Many of Columbus's stoplight vehicle sensors are magnetically triggered when a car, AKA a big hunk of metal, drives over them. However, a problem that I've mentioned several times in the past, but been totally ignored even when I requested help from the city on this matter, is that bicycles, and now apparently scooters, don't contain enough metal to set them off, leaving cyclists no choice but to run red lights.
A company in town sells a magnetic gadget that is supposed to help set them off, but according to the Dispatch article, it doesn't work.
One trick that I've used with varying results is to position my bike directly over the seam in the road where the coil was inserted. Like I said, this has varying results. Another is apparently to lay down your bike over the coil and hope that getting the metal closer to the coil will set it off.
But let's return to the article at hand. Here's the most annoying part of this story:
Or, as I discovered when I requested help, the city will tell you that you should get off your bike, in the middle of the lane, and go hit the button at the crosswalk to get it to trigger.
If no other option works, report a troublesome intersection to the city, and Foster or another worker will simply turn up the sensitivity of the metal-detecting loop.
The city doesn't want them to be too sensitive.
A parked car "may actually set it off even though they're several feet away from it," Foster said.
Either way, this situation is ridiculous. In their attempts to create an infrastructure that allows cars to zip along at top speed, without having to stop so much, they've created a bigger problem - and one that will continue to get bigger as more people eschew cars for more practical bikes and scooters. The real answer is to turn all these things off and simply have a regular pattern for ALL traffic lights, no matter if anyone's there or not.
People, not speed.