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Traffic light changing times

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Flying_Monkey, 12 Mar 2008.

  1. Flying_Monkey

    Flying_Monkey Toll Collector on the Road to Nowhere

    Why oh why oh why oh why (etc.) don't they make the changing times for traffic lights more suitable for cyclists. There are some on my route that change from green through orange to red so quickly that, if you happen to be going slowly for wahtever reason, you can start going through on green and they'll be on red before you get to safety. Today I got driven at by some twerp who decided I must have gone through on red... it just annoys me that so many things are set up entirely for the convenience of drivers, and drivers going fast, apparently.
     
  2. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Location:
    York, UK
    Yes, and a lot of junctions (esp inner ring road type stuff) are surprisingly wide - nothing to a car, but a good few seconds worth on a bike...

    There's a use for a camers - to prove what the light was when you crossed it!

    I have another gripe - there's a couple of junctions, where I have to turn right, an at peak times the oncoming traffic is solid, no decent gaps to turn in. At one there's a yellow box - but I understand I'm allowed to pull into it to turn right, yes? The other has a sort of filter lane on the junction. But quite often, there's no gap before the light changes back to red, leaving me in the way in the middle of the road (and any car would be too). What's the position here, regarding going anyway once oncoming traffic pulls up? Certainly at the non-hatched one, you are expected to pull forward into the turning lane, but are you expected to sit and wait there while the traffic from the side works round you? Seems like sloppy design to me.
     
  3. There's a horrible junction close to where I live, its a bit of an uphill I can just make it through on Green, if I'm at the front of the queue (fortunately that's usually 0 or 1) when the lights change. What is really annoying is that the opposing right turn, I'm going straight is also severley limited meaning that as It takes me a few seconds to reach the conflict point fast cars can turn right ahead of me, this is no problem but some cars are like sheep and they keep on coming and sometimes there behind a HGV limiting their visibility. The lights are vehicle actuated by loops on the road on my approach so if the flow is heavy there's more time but thats not often. However a new supermarket is being built on the approach so flows will be heavier :biggrin:
     
  4. Freewheeler

    Freewheeler Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Warrington
    Yes you are. Many people misunderstand yellow box junctions and do not pull into them when turning right. The rule is that if your exit road is clear, you can enter the box even if you then have to give way to oncoming traffic.

    Regarding getting stuck once you've crossed the white line, I believe that in theory once over the line you can proceed regardless of the traffic light, as they govern whether you can cross the line. It's often better to wait rather than get into conflict with the other flow though; I just use common sense in each situation.
     
  5. gbb

    gbb Legendary Member

    Location:
    Peterborough
    Unfortunately i dont know WHO you should contact, but i was told about a similar problem here in P'boro.
    The person concerned contacted the relevent people, and they were more than happy to look at it, and indeed the lights were adjusted shortly afterwards.
    We dont realise we're doing it, we complain about something..without actually attempting doing something about it.
    Often an email or phone call to the relevent authorities often pays dividends.
     
  6. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Several times a year I get shouted at by some jumped up twerp pedestrian when they cross the road against a red man and then accuse me of jumping a red light, even though it was clearly green. :sad::angry:;) Really fu**ing winds me up that one!
     
  7. LOGAN 5

    LOGAN 5 New Member

    I was wondering whether cyclists - due to slower average speeds (except you fast ones out there) - encounter more red traffic lights than motorists? As lights are designed to allow motor traffic to flow more freely on any given route/junction then it surely follows that if as cyclists we're not as fast then the light phases are going to go against us most of the time.

    I had a tail wind today and it was noticeable because I was riding faster that I got across more green light phases. Is this a coincidence? Anybody else think we get more red lights?

    At the junction at Hyde Park Corner where cyclists cross from the Green Park cycle path to go under Wellington Arch and over to Hyde Park the phase of lights is so bad it forces cyclists to stop 4 times in 150 yards whilst the traffic seemingly goes on roaring past. I see many cyclists riding round this junction as you can get round it quicker than going across the middle on the cycle route.
     
  8. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Location:
    York, UK

    Thanks for that - makes sense. In my case, to stay put and wait would put me right in the way of the crossing traffic - if I happened to be in a large car or van, it would block the junction quite a lot. And while in one case, I know the lights are phased to give me a second or two head start at the next green, I don't know about the other, so I might get stuck all over again if I waited.

    Round here it seems they more often misunderstand the yellow box by pulling into it regardless and then blocking the road up..:sad:
     
  9. Jacomus-rides-Gen

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Location:
    Guildford / London
    As gbb said - get in touch with you LA. I've found council bods to be very helpful. I had the same problem with a set of TL's near me, on a savage hill, with a single lane bridge. Going up it, there just wasn't long enough to let a velo through so of course the cager on the other side would roar onto the bridge, scream to a stop and bully the cyclist off the bridge. That bridge taught me that you can never argue with a moton if the think they are even slightly right.

    They changed the timings within a couple of days and the situation is fine now.
     
  10. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Staff Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    There is a light on one of my routes (Muller Rd/Filton Ave) which if I get to the line quite late in the green phase, just as it turns on the right filter, I know I can't get to the other side of the junction, the line is at least 3 or 4 car lenghts back from the junction and its uphill at the top of the hill. I have ended up crossing the road junction whilst against a red light. Now when I'm at this junction even after I have past the line I have to continually glance around trying to guess what colour the light is on, and stop if I get to the road as it changes.

    On the opposite front there is a light I love, just after I cross the River Avon on a pedestrian/cycle bridge, there are pedestrian/cycle traffic lights to cross Coronation Road - they change to green for the cyclist within 10 secs of pressing the button.:biggrin:
     
  11. You have orange on your traffic light maaaaaaaaaaaans?:biggrin:
     
  12. mr_hippo

    mr_hippo Living Legend & Old Fart

    I wish lights in Bangkok changed quicker. The longest wait that I had on red was 20 minutes and I have heard of times as much as 40 minutes! Although the lights here can be computer controlled, most of them are manually operated from adjacent police boxes. Very few amber lights, some lights do have a numbered countdown and others have an illuminated map with details of jams.