ASLs and left turn lights

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rbrian
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ASLs and left turn lights

Post by rbrian »

Those of you who drive know how frustrating it is when you're waiting at the lights, in the left turn lane, and the vehicle in front of you is looking at the red light, not noticing the green arrow that says you can turn left. Imagine how much more frustrating when the vehicle in front is a Brompton which just passed 20 cars queuing up patiently and stopped in the ASL! A toot of the horn was really quite restrained in the circumstances.

Trouble is, from the ASL I couldn't see the left turn arrow - the lights opposite the junction didn't have the extra bit, and the light near me was just behind the ASL. The next junction I came to, which had a similarly invisible left turn light, I guessed when the light would change. I guessed wrong - halfway across the junction the pedestrian crossing beeped, but I got across before any pedestrians. Anyway, what should I do in such a situation? Stop at the car line? Jump the light? Walk across the junction? Buy a car?
Cynic? No, an optimist tempered by experience.
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EdinburghFixed
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Re: ASLs and left turn lights

Post by EdinburghFixed »

In Edinburgh the ASLs are often split for each direction of traffic, with arrows for the bikes to let them know the deal (and of course, if the traffic light is before the white line, it's a bit useless!

However, some of them don't, and on these I just move into the part of the ASL corresponding to the direction I want to take (so in your example, moving into the ASL in front of the right-hand queue).
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: ASLs and left turn lights

Post by [XAP]Bob »

Complain to the council -

I recently commented on a similar set of temporary lights to some of the road workers, and they went and moved them quite happily. Obviously harder with installed lights, but it's insufficiently signalled and therefore possibly illegal???
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cjchambers
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Re: ASLs and left turn lights

Post by cjchambers »

I recall from a visit to France that some of the older traffic lights in the town we were staying had a cute little replica of the main cluster at cyclist level. I was very impressed! I'm sure such things could easily be integrated into pelican crossing boxes at difficult junctions . . . . although clearly I'd rather they just designed the junctions so that everyone can see all the lights!
661-Pete-oldversion
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Re: ASLs and left turn lights

Post by 661-Pete-oldversion »

cjchambers wrote:I recall from a visit to France that some of the older traffic lights in the town we were staying had a cute little replica of the main cluster at cyclist level. I was very impressed! I'm sure such things could easily be integrated into pelican crossing boxes at difficult junctions . . . . although clearly I'd rather they just designed the junctions so that everyone can see all the lights!
Yes, they're standard in France, but they're actually for the benefit of motorists not cyclists! The full-size light clusters are often mounted quite high up and difficult to see from a car if you're close up.

A common feature in France is an arrow-shaped right 'filter' lamp (corresponds to our left filter of course) but it's yellow and flashes. Furthermore the road leading up to it is often only a single lane, not restricted to right-turners, so if someone wanting to go straight on reaches there first, tough! This has happened to me often enough in the car but there's usually no hassle.
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: ASLs and left turn lights

Post by [XAP]Bob »

Ratatouille wrote:
cjchambers wrote:I recall from a visit to France that some of the older traffic lights in the town we were staying had a cute little replica of the main cluster at cyclist level. I was very impressed! I'm sure such things could easily be integrated into pelican crossing boxes at difficult junctions . . . . although clearly I'd rather they just designed the junctions so that everyone can see all the lights!
Yes, they're standard in France, but they're actually for the benefit of motorists not cyclists! The full-size light clusters are often mounted quite high up and difficult to see from a car if you're close up.

A common feature in France is an arrow-shaped right 'filter' lamp (corresponds to our left filter of course) but it's yellow and flashes. Furthermore the road leading up to it is often only a single lane, not restricted to right-turners, so if someone wanting to go straight on reaches there first, tough! This has happened to me often enough in the car but there's usually no hassle.



And also the high lights are seriously hard to see in bright sunlight.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.
cjchambers
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Re: ASLs and left turn lights

Post by cjchambers »

cjchambers wrote:I recall from a visit to France that some of the older traffic lights in the town we were staying had a cute little replica of the main cluster at cyclist level. I was very impressed! I'm sure such things could easily be integrated into pelican crossing boxes at difficult junctions . . . . although clearly I'd rather they just designed the junctions so that everyone can see all the lights!


Yes, they're standard in France, but they're actually for the benefit of motorists not cyclists!


I stand corrected! Thus shattering my illusions of France being some sort of cycling utopia :wink:
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rbrian
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Re: ASLs and left turn lights

Post by rbrian »

EdinburghFixed wrote:In Edinburgh the ASLs are often split for each direction of traffic, with arrows for the bikes to let them know the deal (and of course, if the traffic light is before the white line, it's a bit useless!

However, some of them don't, and on these I just move into the part of the ASL corresponding to the direction I want to take (so in your example, moving into the ASL in front of the right-hand queue).


I was actually turning left. Most of our ASLs are the full width of the carriageway; if I'd been going straight on or turning right I would have been in another lane. I was in the centre of the left turn lane, in the ASL box - blocking the road and unable to see the filter light. I have always ridden assertively (well, since I was 14), and now that most of the city centre has a 20 limit, I have no compunction about riding in the centre of the lane.

Those little repeater lights they have in France are genius! At once more useful, and less ugly, than the big extra lights we have the other side of the junction.
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sirmy
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Re: ASLs and left turn lights

Post by sirmy »

Don't know about anyone else but having an ASL on junction with this type of lights seems to be bad idea.

Anyone know if they are legal?
larfingravy
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Re: ASLs and left turn lights

Post by larfingravy »

rbrian wrote:Those of you who drive know how frustrating it is when you're waiting at the lights, in the left turn lane, and the vehicle in front of you is looking at the red light, not noticing the green arrow that says you can turn left. Imagine how much more frustrating when the vehicle in front is a Brompton which just passed 20 cars queuing up patiently and stopped in the ASL! A toot of the horn was really quite restrained in the circumstances.

Trouble is, from the ASL I couldn't see the left turn arrow - the lights opposite the junction didn't have the extra bit, and the light near me was just behind the ASL. The next junction I came to, which had a similarly invisible left turn light, I guessed when the light would change. I guessed wrong - halfway across the junction the pedestrian crossing beeped, but I got across before any pedestrians. Anyway, what should I do in such a situation? Stop at the car line? Jump the light? Walk across the junction? Buy a car?


Not meaning to sound negative towards you but....

Shouldn't you have 'read' the junction as you approached it and taken it the ASL layout?
How did you end up positioned so that you couldn't see the left filter?
I presume that you must have crossed the solid white stop line and so souldn't see the filter light as it was behind you?
In which case you only have yourself to blame and in future just read the layout earlier.
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paulah
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Re: ASLs and left turn lights

Post by paulah »

larfingravy wrote:How did you end up positioned so that you couldn't see the left filter?
I presume that you must have crossed the solid white stop line and so souldn't see the filter light as it was behind you?
In which case you only have yourself to blame and in future just read the layout earlier.


He said he was in the ASL which is a perfectly reasonable place for a cyclist to be. What is unreasonable is a junction design that doesn't allow cyclists to see the traffic lights once they've taken up the position they're encouraged to use. And even then the traffic lights at the other side of the junction could have contained a green filter arrow - if it's instead of the solid green light then it's often not possible to tell that there's an arrow until it's lit.
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adinigel
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Re: ASLs and left turn lights

Post by adinigel »

rbrian wrote:Anyway, what should I do in such a situation? Stop at the car line? Jump the light? Walk across the junction? Buy a car?


Simply stay far enough back so you can still see the relevant lights.

Then send in an email to the Road Safety Unit at the council alerting them to teh problem.

Nigel
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rbrian
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Re: ASLs and left turn lights

Post by rbrian »

I could have stayed far enough back if I stayed behind the ten cars queuing in that lane. As I passed them all, and the one at the front was on the line, the only place I could go was the ASL box - which is what it's for, after all. I'm starting to understand why people run red lights, and in future, if it's safe (which it would have been at this particular junction at that particular time) I think I will.
Cynic? No, an optimist tempered by experience.
adinigel
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Re: ASLs and left turn lights

Post by adinigel »

rbrian wrote:I could have stayed far enough back if I stayed behind the ten cars queuing in that lane. As I passed them all, and the one at the front was on the line, the only place I could go was the ASL box - which is what it's for, after all. I'm starting to understand why people run red lights, and in future, if it's safe (which it would have been at this particular junction at that particular time) I think I will.


What? The lights are 10 car lengths behind the stop line? Surely not?

If you're going to start jumping red lights you wont receive any sympathy from me if you get caught & fined! Absolutely insane and a touch hypocritical to complain about a car stopping in the wrong place!

The reason people jump red lights is because they are brain dead!

Nigel
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rbrian
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Re: ASLs and left turn lights

Post by rbrian »

The lights aren't ten car lengths behind the line - ten car lengths behind the line was the only place I could have stopped with ten stationary cars in front of me, except for the ASL. Unless you're suggesting I should have passed the cars on the curb side, and then stopped next to one of them? When exactly did I complain about a car stopping in the wrong place? The car at the front of the queue was stopped at the car stop line, exactly where it should have been. It's the lights that are in the wrong place, or the ASL.

I said I'd run a red if it was safe, which isn't the same as legal. In this particular case, at that particular junction, it would have been safer than what I did, which caused conflict with other road users.
Cynic? No, an optimist tempered by experience.
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