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Archive for January 5th, 2016

Traffic Signal Timing: Burnett Blvd at Rt 55, With Traffic

We ride through the intersection at the Rt 55 end of Burnett Blvd a lot, because it’s the only route between Raymond Avenue and the Dutchess Rail Trail. Previous posts have documented the signal timing, but this sequence shows the situation we’ve feared from the beginning… cross traffic not stopping because we are in the intersection with an opposing green light.

I’m towing a trailer with three bags of groceries.

The sequence numbers indicate the frame at 60 f/s.

T +0.000 = our signal just turned green:

Burnett at Rt 55 2015-12-14 - 0096 - Green

Burnett at Rt 55 2015-12-14 – 0096 – Green

T +1.250 s = the drivers ahead of us release their brakes and begin rolling:

Burnett at Rt 55 2015-12-14 - 0171 - Green start

Burnett at Rt 55 2015-12-14 – 0171 – Green start

T +2.400 s = we begin rolling:

Burnett at Rt 55 2015-12-14 - 0240 - Green rolling

Burnett at Rt 55 2015-12-14 – 0240 – Green rolling

It’s worth noting that we cannot start any earlier, unless you regard jumping the green and passing cars at an intersection as Good Practices, which we don’t.

T +7.217 s = the yellow signal goes on in our direction:

Burnett at Rt 55 2015-12-14 - 0529 - Yellow

Burnett at Rt 55 2015-12-14 – 0529 – Yellow

That’s six whole seconds from the time the cars started rolling and 4.8 s from the time we started.

Notice the white car to our right that’s stopped in the leftmost eastbound lane of Rt 55.

T +12.100 s = our signal turns red:

Burnett at Rt 55 2015-12-14 - 0822 - Red

Burnett at Rt 55 2015-12-14 – 0822 – Red

I’ve reached the middle of the intersection, Mary’s about centered on the three eastbound lanes of Rt 55.

T +13.333 s = the opposing signal turns green:

Burnett at Rt 55 2015-12-14 - 0895 - Opp Green

Burnett at Rt 55 2015-12-14 – 0895 – Opp Green

Traffic in both directions of Rt 55 can now begin moving, but the white car remains stopped; it’s almost directly behind me in the leftmost lane. Because Mary is following the curved line guide lines, she’s just entering the rightmost lane. What you can’t see is a black car approaching from behind her that didn’t have to stop.

T +20.950 s = the car in the right lane that didn’t have to stop passes me:

Burnett at Rt 55 2015-12-14 - 1353 - First car

Burnett at Rt 55 2015-12-14 – 1353 – First car

I’m 140 feet from the stop line (figured with the distance calculator):

Burnett at Rt 55 - Intersection distance

Burnett at Rt 55 – Intersection distance

At 40 mph = 60 ft/s, that car passed the stop line 2.3 s earlier, at T +18.7 s, when I was still crossing the right lane.

It’s entirely likely that the driver didn’t see either of us while approaching the intersection, because he (let’s assume a he for the sake of discussion) had a green light nearly 5 s = 300 ft before reaching the stop line. Unless he’s paying more attention than most drivers, he was intent on the signal to judge whether he must slow down; for the last 7.3 s he’s known that the intersection is clear, because nobody else should be in the intersection against his green signal.

T +24.667 s = The white car in the left lane passes Mary:

Burnett at Rt 55 2015-12-14 - 1576 - Second car

Burnett at Rt 55 2015-12-14 – 1576 – Second car

All I’m asking NYSDOT to do is lengthen the signal timing so we’re not caught in the middle of the intersection by opposing traffic with a green signal. Adding a few seconds onto the yellow and minimum cycle time doesn’t seem unreasonable, but it’s been six months since I reported the problem with no action; I’ve pinged their Bicycle & Pedestrian coordinator several times with no response.

If their engineers are “studying” the situation, it’s not producing any visible results; they haven’t asked me for any additional data.

I Am Not A Lawyer, but I think my collection of photos should provide sufficient evidence to convince a jury that NYSDOT is totally liable for any bicycling injuries at that intersection, based on the inability of cyclists to meet the signal timing. I really don’t want to find out if I’m right…

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