Traffic Signal Timing: Vassar Rd at Rt 9

Our southbound bicycling routes take us through the intersection where Vassar Rd becomes NY Rt 9D at NY Rt 9. This is a large intersection:

Rt 9 Vassar Rd SB - distances
Rt 9 Vassar Rd SB – distances

It’s worth noting that Rt 9D and Vassar Rd are also NYS Bicycle Rt 9., so bicycle traffic is expected, if not precisely welcomed.

We’re traveling south on Vassar Rd, stopped in the right-hand lane (in the upper right of the picture). Eventually, the signal turns green:

Vassar Rd at Rt 9 - Green signal - 2020-06-21
Vassar Rd at Rt 9 – Green signal – 2020-06-21

The traffic to our left starts moving, we start pedaling, and ten seconds later the signal turns yellow:

Vassar Rd at Rt 9 - Yellow signal at 10 sec - 2020-06-21
Vassar Rd at Rt 9 – Yellow signal at 10 sec – 2020-06-21

The traffic hasn’t cleared the intersection, either, but they’re moving faster than we are. The first distance marker on the map shows we’ve traveled 85 feet at an average 5.8 mph from a standing start.

After another five seconds, we’ve traveled 80 more feet (at 11 mph!), almost the far side of the intersection. Which is a good thing, because the signals on Rt 9 have already turned green and vehicles are accelerating toward us.

There’s no point in reporting this to NYS DOT, because they don’t care and definitely won’t adjust the signal timing just for bicycles.

8 thoughts on “Traffic Signal Timing: Vassar Rd at Rt 9

  1. How does the proverbial “little old lady” pedestrian get across the street safely?

    1. There’s a sidewalk on both (!) sides of Burnett in that section, with convenient crossing buttons, audible (albeit unintelligible) prompts, and a generous 30+ seconds to amble across. If a little old lady worked for DOT and lived in the apartments across Manchester Rd, she could walk to work!

      Apart from the sidewalk stub in front of the bank on the SE corner, Rt 9 has no pedestrian facilities, because (I’m sure DOT has studies showing) nobody would could possibly walk to any of the stores from anywhere.

    1. After four decades of living around here, I’ve come to realize the major reason for having a Town / County Comprehensive Plan is to check off the box showing there’s a Comprehensive Plan: everyone involved gets a participation badge, the New Plan goes next to the Old Plan on a bookshelf, and nothing really happens.

      I’m still waiting for the improved bike & pedestrian facilities promised back in the 1970s. The Transportation section shows the same facilities remain in the Plan (at some undefined time during the next quarter-century), but I’m no longer holding my breath. AFAICT, nothing in the Dutchess Transportation Council’s prior Moving Dutchess Plan (for example) improved our daily riding conditions and I expect nothing from Moving Dutchess 2.

      They won’t even re-time traffic signals to accommodate bikes, so I don’t expect any projects requiring actual construction or maintenance will ever happen.

      Nobody in charge of the relevant organizations walks or rides a bike, so improving non-motor-vehicle facilities never happens, regardless of any wishful thinking in the Plan(s).

      1. Yeah, I was informed the pedestrian signal on Croft road isn’t a pedestrian signal. It’s a left turn signal and since there is no left turn lane the state of New York support garbage truck using the shoulder as an alternative even if a pedestrian is standing there. I hope you don’t mind if I email the consultants your video of navigating Spackenkill (the Greenway). I hope you can fill out the survey, it’s online:

        1. If you want more examples of how bad things are for bicyclists, after decades of surveys, plans, promises, and straight-up lying, I have a tag for that:

          Raymond Avenue is a target-rich environment for bicycle-hostile “Share the Road” design features.

          I’m willing to lead demo rides for anybody with any responsibility, perhaps Rt 376 from DOT Region 8 HQ to Hopewell Junction and back. Not expecting anything to happen, of course, but if you can shame ’em into it, I’m available.

          Share away …

          1. Raymond Ave was a nice route until it became Vassar’s parking with a lot of signs. Wouldn’t it be nice if all those tree-line medians on Rt. 9 and 44/55 were separated bike lanes?

            I got a response from my email and blog from the Greenway (376 and Spackenkill, sent to lots of people who should care). One could hope.

            Thank you for reaching out to share your concerns. We will be in touch with the Town to reiterate these concerns. We appreciate your efforts to improve the Town’s Comprehensive Plan.

            Shannon Day

            Director of Operations

            1. I want better pavement maintenance everywhere, rather than dedicated bicycling facilities they’ll immediately neglect: John Forester was right back in the day and he’s still right.

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