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Burnett Blvd at Rt 55: More Speed On Red

We’re waiting at the end of Burnett Blvd, with the signal red and the clock at T = -0.17 seconds (photo numbers in 1/60 second frames):

RedRunner-0194

RedRunner-0194

You can’t hear the car (barely visible) approaching on the far left, but we can.

T = 0.00 – We get a green light and the (more visible) car is accelerating hard:

RedRunner-0204

RedRunner-0204

T = 1.00 – The car reaches the crosswalk:

RedRunner-0264

RedRunner-0264

Note that the driver of the car to our right isn’t moving, either.

T = 2.03 – Car passes through intersection:

RedRunner-0326

RedRunner-0326

The view from above, showing the distance between those two positions is 100 feet:

Burnett at Rt 55 - Distance along Rt 55

Burnett at Rt 55 – Distance along Rt 55

Do the math: 100 ft / 1.03 s = 97 ft/s = 66 mph.

There’s a reason we don’t start moving instantly when a traffic signal turns green.

T = 3.17 – We start moving, as does the car to our right, with our signal still green:

RedRunner-0394

RedRunner-0394

T = 4.88 – Whoops, our signal turns yellow:

RedRunner-0497

RedRunner-0497

T = 9.28 – Our signal turns red:

RedRunner-0761

RedRunner-0761

The signal timing hasn’t changed over the years:

  • Green = 4.88 s
  • Yellow = 4.40 s

Elapsed time from green to red: 9.28 seconds. No problem if you’re a car, death if you’re a bike.

T = 10.42 – We’re pedaling hard in the intersection:

RedRunner-0829

RedRunner-0829

The white car to our far right started moving into the intersection about the time we did. If you’re going to say we shouldn’t run the light, you gotta deal with cars first, OK?

Note the car approaching from the right on the far side of Rt 55. That’s a 40 mph zone, the driver sees a green light, and we’re still in the intersection.

T = 12.50 – We’ve been moving for 9.33 s, which puts Mary directly in the path of the oncoming car:

RedRunner-0954

RedRunner-0954

T = 14.83 – The oncoming driver having spotted us and slowed down, we’re asymptotically approaching the right-hand lane of Rt 55, passing beyond the steel manhole cover:

RedRunner-1067

RedRunner-1067

If you plunk “burnett signal” into the search box at the upper right, you’ll find plenty of previous incidents along these lines.

Despite bringing this hazard to their attention many times (“We appreciate and share your interest in making our highway systems safe and functional for all users.“), NYS DOT obviously doesn’t care.

If any of their employees commuted to their office building (which overlooks this very intersection), perhaps they would care, but they don’t: we have yet to see a bicycle in the DOT’s token bike rack.

DOT says they’re in favor of Complete Streets, but, seven years on, it’s just another day on the only route between Arlington and the Overocker Trailhead of the Dutchess County Rail Trail.

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  1. #1 by Daniel B. Martin on 2018-08-17 - 07:33

    “We appreciate and share your interest in making our highway systems safe and functional for all users.“

    “Thank you for your candor. Please feel free to use the SpeakUp program in the future.”

    “Punch out. Go home. Keep your mouth shut.”

    • #2 by Ed on 2018-08-17 - 12:45

      I’ve been told I’m the most cynical, bitter guy ever. Fixing the problems, rather than shooting ignoring the messenger, would definitely improve my outlook, but …

  2. #3 by RCPete on 2018-08-17 - 19:42

    Any chance of getting the relevant law enforcement to discourage the red-light runners? It wouldn’t fix the timing issue, unless the DOT people got caught a few times. [Evil grin] OTOH, it’s a revenue enhancer for the agency.

    • #4 by Ed on 2018-08-18 - 12:07

      There’s occasional enforcement action; yesterday, somebody got pulled over on Rt 55 just east of the intersection. Apart from the usual twenty-something males, folks seem reasonably well-behaved and speeding isn’t a big problem.

      Getting across the intersection before the lights change, now, that’s a problem.

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