's Forum Archives - General

Archive Home >> General(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 )

Trouble tripping traffic light sensors?(12 posts)

Trouble tripping traffic light sensors?KEN2
Dec 7, 2001 9:22 AM
For those of you (particularly bike commuters like me) who are annoyed by those embedded magnetic traffic light sensors that bikes don't trip: there is a new gadget that promises to solve the problem:
I ordered one for my commuter bike--they're inexpensive and weigh only 2 oz., attach to the bottom of the frame (no I'm not affiliated with the company in any way!).
Dec 7, 2001 9:54 AM
How about some testamonials on this product from users of this board. Has anyone tryed one yet? Does it actually work?

If they work, I need two for motorcycles and four for bicycles.

It's a big problem here in Texas. I'll order one for $8.00(nm)Dave Hickey
Dec 7, 2001 10:04 AM
2 OUNCES!-Like dragging a pile of bricks!Crankist
Dec 7, 2001 2:04 PM
Yeah--I shoulda said...KEN2
Dec 7, 2001 2:30 PM
not for weight weenies!
I was thinking about this while I was stuck at a traffic lightDave Hickey
Dec 8, 2001 5:00 AM
One my ride last night, I was stuck at a traffic light and I started thinking about this gadget. If it's just a magnet, why not buy a large magnet and put it in your jersey pocket or attach it to the bottom of the frame? Also, With a wireless computer, will the magnet screw up your computer readings.
I'm still going to try one, I hate sitting at lights.
I was thinking about this while I was stuck at a traffic lightKEN2
Dec 8, 2001 12:32 PM
A magnet in the jersey pocket won't do anything to trip the sensor unless the magnet is huge. It's all about mass and proximity. And for that matter, so is your wireless computer (about mass/proximity). That tiny magnet and its sensor have to be within a couple of mm. from each other or there's no reading--I doubt this device mounted on the bottom of the frame will interfere.

The website actually addresses your question about just buying a magnet and attaching it to your frame....
Ride on the edgeKerry Irons
Dec 8, 2001 9:47 AM
I have discovered recently that (at least some) sensors are tripped if you position your bike right on the edge of the grid. We have some automatic gates where I work and after years of tipping the bike on its side to trip the sensors, I found that if I line up with the edge of the sensor, the bike will trip it easily. I've found the same thing at stop lights. I understand, however, that there different types of sensor grids, and their sensitivity to bikes can vary quite a bit.
Just treat it like a stop sign...Starliner
Dec 8, 2001 5:25 PM
... and blow on through.

Seriously, at such an intersection and no traffic going my way, I'll wait until it's safe, and then ride on through against the red.

I havent' been stopped by the police yet, but if it ever happens, I'm willing to go to court and argue that because the city/county government installed signal systems that do not work with bicycles, they either must give cyclists some latitude there or else install signals which will be tripped by a bicycle. Somebody's eventually got to make the authorities realize the problem, and to compel them to find a solution other than a punitive one.
I do the same thing when there's no traffic, but...Dave Hickey
Dec 8, 2001 6:27 PM
When there's traffic, I can sit there for 10 minutes if nobody is in my lane. I usually get off my bike and walk over the pedestrian lane and push the button. It's a real pain in the a@@.
I have one set of traffic lights that are always REDDutchy
Dec 9, 2001 5:19 PM
There's one particular set of traffic lights that are always red for me, and I usually have
no choice but to go through them, there just aren't any cars going through this intersection
to trigger them.

I always stop, then treat the stop light like a stop sign, and proceed through.
There aren't even any pedestrian lights to press. One day I will get caught and I will have to
argue my point with the police.

That will be an interesting conversation :-)

Just treat it like a stop sign...look271
Dec 10, 2001 8:24 AM
I do the same. I did this at a light that is notoriously bad and there are very few cars that come to this intersection when I need them to, so I usually stop, check traffic, and go. I did this once and then realized that there was a cop sitting right past the intersection! He just looked my way and let me go. Maybe he rides too? (There are some bike-cops in my little twp.)