Cross walk button comes to cyclist?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Cross walk button comes to cyclist?


    This is near where I live on University Ave SE and 6th St in Minneapolis, MN.

    Anyone have these around Minneapolis or anywhere else for that matter? I saw some light construction around this area but this was all of a sudden there. The road it is on is considered a bike blvd. It used to have a small bike sensor there that if you sat your bike over it it would change the light.
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  2. #2
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    Perhaps it is a way for a cyclist to be detected at the intersection, like a pedestrian. There are in-road sensors in my area to detect cars. Sometimes, I've pushed the crosswalk button to change the light if the sensors don't detect me on my bike in the street.

  3. #3
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    Maybe even the bike sensors work poorly for a carbon wheeled carbon bike, and this is the solution?

  4. #4
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post
    Maybe even the bike sensors work poorly for a carbon wheeled carbon bike, and this is the solution?
    No matter- riders with carbon wheels don`t care what color the light is

    Sorry if I offended anyone, maybe not QUITE true. Anyway, no- never seen one. But I sure could use a few around here, mostly in the left turn or turn/straight option lanes. What I would seriously love though is for my local public works dept to just mark where the stupid sensors are. I called once and asked somebody about it, was told some kind of mumbo jumbo about federal marking standards and how they don`t accomodate any extra crap cluttering up the road surfaces.
    Recalculating....

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    No matter- riders with carbon wheels don`t care what color the light is
    You act like you're joking but you know it's basically true.

    I could see this being a good and bad thing. Many times I've had to push the crosswalk button because the sensor will never see me and I'll never get the light. The problem is that every time someone sees you do it, it kinda marginalizes your right to the road in their mind. Like now you're flip flopping everywhere. In the crosswalk, on the road, yadda yadda, blahblahblah. I think people who drive are just crabby that bikes are more maneuverable.
    dang

  6. #6
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    The one crossing Uni wasn't working last time I used it. I don't think there's power running to it.

    They're all over Minneapolis and mainly worthless. The one by the Quarry connecting to the Diagonal Trail is garbage. No one stops for the blinking lights that tell drivers to stop on Hennepin in NE. The one at 5th and Broadway is great and works like a charm.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    No matter- riders with carbon wheels don`t care what color the light is
    Good one! True more often than not, unfortunately. But no, can can't lump them all together because that would be exactly the same as drivers lumping all of us cyclists as scofflaws. I have instituted my own Idhao Stop law here in Maine but I see that as a victimless crime. Usually there aren't even any cars in sight.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    No matter- riders with carbon wheels don`t care what color the light is
    Having some fun at my expense I see... hey, have you ever tried panic braking on carbon rims in the rain? Maybe all your local roadies were actually TRYING to stop at those red lights.....

    So about 5 years ago the City of Toronto installed these little dots on the pavement that are supposed to mark where you stop your bike to trigger the light countdown. The one on my old route worked for a month, until they salted the road, and I haven't seen one work since, even riding around on a 40-lb FR bike.

    It gets worse. The ones up north of the city on a rural road (yes, that I ride my road bike on) failed to trigger with Harley (with 2 people on it) sitting beside me. There isn't a pedestrian button there that I'm aware of.

    And Sunday when riding through a lower-income part of town that's not known for infrastructure upkeep, the light failed to trigger for me and a 1990s Nissan Sentra. We both did the right-on-red-U-turn-right-turn little illegality.
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  9. #9
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    Last year, we got something like an Idaho stop (lite version) to deal with unreliable traffic lights. The law says you've gotta wait 2 minutes for the light to change, and if it doesn't, then you can go when it's clear (basically allows you to treat stoplights as stop signs). Which is kinda ridiculously long for most intersections where this applies, to be honest. But, the law is not limited to bicycles...it also applies to motorcycles. And that's how the legislation was able to pass at the state level in a state that's not really bike friendly (though several cities are pretty good).

    Related to buttons like this, I'll use crosswalk buttons at a busy intersection if they're available...but I'm not a big fan of them most of the time because so many of them are broken.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Last year, we got something like an Idaho stop (lite version) to deal with unreliable traffic lights. The law says you've gotta wait 2 minutes for the light to change, and if it doesn't, then you can go when it's clear (basically allows you to treat stoplights as stop signs). Which is kinda ridiculously long for most intersections where this applies, to be honest.
    It also applies to mopeds. Yes, a bit long. The one intersection where this was a problem for me would change in 1 1/2 minutes if a car arrived on the minor street as the light for main street just turned green (I timed it 6 times and it was always the same). There is another law saying that a malfunctioning traffic light can be treated as a stop sign. So if the light did not change after 90 seconds (and it never did unless a car showed up), I proceeded as if the light was malfunctioning under the old law. I only have this problem now if I need a left at that light as I found a way to avoid the intersection entirely for rights and straight throughs.

    The issue is whether an officer just arriving to see you run a red light after you counted down 2 minutes will not pull you over and cite you anyway. A video camera may be needed as evidence. Does a Garmin set to ignore being stopped record stop and start times in that file? That could work, if it does.

    Another interesting possibility is a cyclist (so is aware of the law) who is driving a car sitting over 2 minutes in a left turn lane, who then proceeds using the 2 minute rule? That would be an interesting court case. Why should a motorcyclist or bicycle (also vehicles) be treated better than a motorist? My guess is most lights change faster than that if there is no cross traffic so the 2 minutes would not be reached.

  11. #11
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    A few years back I was driving in a thunderstorm, and there was enough of a power surge to reset the light timer at the red I was waiting at with a bunch of other cars.

    I really doubt the total wait time was much longer than 2 minutes, but the intesection in question was a busy one with a pretty quick timer ordinarily. So of course, the other drivers I was waiting with lost it and just started driving through the red, even though opposing traffic was present... they figured they had the right to go, they had waited long enough, I guess.

    So yes, 2 minutes waiting at an empty intersection would seem like an eternity for any type of road user I can visualize.

    For reference, in my earlier post, me being "not detected" means the crosswalk starts flashing in the other direction while I'm waiting, but then switches back to a walk signal.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    Having some fun at my expense I see... hey, have you ever tried panic braking on carbon rims in the rain? Maybe all your local roadies were actually TRYING to stop at those red lights.....

    So about 5 years ago the City of Toronto installed these little dots on the pavement that are supposed to mark where you stop your bike to trigger the light countdown. The one on my old route worked for a month, until they salted the road, and I haven't seen one work since, even riding around on a 40-lb FR bike.
    Triple confession: I`ve never ridden with carbon wheels (or any other carbon for that matter), on any bike. I have probably seen riders on carbopn wheels, but wouldn`t know it unless the rider happened to point it out to me. Honestly, it`s pretty rare to see a training peloton or a single rider in race mode anywhere in my regular stomping grounds, so only once in a blue moon do I witness the kind of A-hole rider shenanigans that get people wound up. All told, I freely admit to talking out my 4$$

    So the "stop here to trigger light" markings aren`t a permanent solution? What a disappointment! Do they tend to get erased, or you can still see them, but they don`t function any more? The reason it sounded so good to me is that I`ve had cases where I WAS able to reliably trigger a certain light by stopping at a known location, but after resurfacing, could no longer see the cut marks and could no longer trigger the same lights.
    Recalculating....

  13. #13
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    The one on the roads that say stop here tend to get erased at least around me.
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  14. #14
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    The law says you've gotta wait 2 minutes for the light to change, and if it doesn't, then you can go when it's clear (basically allows you to treat stoplights as stop signs).

    But, the law is not limited to bicycles...it also applies to motorcycles.

    Related to buttons like this, I'll use crosswalk buttons at a busy intersection if they're available...but I'm not a big fan of them most of the time because so many of them are broken.
    I could be wrong, but I`m pretty sure my state has always (in my driving career) had a law allowing any vehicle to just go for it if a signal doesn`t trip. If there`s a specific time limit though, I don`t know how long it is. Really, the legality doesn`t concern me much- our cops are usually pretty reasonable. It`s the saftey issue that concerns me most. On a low traffic road, no problem. A lot of those lights are for relatively low traffic feeders onto high traffic roads, so waiting for a good chance to cut in might very well take a lot more than that two minutes in commute rush.

    Motorcycles are only marginally more effective than bicycles at triggering lights. I`ve been riding a moto quite a lot over the last couple years, and have the same trouble.

    Other than the indignation at having to do it, I don`t mind pushing a crosswalk light on my bike as long as it`s on the right (for going straight through). But most of my light issues are for left turns, so if I`m already waiting with fingers crossed way over in the furthest left lane, it doesn`t make much sense to corss all the way back over (maybe with traffic between me and the curb), push and cross, then do it again to complete my left turn. Have never noticed a crosswalk button that was broken, but I don`t push them very often, so maybe that`s why.
    Recalculating....

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    So the "stop here to trigger light" markings aren`t a permanent solution? What a disappointment! Do they tend to get erased, or you can still see them, but they don`t function any more? The reason it sounded so good to me is that I`ve had cases where I WAS able to reliably trigger a certain light by stopping at a known location, but after resurfacing, could no longer see the cut marks and could no longer trigger the same lights.
    The intersection that works unfailingly for me has been resurfaced but I stop just behind the stop line in the right 1/3 to middle of the lane and I am in the front loop of three. It will trip for just my bike.

    The one that never has worked for my bike has the loop cuts still visible. I suppose I could complain at city hall but I have a work around for all but the left turn and there I have counted the 1 minute 30 seconds on the "broken traffic light" law. Now I have to wait another 30 seconds. I will just look for a cop if there is a break in traffic after a minute and a half. It is a busy street to get a left on. Very unlikely one was sitting and timing me. No cross walk signal there.

  16. #16
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    Resurfacing roads in not something that happens much around here, unless you count filling utility cuts with cold patch. So the paint dots are still there, but the "bike sensor" does nothing once it has been through a winter.

    Another issue with one of the localities around here is that they are using an induction loop to detect vehicles <approaching> the intersection at speed, and then lengthening the yellow light to give them time to run it. I thought I was imagining this until I confirmed it with a guy I knew who did network design for them. The flip side to a longer yellow when an approaching car is detected is a shorter yellow when a car is not detected. Hence on my bike, I basically have to slam on the brakes as soon as it turns or risk getting smoked by someone jumping off the line in the other direction.

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  17. #17
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    Bike sensor? It`s a special sensor, not the one out in the lane for all vehicles?
    Recalculating....

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    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  19. #19
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    I saw one of those in SoCal when there was a protected 2-way bike lane on the opposite side of the street, starting after that light. There was a sign prior to that one instructing cyclists to use the button and cross to the other side for the protected lane.

    Outside of that kind of application, I think this is lame. More of a reason for people to think of cyclists as pedestrians, and more of an excuse for cyclists to not act like vehicles that have to follow the rules of the road. I'd be skipping that sign and lining up with the cars at the light personally.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    an excuse for cyclists to not act like vehicles that have to follow the rules of the road.
    If I ever see one of those vehicles, I will post about it here.

    The uglier subtext is not that this kind of "bike infrastructure" is just making other Road users think of us as pedestrians. It is actually trying to legally force me to be a pedestrian. We have signs ordering us to dismount to cross bridges, ride down steep hills, ride down non steep hills, ride UP Hills (yes really) cross little-known driveways, and of course, the ubiquitous crosswalk in the bike path.

    Add in bike path speed limits that would slow four year olds just off training wheels and prevent runners from a Boston qualifying pace, and the message couldn't b much clearer.

    Walk.


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    Last edited by ghettocruiser; 12-09-2015 at 12:47 PM.
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    If that is the one I am thinking of I think is the only bike specific one in the city. It is there so you dont have to get on the sidewalk to push the button. It is on a bike blvd and cars cannot go straight at this intersection since it crosses a sidewalk on the other side. It also is crossing a pretty busy street so the light doesnt cycle as often unless someone is waiting. It is a pretty specific situation that you dont see much.

  22. #22
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    These were common in Denver for about 10 years. Then they started disappearing. Now we have more bike lanes with signals that do not recognize cyclists. What's odd: on roads without bike lanes the signals will trip for a cyclist.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by scubaklook View Post
    If that is the one I am thinking of I think is the only bike specific one in the city. It is there so you dont have to get on the sidewalk to push the button. It is on a bike blvd and cars cannot go straight at this intersection since it crosses a sidewalk on the other side. It also is crossing a pretty busy street so the light doesnt cycle as often unless someone is waiting. It is a pretty specific situation that you dont see much.
    The one I posted is on 6th crossing over University heading straight for the stone arch bridge. 6th is a bike blvd and has these also crossing 4th which is equally busy.

    I think this was put in to stop more people from blowing the busy intersection light.
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  24. #24
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    A relevant(?) previous post regarding a bike path signalized "intersection" with a major roadway.

    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser 04-01-2014 View Post
    So I had a near-miss on the way to work this morning.

    The MUP crossing at Lawrence had a green light for bicycles, with about 10 seconds left on the adjacent crosswalk timer. I saw the green ahead and sped up, just like one might when on a roadway.

    I am an idiot.

    A motorist on Lawrence drove through the red light.

    I was saved by the fact that the motorist, while completely ignoring the red light at the bicycle crossing, was anticipating the 'real' red light at Leslie and Lawrence in another 60 yards, and was slowing down. So we saw each other with enough time to brake for the near miss.

    If the light at Leslie had been green and he had been going the usual speed of traffic on Lawrence, I would, quite simply, have been killed instantly.

    Lesson learned. The only reason drivers stop for 'real' red lights is because their afraid they are going to get T-boned by a tractor trailer...
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  25. #25
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    Recently attended a Intellectual Transportation System (ITS) forum where they discussed how cyclists and pedestrians could use a app on their cell phones to communicate with infrastructure to change the ligiht/timing-sequencing to give cyclists and pedestrians priority like current infrastructure can give transit vehicles priority at lights.

    once a cyclist-pedestrain request is made the light timing and sequencing is changed not only on the light where the request is being made but those lights up and down stream of the location so that all the lights are sequenced as a system. The same technology can be used for highways, freeway and local street interchanges as well.

    Building further on this technology there are things in the works that would give large trucks light priority so that they dont have to slow or stop which impedes car traffic and also giving particular turn movements priority in an intersection in order to reduce cyclist-pedestrian conflicts at crossings. Really cool stuff.

  26. #26
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    ^^Wow, this is not a dream? Where is this?

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