Laws on ASLs clarified

thirdcrank
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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby thirdcrank » 4 Mar 2013, 9:38pm

AFAIK, The present timings include an assumption that that people will not stop when they should. It's only my personal impression, but it's a strong one, that this is a self-reinforcing spiral in that as the safety margin is increased, so does the time-saving incentive to ignore the STOP phases, sound in the knowledge that there is no risk of prosecution and the only risk of a collision comes from somebody else on another leg of the junction behaving in the same way.

There are several places around here and no doubt it's the same elsewhere where they are so desperate to maximise capacity that the intergreen has been pared right down: not like the good old days :roll: when amber in one direction on a cross roads meant red + amber on the other :shock: but near enough. It's a heart-stopping experience to see somebody unfamiliar with the timings driving "normally."

As for pedestrians, the system of slotting them in as-and-when just demonstrates the intellectual bankruptcy of the people in charge of the system. IMO.

Pete Owens
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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby Pete Owens » 4 Mar 2013, 9:59pm

When I complained about the timings of a junction I was having problems with they checked and told me that the timings were in accordance with the guidelines. So I asked what speed they used to do the calculations and they explained that they didn't, but used a table that had been produced some time in antiquity and supposedly worked well for "all classes of user". So I asked to see the table and did some calculations myself - and basically it assumes a steady acceleration to 30mph. Now, with small junctions this doesn't matter so much; we can accelerate up to cycling pace (say 15mph) at that sort of rate and that is usually enough to get through a junction. The trouble is cars continue to get faster so for bigger junctions - and especially for right turns - it takes us much longer to get through than is allowed for in the table.

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661-Pete
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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby 661-Pete » 4 Mar 2013, 11:27pm

thirdcrank wrote:(especially in conjunction with the abolition of the red+amber phase.)
A propos - how about that as an idea then? They don't have it in France, the lights go straight from red to green, and I believe in many other countries besides. My interpretation is, the red-and-amber came about in the days of old-fashioned, clunky 'crash' gearboxes of vintage cars, which took quite a lot of effort to put into gear. But that hardly applies to modern vehicles with modern synchromesh gearboxes - even if we Brits, to the dismay of our American cousins, maintain our love affair with the manual gear-change (or 'stick-shift' as they call it)...
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iviehoff
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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby iviehoff » 5 Mar 2013, 11:02am

thirdcrank wrote:As for pedestrians, the system of slotting them in as-and-when just demonstrates the intellectual bankruptcy of the people in charge of the system. IMO.

Maybe where you live. In central London there are quite a lot of jcts that are very generous to pedestrians, some leaning absurdly in that direction. There is one junction I pass regularly on Gt Portland St which will supply two 4-way pedestrian phases per cycle of the traffic lights, provided the button is pressed in time. I think the reason they do this is because the individual traffic phases are longer than is usual for such backstreets. This makes the overall light cycle so long that if I just miss the lights I routinely dismount and walk across.

We have too many traffic lights in central London. Camden recently took some lights out and put zebras in instead. That approach would be good more of the backstreets. But I sometimes think all the lights have been installed precisely to make progress very slow and encourage people to be somewhere else. It is hardly surprising that cyclists give up and RLJ when they are spending over half their travel time stationary at lights, which is what happens if you head along Wigmore Street (and its continuations of different names), with slow sets of lights seemingly every 50yds - and thus eventually arrive at the lights mentioned above. I often take quite long detours to avoid cycling along Wigmore St, it's so infuriatingly slow.

thirdcrank
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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby thirdcrank » 5 Mar 2013, 11:14am

I'm not saying we have no traffic lights which help pedestrians, just agreeing With Pete Owens that at many complicated junctions, pedestrians only get what's left over when capacity for motot traffic has been maximised.

I'm sure I've posted before that when I represented the CTC at a public inquiry, the traffic lights expert announced on the lines that they had had done the maximum possible for pedestrians. I'm sure he believed this as he said it, but he couldn't see that he really meant the maximum possible with what was left over after the capacity needs of motor traffic had been met. The significance of this for cyclists, was that anything to help them could only come at the expense of making things worse for pedestrians (or "peds" as these people dismiss them. :evil: )

It's a common tendency among highwaymen: they mingle the laws of science with their own values, and cannot see there's a difference.

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meic
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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby meic » 5 Mar 2013, 11:18am

pedestrians only get what's left over when capacity for motot traffic has been maximised.


They dont even always get that. We have a crossing going to the main supermarket in town where one section gives pedestrians a red light at times that cars can not even legally cross that section.
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thirdcrank
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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby thirdcrank » 5 Mar 2013, 12:50pm

All I'm saying is that what I think is called transport engineering involves several areas of knowledge. The most important must be things like physics and the technology of materials. If the laws of science are not followed, bridges will fall down, roads will crumble and all the rest of it. Add vehicles, which is the whole purpose, of course, and we are into a grey area because things like stopping distances which can be calculated scientifically, are subject to human behaviour which is harder to predict, and even harder to control. This means we add our own laws, both formal and less formal, of how people should behave. Engineering can influence this, but that's all.

It's characteristic of many that they functionaries try to dress up policy matters as technical issues so that they can claim the authority to make all the decisions - often hiding behind the responsibility of politicians when things go wrong. Politicians, on the other hand, are often only too happy to leave policy matters to technical experts so they can squirm out of making any real decisions. Traffic management is an area where this happens in spades. Highwaymen dress up a lot of their own preferences as science when it's nothing of the kind.

SA_SA_SA
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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby SA_SA_SA » 17 Jun 2013, 5:39pm

Traffic lights going from red to green directly seem a bit abrupt, I would prefer red and amber to be kept, even if it is an ephemeral phase: it seems more polite.
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SA_SA_SA
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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby SA_SA_SA » 17 Jun 2013, 6:00pm

If you arrive in the outside lane at a red lighted ASL, would it actually be legal to stop at the rear stop line,dismount, walk across it, then remount behind the front ("cyclist's") stop line?
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby [XAP]Bob » 19 Jun 2013, 2:19pm

SA_SA_SA wrote:If you arrive in the outside lane at a red lighted ASL, would it actually be legal to stop at the rear stop line,dismount, walk across it, then remount behind the front ("cyclist's") stop line?

Yes. But you can't scoot. You must have two feet on the ground before the line...
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kwackers
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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby kwackers » 19 Jun 2013, 2:26pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:
SA_SA_SA wrote:If you arrive in the outside lane at a red lighted ASL, would it actually be legal to stop at the rear stop line,dismount, walk across it, then remount behind the front ("cyclist's") stop line?

Yes. But you can't scoot. You must have two feet on the ground before the line...

What if you join the road using a pathway cycle path in front of the ADSL? Can you legally go through the red light (given you're now in front of the stop lines).

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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby Adam S » 19 Jun 2013, 2:53pm

The issue of pushing a cycle through/round stop lines/lights was the subject of a long thread here: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=71982

kwackers
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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby kwackers » 19 Jun 2013, 3:08pm

Adam S wrote:The issue of pushing a cycle through/round stop lines/lights was the subject of a long thread here: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=71982

I don't think it answers my question.

I'm not pushing, nor have I circumvented (deliberately at any rate) any stop lines, I've simply arrived at a position in the road ahead of the stop lines but still on the 'red' side of the junction.

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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby Adam S » 19 Jun 2013, 5:04pm

kwackers wrote:
Adam S wrote:The issue of pushing a cycle through/round stop lines/lights was the subject of a long thread here: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=71982

I don't think it answers my question.

I'm not pushing, nor have I circumvented (deliberately at any rate) any stop lines, I've simply arrived at a position in the road ahead of the stop lines but still on the 'red' side of the junction.

Sorry, it was in response to the posts preceding yours.

But, on the last page (of that thread):
gaz wrote:
gaz wrote:Now does anyone want to look up the position when riding on a shared use footway adjacent to a set of traffic lights? :wink:

OK then I'll do it.
LTN 2/08.

9.3.4 If there is insufficient room in the carriageway for a bypass, it can be created by converting part of the footway to a cycle track using powers under the Highway Act 1980, such as in Figure 9.5. In this case, cyclists going straight ahead can use the track to bypass the signals at a Tjunction. A good way of returning cyclists to the carriageway is to place the end of the cycle track on a buildout and parallel to the main flow. Such an arrangement minimises the potential for conflict when cyclists rejoin, and should allow them to do so without stopping.


So stop signals for the main carriageway do not extend to a cycle being ridden on an adjacent cycletrack.

In the absence of any regulation saying you can't access the road from the cycletrack at any point i'd say what you're suggesting is true.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby [XAP]Bob » 19 Jun 2013, 11:11pm

On another thread just now I mentioned that I do this.

Normally access from a footpath would be verbotten, but in this case it's a shared use farceility.
As you don't cross the stop line you are not (AFAICT) committing the relevant offence.

Of course you may feel it prudent to take up a "virtual ASL" position and just wait.
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.