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chiglet
30th Aug 2008, 23:56
This "could" be in the Rant thread, but I think deserves its own thread.
I live about two miles from the M67. I have to pass through six sets of Traffic Lights...not a great problem, you say...However, ALL of these Traffic Lights are Timed :mad:. I will expand. I live on a Major Road. I work shifts. Travelling down said road, I am stopped by a timed set of lights....at 5.30 am :mad:. I then get to the next set [an ex ciggie factory set of "Light Industry"" and, yep, they are on Red also..[ates locked and bolted, and also the Pelican Crossing comes into play as well :ugh:
The next set is again timed, but the best is yet to come.
There used to be a major manufacturer of Nappies and Towels on my route. It is now a housing estate...but there is an access to the old boiler room, which [again] is locked and bolted, but it has its own "timed" traffic light.
The next two before the Motorway...[town centre...avoid. But town centre traffic has priority :mad::ugh:
watp,iktch

G-CPTN
31st Aug 2008, 00:03
Sounds like you need to appraise the road engineers of their folly.
When we lived in Denmark (in the 80s) the traffic lights on the major road around the city (of Odense) were phased such that travelling at the speed limit you arrived at each set as they turned green, meaning that you never needed to stop (unless you were exceeding the limit of course).

chiglet
31st Aug 2008, 01:08
Been to two "Council Forums"...and got fobbed off with the usual crud...
'Elf and his mate Safly.....Keeps the traffic flowing...NOT :ugh: Muppets
watp,iktch

G-CPTN
31st Aug 2008, 01:59
We have a major carpark (including a department store and a community leisure facility) which exits onto a busy road. The queues to get out are horrendous at peak times. There are roundabouts on the 'busy road' within fifty yards in either direction, and, if traffic leaving the carpark was prohibited from turning right (against the traffic) and was required to turn left in the direction of the nearside traffic (and vehicles entering the carpark likewise prevented from crossing the traffic stream - by using the roundabouts to 'change direction') then congestion would be significantly reduced.
But they aren't interested in speeding-up traffic . . .

Overdrive
31st Aug 2008, 06:24
I've seen enough in recent years to convince me: this slowing of traffic and causing of congestion is totally deliberate. It's policy. Control of maximum performance and hence, job creation, reduced unemployment, extra vehicle and fuel sales etc.

Removing roundabouts that work perfectly well and have no safety problems, then replacing them with traffic lights (at massive cost for complete remodelling). Instant queues and congestion like never seen before. This from the same country that in the 60s & 70s had a huge programme for replacing traffic lights with roundabouts to ease traffic flow. Everyone who has ever been in a vehicle knows what works best.

Couple this with the timed traffic lights without detection systems (and with them disabled when they are fitted), and you have the perfect recipe for traffic congestion. Not to mention the completely inordinate bias towards pedestrian "safety" that often sees all four sets of lights held for ludicrous periods of time.

What happened to part-time 'lights? That would switch off when traffic was light, like say, 3 am when there was no-one else for miles? No, can't be having that. It's been demonstrated many times that the best way is minimalism, but the UK goes the exact opposite route. Where's the "saving the planet" crap in this arena?

Too many vested interests and too many secondary agendas.

Richard Taylor
31st Aug 2008, 08:40
Come to Aberdeen, traffic light capital of Europe!

Allegedly you can travel from south of France on the main roads (M-ways, dual carriageways) without seeing a traffic light, then hit one very 50yds (it seems) as soon as you hit the south of Aberdeen.

Traffic management? :mad:

1DC
31st Aug 2008, 09:32
Come to Grimsby (only joking only come if you don't have a choice), the town of traffic lights, with all pedestrian crossing priorities changed so that it favours the pedestrian. i.e. ped presses the button lights immediately change and all traffic stops, put three or four crossings in a 300 metre stretch and traffic will move very slowly.
Also top place in the country for playing the "how to get into town without meeting temporary traffic lights at road works." game.

xraydice
31st Aug 2008, 09:41
Come to Aberdeen, traffic light capital of Europe!Allegedly you can travel from south of France on the main roads (M-ways, dual carriageways) without seeing a traffic light, then hit one very 50yds (it seems) as soon as you hit the south of Aberdeen. Too right, and most drivers ignore them ! Its the constant roadworks that manage the traffic in ABZ !

Gertrude the Wombat
31st Aug 2008, 10:08
It's policy.
Yes. It's driven by the accident rate. When the accident rate gets high enough things are done to the road to slow down the cars, as drivers appear to be totally incapable of driving safely left to themselves.

On roundabouts for example if people insist on driving into each other often enough and for long enough they will be deemed unfit to be allowed a roundabout, which will be replaced by traffic lights.

Solution part 1: drive in a sane fashion, then there will no no accidents and no such changes to the road layout.

But, you will say, "I drive in a sane fashion already, it's all the other buggers". So how about:

Solution part 2: nobody is allowed to drive without passing the same standards of tests and examinations, repeated regularly, as pilots do.

Personally I reckon this one would work fine ... except that it's not practical politics, as all the people who don't want to drive safely also have votes.

Bushfiva
31st Aug 2008, 10:13
Eindhoven used to (and may still) have speed annunciators around the ring road, telling you what speed to drive to hit the next light at green.

lexxity
31st Aug 2008, 10:17
this slowing of traffic and causing of congestion is totally deliberate

Bloody is here. I live near Chiglet and can confirm the lights are a bloody nightmare. Especially up at Crown Point. The lights are deliberately set to cause congestion with random priority lines thrown in for good measure. I would love to meet the person who came up with the traffic light policy, or whatever it is called, for Tameside and ask them had they ever actually owned a car or attempted to drive around the borough?

peterpallet
31st Aug 2008, 10:28
I used to drive a truck regularily to Berlin, occasionally via Hamburg, and in those days of East Germany, once I had my visa it was a clear Autobahn to Berlin. After travelling to the border with West Berlin and clearing my truck thru I went from the primitive Eastern sector to the sophisticated Western sector.

What´s this got to do with traffic lights---This:

On entering W Berlin I joined a dual carriageway road full of traffic lights. On each light there was a speed indicator in Kms per hr and if you kept to this speed I was able to drive through the city center without stopping. I found this remarkable. I haven´t seen it anywhere else--has anyone else seen this???

Peter

Rwy in Sight
31st Aug 2008, 11:37
There is an intersection in the city where I live and there is an intersection with a steep uphill. The light before this section in timed to be red when cars arrive from the previous light and a (traffic) cop told me it is so as to avoid drivers speeding as they see the climb.

And let's not forget that frequent stop and start mean increased fuel consumption thus incresed taxes.

Rwy in Sight

jubilee
31st Aug 2008, 11:56
Chiglet.

Just be thankful that you dont go to the end of the M67 every evening.
regards
Jubilee

chiglet
31st Aug 2008, 12:24
Jubilee, fortunately I join the M67 at Hyde, :ok: not Mottram :ugh:... however, the slip road onto Clarke Way will be closed next Sat/Sun, and the following weekend :mad:
Also try going from the Trogu [Audenshaw] to Asda in Ashton and count the lights on that route.....
watp,iktch

Wod
31st Aug 2008, 12:34
Any historians out there?

I recall being told in the days of my early adultery, that the timed lights at Slough were the first installed in the country.

In my day (late 50's, early 60's) they worked as designed, and only interrupted a steady flow if the industrial Estate was changing shift.

Clearly times have changed.

Australia, on the other hand, seems to have passed timed lights by, and moved directly to a policy of changing whatever is now in place to the other option, without much recourse to thought.

selfloadingcargo
31st Aug 2008, 12:44
Yes, the 'linked lights' in Slough were certainly one of the first if not the first in the UK. They were timed to stay green throughout the two miles they covered provided you drove at 30mph.

They also worked if you did 60....not that I ever did that myself, of course......

Effluent Man
31st Aug 2008, 12:50
At the sort of times of day you are talking about I have a simple remedy.I just regard a red light as meaning "proceed with caution".Slow down,look carefully to see that the dreaded Bureau are not lurking and off you go.
Before you all howl with rage,what is the difference between that and driving at 10mph over the limit at 5am? adjust to prevailing conditions.It must work,40 years driving,2 million miles and 1 accident (other driver prosecuted)

In France a lot of pedestrian crossing lights are set to go to red on approach of a vehicle.I guess to slow traffic in towns.

frostbite
31st Aug 2008, 12:59
Round here, they don't bother to remove the roundabouts - they just put traffic lights on them.

G-CPTN
31st Aug 2008, 13:16
Many years ago (before they banned cars from driving through Cambridge) I worked out that reversing the one-way system in operation would ease the congestion caused by traffic having to cross other traffic.
It was, I believed, a definite policy to make Cambridge somewhere that motorists would avoid rather than choose to drive through.

jubilee
31st Aug 2008, 13:22
Chiglet.
Just corrected my previous post,may make more sense to you now.
Living in the High Peak end of the M67, pretty well versed on all the rat runs up from
Man-Mcr- or even Manchester. Also know the road very well in your first post,usually on it twice a week.
Regards
Jubilee.

Krystal n chips
31st Aug 2008, 16:50
There used to be timed lights on Princess Parkway ( main route into Manchester from the M56 for those unaware ) until about 4 /5 years ago and if you proceeded at 40mph, you stood a good chance of getting through albeit during off peak times. Then some :mad:decided to change this system ( probably because it worked !) and you now have "stop / go" queues. In fact the priority seemed to be to the roads crossing the Parkway...brilliant !

The other "wonderful" timed lights are those that appeared at Rosco's and Sharston slip roads onto the M60...Red Amber Green...Amber Red..in the time you've just taken to read that order :mad:..just what have these achieved.,,other than more (not less ! ) congestion and as for the :mad:who came up with the lights settings at Portwood and Brinksway....just who decided it was competent to be classed as a Traffic Engineer!.

Thankfully, I no longer have to endure this chaos....although I did get stuck in a traffic jam here the other day..it lasted about 2mins...and the only set of lights in the town.....well 3 mins in your'e really unlucky. :ok:

Overdrive
31st Aug 2008, 18:21
Yes. It's driven by the accident rate. When the accident rate gets high enough things are done to the road to slow down the cars, as drivers appear to be totally incapable of driving safely left to themselves.




I understand what you say. From my own experience however, I've seen more minor fender-benders than ever before since all this began. Drivers are completely dumbed down, almost reliant on being constantly instructed. They're becoming more incapable I believe. I personally don't believe there ever was a particular accident problem at most locations.



Round here, they don't bother to remove the roundabouts - they just put traffic lights on them.



Yep... about the most perfect contradiction you could possibly have. Crazy.

SilsoeSid
31st Aug 2008, 19:41
If the Govt were serious about this CO2 fiasco, they would get rid of traffic lights.

Stop, sit in idle, accelerate and probably stop etc again.

One of the most efficient ways of driving, we are told, is to think ahead and avoid braking as much as you can. "The brake pedal is the same as pushing money out the exhaust".

Ages ago in Germany I remember we used to see lights to warn that the lights were about to change. (as mentioned earlier about DK) If the lights were off and you were at the speed limit, you would be ok to continue without that 'are they, aren't they' thought. If the lights were on take your foot off the throttle and you slowed down smoothly and slowly = efficiently.

Mind you, the big problem is the amount of traffic on the roads as opposed to the type of vehicles, so a little thing like lights is going to make no difference whatsoever. Use more fuel, pay more tax.

Blues&twos
31st Aug 2008, 21:01
Wod & SLC,

Lights in Slough on the A4 are still either linked or timed. If you get to the first one on green and drive at the limit, you'll sail through. However, more often than not, you'll get to the first one on red, then get to every other poxy one on red too. This "encourages" those in the know to speed up a bit to get the greens, so it seems to have had the reverse effect, if you see what I mean.

Gertrude the Wombat
31st Aug 2008, 21:20
I've seen more minor fender-benders than ever before since all this began
Ah, well, wot you have to understand is, they don't count.

What counts is the KSI statistics, nobody has any money to spend on road engineering to reduce "minor fender benders".

mr fish
31st Aug 2008, 21:47
come to 'the peoples republic of nottingham', the traffic light capital of the midlands. then proceed to f:mad:k the commie council over by riding a lairy polluting 2 stroke. makes me smile every time:E

Keef
31st Aug 2008, 21:49
There is (or was, last time I looked) a set of those "Grüne Welle" lights on the road down the side of the Rhine in Cologne. It tells you the speed to drive to get to the next light on green. If they go out, you're going to have to stop at the next light. Once you get into the stream, you can drive right through the city without being stopped.

The other clever thing is lights with radar linked - and no junction to serve. If you are exceeding the limit, they'll go red. If you're not careful, you then get two tickets - one for speeding, one for jumping the red light.

I shouldn't have mentioned that - we'll be plagued with the things by next year.

Blues&twos
31st Aug 2008, 22:57
Noticed seemingly arbitrarily placed lights whilst driving in Spain last year (where there were no junctions). Red on approach, then went green as I prepared to stop. Were these "speed limiters"?

rubik101
1st Sep 2008, 00:52
peter, I lived in Berlin for 10 years and was always pleasantly surpised as I drove out of town towards the East at the sequenced lights allowing me a non-stop exit to the city. If you timed the return journey correctly, you could traverse about fifty sets of lights at 50kph and hit every one as it turned green. Remarkable and so very simple to arrange. Sadly, such a system in the UK would result in the first car doing 80kph and coming to a grinding halt in front of the red light, so screwing the whole system for everyone else.

ExSp33db1rd
1st Sep 2008, 06:01
Last time I drove in London and Los Angeles, although there were plenty of lights, the average stop was about 30 secs, so at least the traffic was sort of Stop / Go and not overly frustrating, but in Auckland one can be held up for 2 minutes at each red light in certain areas, and in my nearest town one set holds you up for 3 minutes ( yes, I've timed it ) so the result is obvious - nobody bothers stopping, and red light running - and the resultant accidents - is a major epidemic that has the Council scratching it's collective head and wondering why. 't'aint rocket science. :ugh:

Kerosine
1st Sep 2008, 08:19
An Italian uncle when visiting England was absolutely bemused as to why we stop at red lights when the juntion is empty.

It's a cultural trait for to brits to be afraid of their own shadow, likewise for the Italians to bomb around on mopeds without helmets. :bored:

jimma
1st Sep 2008, 08:44
There are a set of timed traffic lights on the M27 juntion for Hedge End. I dont think I have ever made it round the roundabout without having to stop 2 or 3 times. Not that bad, kinda got used to it now but its when you have to stop 3 times at 3am and there isnt another car on the roundabout! They should be made to turn traffic lights off when they are not needed!

ExSp33db1rd
1st Sep 2008, 09:07
They should be made to turn traffic lights off when they are not needed!


A lot of bureacracy's - and I've seen this in the USA - turn the lights to flashing amber late at night, so they are no longer a mandatory stop but nevertherless give a warning that you are approaching an intersection, and must be prepared to give way - if you are so inclined :ok:

Good idea, why not everywhere ?

Windy Militant
1st Sep 2008, 09:29
Because that involves common sense!
What annoys me are the lights on a number of dual carriage ways on which I travel which are green as I approach but then cycle to allow non existent traffic to cross causing me to have to stop for no reason. :ugh:
I can sort of understand the lack of investment which means older electro mechanical timer relay systems being still in use, but most of these lights have proximity sensors fitted. So either the processors being used are faulty or they've been programmed to do this deliberatly, either way it's not good, both on fuel economy grounds and the more spurious lights people are subjected to the more likely they are to jump lights, which eventually is going to be fatal for someone.

Argonautical
1st Sep 2008, 09:32
In South Africa at junctions outside major towns they don't use traffic lights, but use something called a "four way stop" instead. Used to work quite well.

This was the case in the 80s don't know if it still is though.

Um... lifting...
1st Sep 2008, 09:32
- and I've seen this in the USA - turn the lights to flashing amber late at night, so they are no longer a mandatory stop

Speedbird,
Close. Generally in the USA after major traffic hours, the more major of the two crossing roads will have flashing amber, which is essentially a 'caution' and the minor road will have flashing red, which functions the same way as a stop sign. Run the flashing red and get pasted by someone on the other road, chances are excellent you'll be at fault.
It is usually only in very rural areas that you'll see flashing amber on both roads, and that will generally be around the clock.

While I know professional structure is different in different lands, traffic engineers in the USA come from Civil Engineering. Traffic engineers are usually those folk who couldn't cut in in structures, water and wastewater, and public works, which are the specialties where the top folk end up, at least in the US. Anyway, that's what they told me at my Professional Engineering exam... and what my professors in school told me (structural and water guys all...).
Snobbery among engineers... who'd-a-thunk?

lexxity
1st Sep 2008, 10:32
The Americans also have the fabulous "red on right". Such a simple idea but brilliantly effective. :ok:

ExSp33db1rd
2nd Sep 2008, 03:07
Speedbird, Close.


Um.......lifting. thanx, I'm not a regular US country driver, but I do appreciate the phased lights driving around LAX, and the rt. turn on a red after first stopping is a fantastic invention, doesn't apply to left turns in NZ. and worse, we have a priority from the right rule as La Belle France, but ........ we drive on the left !!! Use your imagination to work out your own nightmare !! Total insanity ( I've discussed that on a previous thread )

Blues&twos
2nd Sep 2008, 22:00
Windy militant - the only reason I can think of for modern traffic lights using a timer system when there's no traffic about (and this is just a guess) is to make sure the traffic doesn't grind to a halt if the prox sensors fail. (The CPU senses there's no traffic when in fact there is, so leaves the side roads on red forever).

They may be, and probably are, more sophisticated than that and can tell when the prox sensors fail, and then switch to timer mode. That's how I'd design them. If that's the case, I don't know why timers are used.....

Overdrive
3rd Sep 2008, 00:10
If that's the case, I don't know why timers are used.....



To screw up road travel and promote the "need" for congestion charging.

Tinstaafl
3rd Sep 2008, 05:12
'Right on red' is great! I really miss it when I drive in the UK or Oz. However the proliferation of Stop signs in the US is stupity personified. *Every* non-controlled intersection has them! Even in car parks for f*cks sake.

T-junctions, four way stops the bloody things are endemic. And most of them aren't necessary, are inefficient because only about 1.5 cars can be using the intersection at any one time.

I like Oz's solution for T-junctions: the terminating road automatically must give way to the continuing road unless otherwise signed. And the UK's roundabouts just about everywhere where traffic can't easily join or cross lanes. At least a roundabout generally keeps the traffic moving while giving everyone a chance to get through the intersection.

Roundabouts are relatively rare in the US. Or, more accurately, in Florida, the place I drive the most. So many intersections that would be well served by one but instead are hobbled by f*cking 3, 4 or 5 way stop signs. :mad:

simon brown
3rd Sep 2008, 14:09
Here in Bristol the lentil eating halfwit corrupt beards that purport to "run" the council have embarked on a major pavement widening scheme ( to assist the obese one can presume)

Where at at or approaching a set of light you used to have 2 lanes of traffic, so you could use the left one to filter up the side and turn left , you can no longer do this. Also sections where pedestrian crossings again uses to have 2 lanes in both directions these have been reduced to one, thus causing conjestion.

The same brainless omoebas are now looking at building another 10,000 houses and expanding Bristol airport without any significant increase in the local infrastructure.

Dairyground
3rd Sep 2008, 14:39
Where at at or approaching a set of light you used to have 2 lanes of traffic, so you could use the left one to filter up the side and turn left , you can no longer do this. Also sections where pedestrian crossings again uses to have 2 lanes in both directions these have been reduced to one, thus causing conjestion.



We get the same thing in Stockport. Also in one location two pedestrian crossings within about 100 yards of each other, the busier one with a flashing amber phase, but the other, with a much lower pedestrian flow, set to have a long hard stop.

Its not new. Some of you may have long enough memories to recall a 1950s Goon Show where the late, great Spike Milligan spoke about the "Governments dig up the roads scheme for congesting traffic".

forget
3rd Sep 2008, 15:07
Roundabouts are relatively rare in the US. :p

There's one or two in New Jersey - maybe three. I've got a theory about why so few - but I'll keep that to myself. There's a particular one, not far from Ocean City NJ, where the Spanish speaking locals gather for weekend picnics - to watch the 'fun'.

G-CPTN
3rd Sep 2008, 15:11
Where at at or approaching a set of light you used to have 2 lanes of traffic, so you could use the left one to filter up the side and turn left , you can no longer do this. Also sections where pedestrian crossings again uses to have 2 lanes in both directions these have been reduced to one, thus causing conjestion.And then there's the dedicated Bus Lane . . .

Overdrive
3rd Sep 2008, 22:43
And then there's the dedicated Bus Lane . . .



...that the buses can't get to, because they are stuck back down the road in the queue caused by the dedicated bus lane.

BlenderPilot
4th Sep 2008, 00:13
In my city there is a helicopter devoted to traffic people, we have more than 6 millon cars, 28 million people live in the metropolitan area, and there is a permanent staff dedicated to timing trafic lights, they are all computer controlled via fiber optic, and satelite, there is a 24 hour staff of about 65 people dedicated just to monitoring traffic, plus we fly at least 6 hours a day making sure things are working all right, I will try to post some pictures of the traffic monitoring center, but meanwhile you can look at my webpage and figure out what I am talking about.

Aerial Photographs of Mexico City (English) (http://homepage.mac.com/helipilot/PhotoAlbum31.html)

AMEandPPL
4th Sep 2008, 00:23
We get the same thing in Stockport. Also in one location . . . . . . .

So Stockport is famous ! But for all the wrong reasons ! Stockport also has an appalling motorway hazard, which I believe is unique throughout the country. A slip road, joining a motorway, which takes you DIRECTLY into the outer fast lane of the M60 !
Anyone know of anything similar elsewhere ?

Blues&twos
5th Sep 2008, 23:37
Stockport also has an appalling motorway hazard, which I believe is unique throughout the country. A slip road, joining a motorway, which takes you DIRECTLY into the outer fast lane of the M60 !
Anyone know of anything similar elsewhere ?

A similar set up can be found where the westbound M26 joins the clockwise M25, although in this case the M26 effectively has two extra outer lanes added to it making a short bit of four-lane carriageway.....

I've never liked the idea, personally!

DG101
5th Sep 2008, 23:57
Westbound A27 merges with A3(M) in similar manner.

Loose rivets
6th Sep 2008, 04:34
One used to leave girlfriend's house in Enfield at 1 AM ish en route for LGW via Tower bridge. Hard to believe now, but more often than not I would have the roads to myself...but yes, the dreaded traffic lights would / could, double my time through inner London. Soooooo tempting to just go, but then, a pilot without a license...

In many States, One can turn (hugging the curb) on a red. Saves a lot of frustration. You have to change the rules about giving away to opposite traffic however.

Windy Militant
6th Sep 2008, 13:42
Blues & Twos I'd not thought of fail safe mode. But it still seems odd that they seem to be Green until approached and then turn red. I wonder if there was a vehicle approaching from the side road they'd stay green for me and stop them or whether they'd run the same cycle. :confused:

G-CPTN
6th Sep 2008, 15:08
Some strategic sets of traffic lights are fitted with cameras that record two images of vehicles that cross the line after 'red' (I presume if you cross but stop then the camera will confirm that). Sometimes these cameras are positioned where they cannot be seen easily as you approach the junction, so, unless you know the area you could be taking a risk, even if there's no other traffic around.
I don't know whether there is any delay between red and the camera trigger becoming active.
Just read that some trafficlight cameras might also be speed cameras:- http://www.speedcamerasuk.com/traffic-light-camera.htm

G-CPTN
6th Sep 2008, 15:24
A high number of motorists have no idea that the rules regarding the positioning and colour of speed cameras changed in April 2007.

Speed, or "safety" cameras, as the Government calls them, no longer have to be painted yellow, or be visible from 60m (200ft), and no longer have to be sited only where there is a history of road accidents. The regulations were relaxed in April 2007.

chiglet
6th Sep 2008, 15:30
Just read that some trafficlight cameras might also be speed cameras

It does seem so...I was clocked at the Trough traffic lights [in Audenshaw, Gtr Man],going through a red light at 31mph.....:ugh:that there is a second set of lights 50 metres up the road [on red], but they couldn't produce the photo tho' [still fined me with 3 points. The reply to my protestaion of innocence, "come to court, and it will be 6 points and £60 fine for our trouble":mad:
Points now gone off licence :ok:
watp,iktch

mr fish
6th Sep 2008, 19:26
in some parts of the peoples republic of nottingham, we have signs which say BUS LANE SPEED CAMERAS, all well and good but on roads with no bus lanes and which are too narrow to even put one in.:ugh::ugh::ugh:

flynverted
6th Sep 2008, 20:19
Lucky yer don't have this traffic light.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v243/flynverted/funny/453.jpg


:E