Cyclists thoughts

Kay

Cyclists thoughts

Postby Kay » 22 Oct 2005, 12:54pm

Any cyclist ever have the frustration of having to sit patiently waiting for a car to come along so that the traffic lights change for you? Either that or having to try and cross a busy road pushing the cycle when no vehicle comes along to activate the sensor.

Andy Tallis

Re:Cyclists thoughts

Postby Andy Tallis » 22 Oct 2005, 1:06pm

It's happened to me too. The only time I jump red lights (and then with extreme caution - I've only had ithappen on quiet roads anyway.)

Top5pies

Re:Cyclists thoughts

Postby Top5pies » 22 Oct 2005, 10:43pm

I have one of these sets of lights only 100yrds from my home, and having cycled 14 miles from work I then have to wait patiently for a car to approach from behind before the lights change ( only when it's dark mind )
my thoughts: shall I wait another minute or two for a car to set the lights off to green, shall I get off the bike and use the pedestrian crossing, but most of all, why are all these people driving thier cars at 40/50/60 mph in a built up area which has a 30 mph limit and why are'nt the old bill doing anything about it ? you did ask!

Andy Tallis

Re:Cyclists thoughts

Postby Andy Tallis » 23 Oct 2005, 8:07am

Perhaps the police are too busy ignoring anti social behaviour to do anything. Have you thought about putting on a high vis workmans jacket and standing at the side of the road pointing a hairdryer at cars (can make them slow down I'm told.)

Top5pies

Re:Cyclists thoughts

Postby Top5pies » 24 Oct 2005, 12:28am

that's not a bad idea Andy, and the time would be well spent if it slowed a few speeding motorist's, only knowing my luck I would get nicked for impersonating a Police officer,
anyway what does Kay think about whilst waiting for the next approaching car to change the lights for her?

gar

Re:Cyclists thoughts

Postby gar » 24 Oct 2005, 9:39am

I don't know whether a bicycle even classifies as a vehicle in French law.

A bike is a pedestrian in France, so you are taking a risk crossing a road, especially if there are traffic lights nearby.

They show great respect for all forms of cycling in France.

gar

Re:Cyclists thoughts

Postby gar » 25 Oct 2005, 9:31am

road pointing a hairdryer at cars (can

I wonder how much the real thing costs, or a fairly accurate version thereof?
You are capable of taking numbers and reporting them to the police if you are sufficiently offended by somebody's speed through your village!

gav

Re:Cyclists thoughts

Postby gav » 26 Oct 2005, 1:08am

Radar gun – I think Maplins used to sell them. Looking at other suppliers basic units cost under $100.
There are two systems most traffic lights use to detect approaching vehicles, induction loops and micro wave emitter/detectors.
Induction loops: these can usually by seen as black tar lines in the surface of the road. A metal object passing into the electromagnetic field produced by the loop causes the field to be altered which can be detected. Because a bicycle is smaller than a car it obviously affects the field less although a sensitively set field can detect a bunch of keys. If traffic lights have an induction loop and they aren’t detecting you then you could try cycling round on the loop or lying your bike on it’s side although it may be more sensible to ask the council if they can adjust the systems sensitivity.
Micro wave emitter/detectors: these are the small boxes on the top of traffic signals. They emit a microwave and detect the Doppler effect as you approach. Yet again a bicycle makes a less detectable object. They are usually set so they have a minimum approach speed, about four miles an hour. This stops pedestrians and swaying branches from activating the lights although the systems can be fooled. If you are not being detected then the council should be able to adjust the system. Often they don’t work properly because they have moved out of alignment.
With induction loops you will often find an additional loop situated some distance (maybe five car lengths) before the lights, this is to detect the length of the queue. If you are approaching lights at red and someone is waiting ahead of you on the loop at the stop line then if you stop on the previous loop the light system will think a queue of vehicles has formed and reduce your red time. This works quite well in a car but is risky on a bicycle.
Advance stop lines: when induction loops are used councils seem to either put the advance stop area for bicycles on the induction loop so cars can’t activate them or they put them at the point where cars wait so cyclists go merrily past to wait in their advance stop area where no loop exists so the cyclist will never be detected.
Puffin crossings (Pedestrian User Friendly crossing): These have a detector to sense when pedestrians are still crossing. Do not get impatient and wander over the stop line, I frequently see car drivers doing this. The system of course detects that something is on the crossing and then has to play safe and increase the crossing time to maximum making the driver wait for longer.

gar

Re:Cyclists thoughts

Postby gar » 27 Oct 2005, 6:25am

This works quite well in a car but is risky on a bicycle.

If you do it on a bicycle cars try to take you over between you and the leading waiting car

Pedalling Pete

Re:Cyclists thoughts

Postby Pedalling Pete » 28 Oct 2005, 11:01am

In response to Kay's original posting: The bike is a vehicle (that's what was established by the CTC way back). If the traffic light sensors don't register a bicycle, then they are faulty. They should be capable of fine tuning. Report the matter to the appropriate part of the council who receive your local Community Charge and act as the Highway's Authority. Get a name and a deadline for action.

If the matter is not resolved, then tell your local authority elected councillor that the council officers are not carrying out their duties satisfactorily, and ask the councillor what action will be taken to correct the fault in the highways management, and also in the performance of the council officers paid for by your community charge.

No one will correct the problem unless folk understand the way local politics works. You have to make it work for you - you are paying for it!

gar

Re:Cyclists thoughts

Postby gar » 29 Oct 2005, 9:06am

All Counties have cycling officers who are supposed to deal with such problems round the different highways subsections and so on.

I met one of them and he urged me to make a formal complaint about the Extremely sharp bollards which snapped my leg in to four parts.

I did.

It has been completely ignored, even though he took the trouble to write down my complaint in his office.

To me a rectangular bollard made of concrete
3' high, 3' wide with sharpened concrete corners is a hazard to everybody, even to cyclists trying to get between them..

That is Purbeck DC of Dorset County council.

NO such bollards are rectilinear in this area. they are all smooth and rounded.

These are as described. My leg broke on impact as I slid into it, out of control

Kay

Re:Cyclists thoughts

Postby Kay » 1 Nov 2005, 8:12pm

Reply to Top5spies:
What do I think about whilst waiting? LOL. Depending on the weather depends whether it's polite or not, but mostly I wonder if I should just wait that wee bit longer in the hope that something triggers the sensor, or get off and push the cycle.
:)
Interesting posts, thanks for the comments.

Kay

Re:Cyclists thoughts

Postby Kay » 1 Nov 2005, 8:13pm

Oooopsss sorry! Top5pies! Whoops!

drossall

Re:Cyclists thoughts

Postby drossall » 3 Nov 2005, 10:52pm

I usually lie my bike on the ground as above - looks silly, but works. I agree too about complaining to the council.

On occasion I have found myself over the sensor and a car behind me. I have scared the odd lady motorist by tapping on her window and suggesting that we swap places in the queue to avoid both of us waiting all night!