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Archive for category Photography & Images

Burnett Blvd Signals: Five More Seconds!

My most recent description of not quite getting killed in front of the NYS DOT Region 8 office evidently did some good. Although I wasn’t informed directly, this happened:

The minimum green time was increased to 10 seconds.

Which is five more seconds more than before, allowing us to get nearly all the way through the intersection before crossing traffic on Rt 55 gets a green light.

As before, the numbers are video frames at 60 fps.

T=0.0 – Burnett signal goes green:

Burnett - New signal timing - 0101 - 2018-09-30

Burnett – New signal timing – 0101 – 2018-09-30

T=2.5 – The trailer ahead of us starts and we’re rolling:

Burnett - New signal timing - 0251 - 2018-09-30

Burnett – New signal timing – 0251 – 2018-09-30

T=8.0 – We reach the Burnett crosswalk. Note the car beside us isn’t making much headway, either:

Burnett - New signal timing - 0581 - 2018-09-30

Burnett – New signal timing – 0581 – 2018-09-30

T=11.93 –  Burnett signal goes yellow overhead, so the green phase lasted 12 seconds:

Burnett - New signal timing - 0817 - 2018-09-30

Burnett – New signal timing – 0817 – 2018-09-30

T=16.16 – Rt 55 signal remains red, but will change within a second:

Burnett - New signal timing - 1071 - 2018-09-30

Burnett – New signal timing – 1071 – 2018-09-30

Seen from the rear view camera, the Rt 55 signal went green while we were still in the intersection:

Burnett - New signal timing - 16 s - crossing green - 2018-09-30

Burnett – New signal timing – 16 s – crossing green – 2018-09-30

You’ll note the cars on Rt 55 behind us weren’t visible three seconds earlier, so, as far as they can tell, we’re running the red.

Fortunately, we’re almost where we need to be:

Burnett - New signal timing - 22 s - traffic - 2018-09-30

Burnett – New signal timing – 22 s – traffic – 2018-09-30

The timing still isn’t safe, but after three years, five more seconds counts for a lot!

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Brush Clearing

Some recent brush-clearing along our usual bicycle routes:

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The bushes with oval leaves are Blackthorn, of which Wikipedia says “The shrub, with its savage thorns, is traditionally used […] to make a cattle-proof hedge.” They’re commonly found along the untamed border of Rt 376, as well as the rail trail.

It’s more effective than expecting my tax dollars to wake up and get to work …

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MPCNC: Re-Relocated Probe Camera

Although the camera doesn’t hit anything, it seemed entirely too exposed out in front:

MPCNC - relocated camera - front view

MPCNC – relocated camera – front view

So I moved it to the back, where I can’t see it and maybe won’t clobber it:

MPCNC Re-Relocated USB Camera

MPCNC Re-Relocated USB Camera

The camera sensor is now almost exactly aligned with the XY axes, so the goofy rotation is gone and the offsets look better:

bCNC - Rear-mount Camera Probe Config

bCNC – Rear-mount Camera Probe Config

The size of the “10 mm” inner circle at the crosshair depends on the target distance, so it’ll be smaller for surfaces clamped onto and thus rising above the table. Depending on how much that matters, I can tweak the camera focus and scale factor to make the answer come out right.

The setup at the home position looked like this from a different perspective:

MPCNC - Rear-mounted USB Camera

MPCNC – Rear-mounted USB Camera

No operational change, just a cleanup.

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Mid-Hudson Bridge: Evening

Seen from the Walkway Over the Hudson during a Moonwalk:

Mid-Hudson Bridge - Moonwalk

Mid-Hudson Bridge – Moonwalk

Taken with the Pixel XL braced on the railing. It has a good camera, but good low-light photography requires bigger pixels, more lens, and less compression.

The bright white block just to the right of the left tower comes from construction lighting in the new Vassar hospital building.

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Gulfstream V on Final to KPOU

This corner on Maloney Rd is almost exactly one mile from the end of Hudson Valley Regional Airport Runway 24:

Maloney to KPOU map

Maloney to KPOU map

So it’s not unusual to ride under a small plane on final approach. Having a Gulfstream V fly directly overhead, however, is a real attention-getter:

Gulfstream V on final - Maloney Rd - 2018-08-26

Gulfstream V on final – Maloney Rd – 2018-08-26

What’s not at all obvious from the picture is how big a GV looks when seen directly overhead through those trees just ahead on the corner where our paths crossed. There’s a 360 ft (above sea level) hill directly on the flight path, so it’s at maybe 600 ft ASL and 400-ish ft AGL.

Thrust-reversal thunder rolled over us 50 seconds later, as we rode up the rail trail access ramp. Figuring we’re 15 sound-seconds from the strip, the GV was 30 seconds from touchdown.

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Sinking of the USS President Coolidge: Photo Source

While staying at the Witherup House in Franklin PA, I found :

Colliers Photographic History of World War II - cover

Colliers Photographic History of World War II – cover

It was published in 1946, when memories were fresh and ISBNs hadn’t yet been invented:

Colliers Photographic History of World War II - copyright 1946

Colliers Photographic History of World War II – copyright 1946

Paging through it, I found a photo similar to one I’d grown up with (clicky for more many dots):

USS President Coolidge - Abandon Ship - Colliers Photographic History of World War II

USS President Coolidge – Abandon Ship – Colliers Photographic History of World War II

None of those guys look like Dad.

Many of the events in World War II made little sense until the declassification of the Enigma decryptions and the ensuing Ultra / Magic programs showed the value of weaponized math …

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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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