Author Topic: On the commute today  (Read 1360390 times)


  • Mostly Harmless
Re: On the commute today
« Reply #20775 on: June 15, 2019, 12:11:14 am »
To be honest, while I accept the safety argument in principle – if there's someone revving hard behind me and I pretty much know it's an aggressive twunt in Audi or a lorry driver on the phone telling his mate about the epic hangover he has, yeah, I'm gone. But the majority of lights I see jumped aren't because of safety, it's impatience because the person on a bike can't be bothered waiting a minute or so. Which is same reason drivers do it, of course.

The smell of sweet Mary J is strong the Mad Max re-enactment zone that is Croydon. I suppose it takes the sting out of living there.

There's another reason that red lights get jumped. Bad design.

Often a junction will have sensors, either inductive, or motion, to detect that a vehicle is waiting at a particular light. Unfortunately not all sensors will detect a bike. I've had numerous occasions where after several minutes of watching the whole junction cycle through, without my side getting a green, I've given up and cycled across when it seemed safest.

I'm riding a steel bike, you'd think it'd be enough to trigger an inductive sensor, how carbon bikes fair, I've no idea. Yet in both the UK, and Netherlands, I've had to jump red lights because they just didn't change.

Beer, bikes, and backpacking

Re: On the commute today
« Reply #20776 on: June 15, 2019, 09:06:41 am »

There's another reason that red lights get jumped. Bad design...

We had this problem at some temporary traffic lights on my commute last week.

First car was miles back from the lights, and I'm pretty sure they only changed when the system 'got bored' and set our lights to green. I was about to dismount, walk back to the car and explain that he needs to be nearer to me! That would be a first.  :)


  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: On the commute today
« Reply #20777 on: June 15, 2019, 12:10:49 pm »
Traffic lights should have a time element as well as a sensor, so that each direction gets a green light once every n minutes if it hasn't been triggered anyway. This isn't always present but it sounds like it was in your case. I expect there's a standard for the value of n but what it is, whether it's satisfactory and whether it's always followed, I don't know.
An ungovernable laughter, a joyous agitation which makes the summer stretching before you seem like an unrolling canvas on which you might draw those first rude pure strokes that are free. (Capote)

Re: On the commute today
« Reply #20778 on: June 15, 2019, 05:10:49 pm »
Artic in front of me at conjested roundabout. I’m 2m behind it, in the middle because there’s no choice: parked cars to the left and just enough room for oncoming traffic to the right. There’s a line of cars behind me and we’re all waiting for the lorry to move.

Suddenly, the truck’s reversing lights come on and I realise my predicament: I’m in the detention level garbage-masher.

I stood still for a moment: sometimes reverse lights just come on (I don’t know why that is). But the lights stay on and then, incredibly (because the circumstances are far from conducive for such a manoeuvre), the lorry starts reversing.

I was off the bike sharpish and looking for my exit when it promptly stops, and starts to pull forward.

L'enfer, c'est les autos.