest going on the pavement to the right then crossing at the pedestrian lights in front of the garage on the Knutsford side.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Moaner wrote:
    I know it too - I'd suggest going on the pavement to the right then crossing at the pedestrian lights in front of the garage on the Knutsford side.

    Dead right!
  • Ands
    Ands Posts: 1,437
    iain_j wrote:
    For roads like that I'd just go a different way. Cross it on the A50, not too far away.
    Yes, but cycling down the A50 is awful. Lots of heavy vehicles and very fast on the run down to the ligths. Would rather stick to the lanes and walk across at Bucklow Hill.
  • iain_j
    iain_j Posts: 1,941
    Ands wrote:
    iain_j wrote:
    For roads like that I'd just go a different way. Cross it on the A50, not too far away.
    Yes, but cycling down the A50 is awful. Lots of heavy vehicles and very fast on the run down to the ligths. Would rather stick to the lanes and walk across at Bucklow Hill.

    Can't say it's ever bothered me, but then I ride in and out of Liverpool city centre every day :wink: it's busy but at least it's wide, so the traffic can give you plenty of space.
  • Infamous
    Infamous Posts: 1,130
    NapoleonD wrote:
    I would get off and walk across from there in two stages!
    Get off..... and walk... I know of these words but I don't understand the sentence.
  • cathald
    cathald Posts: 105
    Thankfully I dont have that problem as there is only one set of traffic lights in Donegal and they are 40 mile away :lol::lol:
  • Steve_b77
    Steve_b77 Posts: 1,680
    Definately walk across there, it's a bloody awful junction.

    I don't like riding across the junction at the Abbey Arms in Delamere as people just seem to loose all sense at this one.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Infamous wrote:
    NapoleonD wrote:
    I would get off and walk across from there in two stages!
    Get off..... and walk... I know of these words but I don't understand the sentence.

    I quote -

    The (A556) is frequently very congested, carrying approximately 50,000 vehicles per day, and has a high accident record; between 1998 and 2005, there were around 200 accidents, resulting in 5 fatalities and 39 people being seriously injured
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Infamous wrote:
    NapoleonD wrote:
    I would get off and walk across from there in two stages!
    Get off..... and walk... I know of these words but I don't understand the sentence.

    I quote (From Wkipedia, so the figures may be out + or - in the region of 0-1000%) -

    The (A556) is frequently very congested, carrying approximately 50,000 vehicles per day, and has a high accident record; between 1998 and 2005, there were around 200 accidents, resulting in 5 fatalities and 39 people being seriously injured
  • Ands
    Ands Posts: 1,437
    iain_j wrote:

    Can't say it's ever bothered me, but then I ride in and out of Liverpool city centre every day :wink: it's busy but at least it's wide, so the traffic can give you plenty of space.
    I used to ride into Melbourne everyday and across the cbd so the traffic doesn't phase me (tram tracks were my biggest hazard) but I just don't like the A50. Used to commute (by car) down the A50 to Alderley every day so I do also know that it's not nice (or wide) in places . I do ride on sections of it but it's not my road of choice.
  • Infamous
    Infamous Posts: 1,130
    NapoleonD wrote:
    I quote (From Wkipedia, so the figures may be out + or - in the region of 0-1000%) -

    The (A556) is frequently very congested, carrying approximately 50,000 vehicles per day, and has a high accident record; between 1998 and 2005, there were around 200 accidents, resulting in 5 fatalities and 39 people being seriously injured
    If it's safe to walk over it's safe to ride over.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Infamous wrote:
    NapoleonD wrote:
    I quote (From Wkipedia, so the figures may be out + or - in the region of 0-1000%) -

    The (A556) is frequently very congested, carrying approximately 50,000 vehicles per day, and has a high accident record; between 1998 and 2005, there were around 200 accidents, resulting in 5 fatalities and 39 people being seriously injured
    If it's safe to walk over it's safe to ride over.

    If you ride on the pavement then yes...
  • andrew_s
    andrew_s Posts: 2,511
    soveda wrote:
    Depends on what triggers the lights, some can be headlight triggered so a bright light might do it.
    Most are triggered by a sensor that detects a large amount of ferrous metal so you are never going to trigger it, you might have to just run the light.
    It's a myth that ferrous metal is required. The bike just has to be conductive, just like chaps with metal detectors can find gold as well as iron. If there's no visible loop, it's usually a microwave motion detector. Headlight triggered lights probably don't exist - what would they do during the day?
    For maximum detection, approach the microwave ones at a decent pace. Usually there's a small box on top of the lights that's visible a way off. If it's a loop you are detected best if you are on top of and aligned along one of the edges of the loop.
    More info

    If you are having trouble getting detected, complain to the council and get them to adjust the detectors. There's some lights near me that switch between detecting and not detecting as they get adjusted by different people (presumably).
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Steve_b77 wrote:
    Definately walk across there, it's a bloody awful junction.

    I don't like riding across the junction at the Abbey Arms in Delamere as people just seem to loose all sense at this one.

    Oh yes ! I know that one - thats a bugger ! I've been riding for a few decades now and I've seen a huge increase in traffic - what were once quiet roads are now very busy.


    Delamere is great though - at least 3 cafes within 10 mins of it. Nom nom !