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):
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:
T = 1.00 – The car reaches the crosswalk:
Note that the driver of the car to our right isn’t moving, either.
T = 2.03 – Car passes through intersection:
The view from above, showing the distance between those two positions is 100 feet:
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:
T = 4.88 – Whoops, our signal turns yellow:
T = 9.28 – Our signal turns red:
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:
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:
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:
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.