Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A brief encounter, and the damn sensor loops

Tonight, on my way home fairly late, I was too tired, stressed and hungry to deal with the infamous Heron/Bank intersection. The one where you have to merge left across three lanes to get into a left-turn lane. So I did what I usually do when I can't face that move: I rode along on the outside of the intersection and used the pedestrian crosswalk on the opposite corner. As I waited on the pedestrian refuge for the light, I saw another cyclist pull up to wait in the left turn lane.

I had a moment of guilt - she was being a "better" cyclist than me, following all the rules, brave and determined, unlike my tired, schlubby self who couldn't face the extra fear and tension at that hour - and then I realized, as the light changed for me and I rode across the crosswalk, that she wasn't going to get the advance green.

She was even signalling a left turn, bless her, waiting patiently and properly, just the way I hadn't, doing all the things she was supposed to, and she wasn't going to get that green light.

I stopped. Turned around, rode back to the intersection, crossed on the pedestrian crosswalk, and in a lull in the traffic noise, I shouted over to her: "That light is on a sensor. Bikes don't set it off. You could get stuck there for several cycles."

As soon as she heard me, she said, "Thanks so much," and, with a certain amount of relief, I think, took the pedestrian crosswalk out of the middle of the intersection. We crossed with the pedestrian light, she went her way and I went mine, up the hill.

Good deed for the day done. She coulda been stuck there half the night.

1 comment:

  1. In my former town the sensors all detect bikes. When they don't you report them on the cities web site and they look into the issue. Best thing is to have the city locate the sweet spot for bikes and mark that. Then report all you find that fail. Good luck.