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Speeder's stoplight

2004-04-07 17:48:46.989337+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

Hey, here's a good idea: Pleasanton hooks up a stoplight to delay speeders.

It's all a little too much for Ken Pattee, a 52-year-old construction inspector from Livermore who sometimes rides his Harley-Davidson down Vineyard Avenue. He said he doesn't feel good about the electronic eye.

"It's depriving you of another one of your liberties -- going fast," Pattee said. "If they implement it everywhere, there will be nothing but red lights. Nobody does the speed limit."

Huh. I think I've heard the Doppler shift as this guy cruised up our street.

[ related topics: Law Enforcement Automobiles ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-07 20:55:53.14855+00 by: meuon

An impressive piece of social engineering. I like it better than the camera's that snapshot your license plate and have a ticket sent to you. But bluntly: Going fast is NOT a liberty, and although almost all of us speed a little bit, it's a bad and scially irresponsible behavior. It's so prevelant that traffic engineers post signs for 10mph UNDER what they want us to do.

They could do what they do in Mexico.. REAL speed bumps. The kind my raised 4x4 F150 takes at 10mph. And next to every small village with them in Mexico is a tire repair/sales shop, even if it's just a guy with a patch kit and a hand pump. I almost took one at speed (thank Ford for 4-wheel disk brakes) and we still bounced off the roof and we saw what good Rancho shocks could do.

If they monitor it and adjust it as needed with an eye towards everyone's safety I am for it, but I think they should work the other way as well:
if traffic is at 'speed limit' can the lights be timed for no stopping?

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-07 22:07:58.63924+00 by: John Anderson

if traffic is at 'speed limit' can the lights be timed for no stopping?

One road in the Tucson suburbs had (the last time I was on it) periodic large signs saying "lights timed for 35 m.p.h.". It was a main suburban artery, and I think they only did it during morning and evening rush hours...

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-07 23:16:41.587292+00 by: Dan Lyke

It's entirely possible to get through 3rd street in downtown San Rafael in one stop at about 7 miles an hour over the speed limit. I believe that the slightly faster timing is so that in heavy traffic the cars in front of you have time to start off of the lights; it takes 2 or 3 stops during rush hour. But they've done a really good job of synchronizing lights.

I think that the art of timing stoplights for good traffic flow is actually pretty far advanced; I know our town (Fairfax) and the next one over (San Anselmo) have had some squabbles about not timing stoplights, many of the "against" folks have said on the record that they want congestion to happen on the main artery so that it doesn't cause flow problems further upstream.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-08 02:28:36.884991+00 by: Shawn

Neither is driving a right - something a great many people are confused about. "Bad" is a matter of opinion. Mine is that most people drive far too slowly. I don't have statistics to back me up, but I'm firmly convinced that most accidents are not caused by fast drivers, but rather by panickers slamming on the brakes.

I drive fast, but in control. That's responsible.