traffic light night settings

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by galaxy1, 14 Nov 2007.

  1. galaxy1

    galaxy1 Well-Known Member

    I've recently got some lights for the bike as my old one s died in the spring.So I've taken to riding places in the dark and riding back.There are a few routes I ride which have traffic lights and what I've noticed is this.After a certain time the traffic lights must go onto a different setting that is triggered by oncoming traffic...but not bikes ,no I had to wait until a car or bus turned up before the lights would change which has been up to ten minutes at times .This is really starting to piss me off as its happening a lot and theres some on the way home .
    Is there any way these settings can be changed ? If not then I'm going through the lights next time
  2. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    Dynamic control

    More sophisticated control systems use electronic detector loops, which are sensors buried in the pavement to detect the presence of traffic waiting at the light, and thus can avoid giving the green light to an empty road while motorists on a different route are stopped. A timer is frequently used as a backup in case the sensors fail; an additional problem with sensor-based systems is that they may fail to detect vehicles such as motorcycles or bicycles and cause them to wait forever (or at least until a detectable vehicle also comes to wait for the light). The sensor loops typically work in the same fashion as metal detectors; small vehicles or those with low metal content may fail to be detected.
  3. Could be you have a carbon bike, which won't be detected by the road loop? Or I did come across one set of lights recently, at a narrow railway bridge where the detector was an infra red movement detector mounted on top of the lights, like the ones used on traffic lights at road works. Had to jumop up and down infront of the lights to get it to change.
  4. Rykard

    Rykard Veteran

    speak to the local council, I also believe (don't quote me) that if the light doesn't change it can be classed an not functioning correctly and hence you can run it.....
  5. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Just treat it as if the lights were not there, look for any oncoming traffic, once clear, proceed through the junction. No offence but you would certainly not catch me waiting for ten minutes at any kind of junction.
  6. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Miserable Old Bar Steward

    And by the time you'd got back on your bike they where back on red ??
  7. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Salford, UK
    Waiting 10 minutes would be pretty daft, you could get off, and walk across and remount in a few seconds.
  8. User482

    User482 Guest

    It's true that the detector loops in the road rely on a certain quantity of metal in your bike - carbon frames may cause problems.
  9. dondare

    dondare Über Member

    If the lights will only change when a car comes along, and that's not going to be any time soon, then wait until it's clear the other way and go.
  10. Maz

    Maz Legendary Member

    As Rykard says, tell the council. My money's on them doing nowt about it...until such time that they do, proceed through the red with caution (what I'd do) or dismount.
  11. gambatte

    gambatte Middle of the pack...

    S Yorks
    I heard the sensitivity of the induction loop can be easily changed, essentially by turning a dial. Get onto the council and complain about it.
  12. domd1979

    domd1979 New Member

    Not quite that straightforward. Loops are designed to detect motor vehicles.

    Traffic signals are usually set up with minimum/maximum green (and obviously hence red) times, and essentially the loops will be used to vary timings within the pre-set parameters. So, even in the absence of traffic the signals should still go through a cycle (no pun intended). Off-peak, you'd expect a reasonably fast cycle time. In areas where the signals are linked to UTC (urban traffic control), the phasing will also be linked to that of certain other signals in the area.

  13. Jacomus-rides-Gen

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Guildford / London
    My roadbike is Alu framed, and fails to trigger a local set of lights. I have e-mailed the council who have done SFA about it, so I just proceed with caution.
  14. OP

    galaxy1 Well-Known Member

    Oh good so its not just me then.Yep,10 minutes is pretty daft I only did it the once so now I just run the red ( if theres nothing coming) or mount the pavement of a one way street which joins onto the road which i'm trying to get onto :blush: ! Only later on that is.
    I don't have a carbon frame its a Dawes GAlaxy which I think is steel.
  15. dondare

    dondare Über Member

    Just be sensible. Lights that only respond to motor traffic are only intended to control motor traffic.
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