Toucan cyclist detectors?

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mikeymo
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Toucan cyclist detectors?

Postby mikeymo » 14 Nov 2020, 5:12pm

Do they exist? If so, I wish they hadn't bothered here:

Image

This is an old Google maps image. That crossing has now been replaced with fencing and lights. Ring road, north Leeds, Moortown. The crossing now gets you from one section of lovely new cycleway, to another.

For a long time now the cycleway and updated crossing has been in place, and posts for the lights, but no lights. For a cyclist, if the traffic is light, there really isn't any need for the lights. Vision is so good, and the central reservation so big, that I will look right, wait, and cross when it's clear. And do the same from the middle section to the other side of the road. In fact the central reservation is now so large that I just go round in circles till it's safe to cross.

Today I arrived, and the lights were up. A cyclist came across one way. I went the other, got to the central reservation and the lights had changed. It looked like the cyclist had pressed the button, but then gone across without waiting for in a gap in the traffic. But the lights changed back to red (for cyclists) before I had a chance to get across the 2nd half. So I got to the side of the road, and waited for a gap*. I didn't press anything even though I had a red cycle "against" me. Vision at that point is superb - looking along the ring road westwards towards King Lane, for them that know it. I really can't see why I would want to wait for a green cyclist, unless traffic was heavy, which it wasn't. Then the lights changed in my favour. Why? I hadn't pressed anything, and as far as I can tell, neither had anybody else.

If the crossing is "detecting" me, this seems like a fairly clumsy implementation. Having lights at that junction is a very good idea - it will be a major crossing point for school children. But not giving some road users, e.g. cyclists like me, the option to ignore the red cycle does seem clumsy.

Does anybody know if this auto-detect exists and/or if there's a good reason for it?

*for those people who like to trawl old posts finding evidence of contradictory statements, yes, I've changed my mind, especially since somebody pointed out that it's not an offence for pedestrians and cyclists to cross against a red, just a "should" in the HC

thirdcrank
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Re: Toucan cyclist detectors?

Postby thirdcrank » 14 Nov 2020, 5:33pm

Without going into the menagerie of crossings, if you are faced with signals looking like conventional traffic lights, as a cyclist you must comply with them.

Anything else is advisory

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kylecycler
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Re: Toucan cyclist detectors?

Postby kylecycler » 14 Nov 2020, 5:35pm

The difference between a Pelican and a Puffin crossing is that a Pelican has no detectors, just a set-timed flashing-amber light between the red and the green, whereas the Puffin has detectors (detecting the pedestrians) which tell the lights when to change from red to red-and-amber then green.

So yes, I figure your Toucan has the same detectors as a Puffin crossing; in fact AFAIK a Toucan is just a Puffin with entitlement for cyclists as well as pedestrians, at least without dismounting, which they are required to do for the other types of crossing.

(The detectors don't change the lights to red - it's the button that does that - they just govern when to change the lights from red to red-and-amber, depending on when the pedestrian(s) and/or cyclist(s) have crossed.)

mikeymo
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Re: Toucan cyclist detectors?

Postby mikeymo » 14 Nov 2020, 5:54pm

thirdcrank wrote:Without going into the menagerie of crossings, if you are faced with signals looking like conventional traffic lights, as a cyclist you must comply with them.

Anything else is advisory


Apologies, maybe I wasn't clear.

If I'm cycling on the part of the road used by motorised traffic, and come to a red light, I wait for the light to change.

If I'm crossing the road using a toucan crossing (or similar) I may wait for the light to change to green, in my "favour". Or I may not.

Is that right?

mikeymo
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Re: Toucan cyclist detectors?

Postby mikeymo » 14 Nov 2020, 5:57pm

kylecycler wrote:The difference between a Pelican and a Puffin crossing is that a Pelican has no detectors, just a set-timed flashing-amber light between the red and the green, whereas the Puffin has detectors (detecting the pedestrians) which tell the lights when to change from red to red-and-amber then green.

So yes, I figure your Toucan has the same detectors as a Puffin crossing; in fact AFAIK a Toucan is just a Puffin with entitlement for cyclists as well as pedestrians, at least without dismounting, which they are required to do for the other types of crossing.

(The detectors don't change the lights to red - it's the button that does that - they just govern when to change the lights from red to red-and-amber, depending on when the pedestrian(s) and/or cyclist(s) have crossed.)


Thanks. I think I understand. But I didn't press anything. But the lights seemed to behave as though they "knew" I was there. I'll try it again soon and take more notice.

thirdcrank
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Re: Toucan cyclist detectors?

Postby thirdcrank » 14 Nov 2020, 6:10pm

The things to look for are lines in tarmac where grooves have been cut for the detector wires and then filled in, or something on the posts pointing at you.

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mjr
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Re: Toucan cyclist detectors?

Postby mjr » 14 Nov 2020, 6:18pm

mikeymo wrote:
thirdcrank wrote:Without going into the menagerie of crossings, if you are faced with signals looking like conventional traffic lights, as a cyclist you must comply with them.

Anything else is advisory


Apologies, maybe I wasn't clear.

If I'm cycling on the part of the road used by motorised traffic, and come to a red light, I wait for the light to change.

If I'm crossing the road using a toucan crossing (or similar) I may wait for the light to change to green, in my "favour". Or I may not.

Is that right?

Yes. That's even the approach advised by Norfolk highways department officers (while they're refusing to make the timing better for active travel), as well as it being perfectly legal (TSRGD 2016).

Also, if you know the panel lights have only just gone red, then if you cross anyway, the detectors (usually infrared sensors in on the posts pointed down at the crossing) should notice you and the signals should hold the motorists on red, who should not drive into other road users just because they're shown a green light.. but that's three "should"s too many for me to enjoy!
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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PH
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Re: Toucan cyclist detectors?

Postby PH » 14 Nov 2020, 6:20pm

mikeymo wrote: But I didn't press anything. But the lights seemed to behave as though they "knew" I was there. I'll try it again soon and take more notice.

Is there another junction in the vicinity?
I cross this junction quite frequently. The light on the left need the button pressing to stop the road traffic. Those on the right can be activated with the button, though they are also on a timer, to allow traffic coming from or going into the side road, though that road isn't light controlled.
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.89725 ... 312!8i6656

thirdcrank
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Re: Toucan cyclist detectors?

Postby thirdcrank » 14 Nov 2020, 6:33pm

mikeymo wrote: ... Apologies, maybe I wasn't clear.

If I'm cycling on the part of the road used by motorised traffic, and come to a red light, I wait for the light to change.

If I'm crossing the road using a toucan crossing (or similar) I may wait for the light to change to green, in my "favour". Or I may not.

Is that right?


I thought you were absolutely clear (except possibly for the name of the crossing, which is why I said menagerie.) My simple point remains that if as a cyclist you face a traffic light on a road, which includes the central reservation of a dual carriageway, you must comply. Signals are advisory for pedestrians, as is anything other than a traffic light for cyclists.

I've looked at streetview to try to find somewhere in Leeds we are both familiar with. The contraflow cycle route from Wellington Street into City Square seems to have been closed forever but here's an earlier streetview image where it crosses Quebec Street which is part of The Loop.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.79614 ... 312!8i6656

Those traffic lights are mandatory directions for cyclists, even though it's a cycle route

mikeymo
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Re: Toucan cyclist detectors?

Postby mikeymo » 14 Nov 2020, 8:17pm

PH wrote:
mikeymo wrote: But I didn't press anything. But the lights seemed to behave as though they "knew" I was there. I'll try it again soon and take more notice.

Is there another junction in the vicinity?
I cross this junction quite frequently. The light on the left need the button pressing to stop the road traffic. Those on the right can be activated with the button, though they are also on a timer, to allow traffic coming from or going into the side road, though that road isn't light controlled.
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.89725 ... 312!8i6656


Nothing nearby I don't think. Next time I'm that way I'll take a photo, and spend a bit more time to see if the lights change automatically for me.

thirdcrank
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Re: Toucan cyclist detectors?

Postby thirdcrank » 14 Nov 2020, 8:32pm

I'm not trailing out with a camera at this time of night and in any case, the google car doesn't normally use cycle farcilities, but this streetview is of a crossing signal which is advisory for both cyclists and pedestrians

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.75020 ... 384!8i8192

mikeymo
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Re: Toucan cyclist detectors?

Postby mikeymo » 14 Nov 2020, 8:35pm

thirdcrank wrote:I'm not trailing out with a camera at this time of night and in any case, the google car doesn't normally use cycle farcilities, but this streetview is of a crossing signal which is advisory for both cyclists and pedestrians

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.75020 ... 384!8i8192


Big red round thing high up on a pole - obey.

Picture of bike (or person, or horse) - in rectangular box half way down a pole - it's up to you mate.

Would that be a reasonable rough guide?

Brucey
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Re: Toucan cyclist detectors?

Postby Brucey » 14 Nov 2020, 8:43pm

a common method of sensing traffic (vehicles including bicycles and wheelchairs but not pedestrians) is to use an inductive loop set in the road/path surface. These can be manufactured/set to sense different things.

One thing I have noticed is that if I have a hub dynamo fitted on my bicycle, I seem to be more easily able to trigger sensing loops that are meant for cars. Has anyone else noticed this?

cheers
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thirdcrank
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Re: Toucan cyclist detectors?

Postby thirdcrank » 14 Nov 2020, 8:49pm

mikeymo wrote: ... Big red round thing high up on a pole - obey.

Picture of bike (or person, or horse) - in rectangular box half way down a pole - it's up to you mate.

Would that be a reasonable rough guide?


That's correct, although to be thread-to-needle I'd say cyclists obey.

I referred to the menagerie of crossings and the type with a gee-gee is a Pegasus crossing so that's mythology rather than menagerie.

Ellieb
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Re: Toucan cyclist detectors?

Postby Ellieb » 14 Nov 2020, 11:01pm

I understood it to be that if the signal was a red man then it was advisory on a bike, but if it was a red bike then it was mandatory to stop.