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Thread: Traffic Lights on the W&OD

  1. #31
    lordofthemark's Avatar
    lordofthemark is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    On a bike, I can go a lot faster than the slow walkers that the walk signals assume (this is assuming the location is one where there are no pedestrians, and I can cross in the crosswalk at faster than walking speed). So when I am crossing King at Park Center, if I come the crosswalk just when the ped signal turns to stop (so I know how much time I have) will proceed across. If I come after it has turned to stop, and so I do not know how much time I have, I will wait through another (dreadfully long - because moving through traffic rapidly on rte 7 is more important than those of us in the neighborhood) cycle.

    At IoD, I try to lean to the cautious side. Though I not there that much, and do not recall what I did last time.

  2. #32
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    I also run the Fort Meyer light when completely clear (you have to watch for turning turning traffic after the upstream light has changed) so as to be at the Iod when the signal is still white. It is definitely a case of choosing which laws to follow and which to ignore for safety. If I had to wait at both lights every day I'd be riding Lee Highway (aka "Just a Matter of Time Highway") every day instead. Really, it's just another area of many where laws and policy have let cyclists and pedestrians down. I just do what I do, feel fortunate, and go about my business.

    But reading comments on the Post about cyclists and pedestrians simply angries up the blood.

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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerdont View Post
    But reading comments on the Post about cyclists and pedestrians simply angries up the blood.
    Absolutely true. But these are questions on the Ask Dr. Gridlock live blog. They're not just dumb commentors on a news blurb. I feel like these have more credence as they're vetted ahead of time and the Post reporter has to respond live.

    Which is why I felt they were relevant enough to post here. They may be a good indicator on how angry drivers are about the Lynn/Lee intersection and there may be more enforcement out there soon.

  4. #34
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    I generally will enter on a flashing red, but at this intersection I don't. There are two reasons: 1) it's not worth the risk; and 2) I actually feel bad for the drivers who have to wait 3 or 4 cycles to get through. At most, I'll have to wait one extra cycle.

    That said, it is confusing as there are a couple lights on the Custis just up the hill with separate signals specifically for bikes. They don't turn yellow for bikes until the pedestrian countdown has ended, which reinforces the belief that bikes are allowed to enter on flashing red countdowns as long as they can clear the intersection before it becomes a steady red.

  5. #35
    dasgeh's Avatar
    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    Quote Originally Posted by kcb203 View Post
    I generally will enter on a flashing red, but at this intersection I don't. There are two reasons: 1) it's not worth the risk; and 2) I actually feel bad for the drivers who have to wait 3 or 4 cycles to get through. At most, I'll have to wait one extra cycle.
    Heading WB, I generally don't enter during the count-down unless I've been stuck because the mass of pedestrians/waiting bikes/cars stuck in traffic made starting before the countdown impossible. Probably happens once a week.
    Heading EB, I always stop and wait at the red at Fort Myer, and I almost always make the IoD while it's still white. Every once in a while (maybe once every 2 weeks), it goes to countdown right before I get to the intersection. Note that there's no equivalent of a yellow light between the white walking person and the countdown, so if you're moving and expecting to go and suddenly it switches to countdown, are you expected to slam on your brakes? Which is another reason I think the no-starting-during-countdown is bs...

  6. #36
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    I contend with IoD twice a day (coming and going) and if the little person or the countdown is lit, I'll cross. If its down to the last 3 seconds or so and the cars are already turning into the intersection, I'll yield with an annoyed grimace.

    As for Gallows and Maple, what amazes me is for the entire eternity bikes/peds have to wait on the W&OD, the cars simply don't stop coming. As soon as you think you might be able to make a break for it, another appears. Honestly those two crossings and the one at N. Washington and Fairfax (simply because it's perplexing, with all traffic stopped for no discernible reason) are my least favorite parts of the trail with how much they disrupt a ride.

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