Monday, July 16, 2007

Columbus Cycling Wish List #3

The third thing I would wish for on Columbus streets is either: a removal of the metal detector/sensors at traffic lights or a re-adjustment of those sensors for cyclists. I frequently sit at corners for a few minutes, frequently with cars behind me, because the sensors don't pick me up.

The worst is when cars who sit SO far back from me that they can't trip the sensor themselves. I normally appreciate being given room like this, but not at times like this. And I can't blame those drivers, they don't normally have to think about things like that.

I would prefer to remove the sensors altogether and simply return to a system that is simply time-based - that would do more to discourage car driving and encourage traffic calming. But I'd be happy with either.

Edited 2:19 pm: gtdesign posted a link to a product that motorcyclists apparently use when they encounter this very problem, as well as this Do-It-Yourself remedy to the issue.

3 comments:

  1. Couldn't agree with you more. Here are some solutions that I have run across. I have not tried out either, but maybe you have more time to tinker...
    Commercial Option:
    http://www.greenlightstuff.com/trigger.html

    DIY Option:
    http://www.instructables.com/id/EL8EH6RZ1REP286X29/

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  2. The signal loops have adjustable sensitivity, so it's possible to get the local public works to adjust them. There are 3 different loop designs that I've seen, a single loop, a double loop and a figure 8 loop. The last one is nearly impossible to trigger with a bicycle.

    Also, many modern intersection designs incorporate video detectors. These are programmable, so if it doesn't detect a bike reliably, call public works.

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  3. It seems that few cyclists are able to trip vehicle detectors. I've found that if I can see the loop wire, I can trip most detectors. Here's an article that shows how
    http://www.labreform.org/education/loops.html

    If you want an article to give to city officials to encourage them to adjust and mark loops, see
    http://www.labreform.org/education/Vehicle-Detectors.pdf

    -- Fred Oswald, cycling instructor from Cleveland

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