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Thread: Traffic Lights on the W&OD

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by americancyclo View Post
    I just wanted to add that I happened to be in a car yesterday driving south on Gallows. As we approached the trail crossing, we were passed by another vehicle that was going about 50 mph, and that was the general speed of traffic. Kind of horrifying when you think about having to cross that kind of high speed traffic on a bicycle, even when there is a traffic light.
    Better than the loudon versions of that crossing, which have no traffic light and a new law assuring drivers that they have no requirement to even slow down.

  2. #22
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    I was riding from Leesburg yesterday and was a little annoyed at the long waits at Maple and Gallows. At Maple, there was a large crowd of cyclists, skateboarders, and pedestrians, stuck in the rain for more than 4 minutes when there were obvious instances that given that the lights at crossections that involved roads on both sides of us were cycling through, we could have been given the crosswalk with no additional time lost for drivers.

    Less bad at Gallows, but still long and annoying. Is VDOT still the one to contact about this?

    I know that people ride these intersections more frequently than I do.

  3. #23
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    Did someone forget to push the button at Maple? That light should be 2 mins max, but won't change without the beg button. About the same for Gallows, which also won't change without the button.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by americancyclo View Post
    I just wanted to add that I happened to be in a car yesterday driving south on Gallows. As we approached the trail crossing, we were passed by another vehicle that was going about 50 mph, and that was the general speed of traffic. Kind of horrifying when you think about having to cross that kind of high speed traffic on a bicycle, even when there is a traffic light.
    The 35mph speed limit is just a suggestion that 90% of drivers on Gallows ignore. When it is obeyed it is only due to traffic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRH5028 View Post
    The 35mph speed limit is just a suggestion that 90% of drivers on Gallows ignore. When it is obeyed it is only due to traffic.
    Truth. There was a big flashing sign out a few weeks ago reminding drivers that the speed limit was 35. That was also ignored.

  6. #26
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    If waiting for LONG periods of time at stop lights makes raises your blood pressure then this loaded question on Dr. Gridlock today may get it boiling....

    So this person thinks most of you Lynn St. crossers are scofflaws...

    Q: meaning of red light with countdown
    Reading VA code ( 46.2-925 and 46.2-904), I am under the impression that red means red, and if it is flashing and/or counting down seconds, it is still red, meaning "you shall not enter'. But every day I see pedestrians and more frequently bicyclists entering the crosswalk on flashing/counting down red (some do it on steady red too, but that's infrequent). It happens a lot at Mt. Vernon Trail/N Lynn St crosswalk, aka "intersection of doom". Am I misreading VA statutes, or are they breaking the law?

    A: Robert Thomson
    Pedestrians and cyclists are not supposed to enter the crosswalk once the red hand starts flashing. And I've heard that police sometimes will issue tickets for this. (Haven't witnessed it.) Any long-time reader of these chats and my columns knows I think people should obey our traffic laws. All of them. But I'm not asking for a law enforcement campaign against people who step out when the red hand starts flashing. I'll say more about this in response to the next comment.
    As we all know that law is utter nonsense. After riding and walking around the area and seeing the ridiculously short white signals at many cross-walks I still can't believe it exists. I was even beginning to think it was a joke until this. I consider myself a fairly law abiding person but this is one law that I will never follow.

    So pulling up to an intersection having just missed the 3 seconds of white, why would anybody stand there with a thumb up their ass waiting while the timer counts down 30 more seconds, knowing they'd have to wait an additional 2 minutes to get the white signal again?! F that! Could you imagine if this was actually enforced?! I think it has been at the IoD on occasion is that right?

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by creadinger View Post
    So pulling up to an intersection having just missed the 3 seconds of white, why would anybody stand there with a thumb up their ass waiting while the timer counts down 30 more seconds, knowing they'd have to wait an additional 2 minutes to get the white signal again?! F that! Could you imagine if this was actually enforced?! I think it has been at the IoD on occasion is that right?
    I will say that I do wait at the IoD (if cars are present) when the 3 seconds of white are gone. It's such a precarious crossing that I don't tempt things. This is the only one though. Everywhere downtown that I and every other human crosses, we all go even when the countdown has started. It's just that I know this is the law and I have had so many close calls at the IoD that I don't want to be even 10% legally at fault, and I also know what motorists are seeing at their end (which is to say, simply a green light).

    That said, many times when I stop, people blow by me, so apparently some riders haven't had problems here and don't mind trusting that drivers will stop.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerdont View Post
    I will say that I do wait at the IoD (if cars are present) when the 3 seconds of white are gone. It's such a precarious crossing that I don't tempt things. This is the only one though. Everywhere downtown that I and every other human crosses, we all go even when the countdown has started. It's just that I know this is the law and I have had so many close calls at the IoD that I don't want to be even 10% legally at fault, and I also know what motorists are seeing at their end (which is to say, simply a green light).

    That said, many times when I stop, people blow by me, so apparently some riders haven't had problems here and don't mind trusting that drivers will stop.
    I too will only cross IoD if I have the walk signal. Although coming into the city, I will occasionally run the red light at Ft Myer Dr (I'll stop first and then go only if completely clear) because if you wait for that light to turn, you'll miss the window at the IoD.

  9. #29
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    And this idiot....

    Q: The Flashing Red Hand
    PLEASE REPEAT: The flashing red hand means that cyclists and pedestrians should NOT start to cross. This is a huge problem in the city.

    A: Robert Thomson
    I don't mind repeating it, but out of all the changes we could make to encourage safe behavior by everyone in traffic, I think that this is one of the least likely to be achieved. (Not that any of them look easy. Example: "What does a yellow light mean?")
    I can't argue about the IoD. I rarely go through it. But in that case it's simply because Arlington, VA, and NPS have let everybody down by designing a terrible intersection and you're acting out of common sense and self-preservation. I cannot imagine that these idiots wait for the white signal at every single intersection as they walk around the city.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by creadinger View Post
    But in that case it's simply because Arlington, VA, and NPS have let everybody down by designing a terrible intersection
    Don't forget that DDOT has an easement over the bridge and VDOT roads and highways go through there too. Oh and that there was privately owned property in the mix too!

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