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Old 01-18-2012, 10:08 AM
 
44 posts, read 294,931 times
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I'm sure I'm not the only one in the city who has noticed that the traffic lights are timed just short enough to make you stop at each one.
What is with this?
Unless you speed (a lot) you are almost guaranteed to hit each red light, or at least 8 out of 10 lights. It really seems as though the traffic engineers are trying to inconvenience you.

It also seems like residential side-roads that have a weight-sensored lights coming out of their neighborhood have preference over the bigger/main roads. These lights change within 3-5 seconds of a car arriving at the light, stopping heavier traffic for 30-45 seconds for 1 car to cross the road.

Then there's the left turn lights on roads with clear visability in every direction and very little traffic. You sit there and sit there, abiding the law, waiting for the light to turn while, maybe, 1 car passes through the intersection. You don't dare 'run the light' because you are sure to be stopped by one of the 2,000 (snake-in-the-grass) traffic cops who will pop out of nowhere and give you a hefty ticket and a raise in your insurance rates.

For a city with very poor public transit (no light-rail, few buses) they sure make it a royal pain in the ass to get around, don't they?
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:24 AM
 
20,311 posts, read 37,810,444 times
Reputation: 18092
I've noticed some of those things.

The quick-change lights for side streets seem to be later in the day, after 7 or 8 PM, otherwise the side streets sit and wait for up to 2 minutes. I arrange my driving patterns to avoid them. I've also noticed that for the side streets, the green light only stays on for 2-3 seconds, then flips yellow unless more cars drive over the sensors. If I see 3 cars in the right lane where Chapel Hills Dr crosses Briargate Pkwy, I'll take the left lane to be sure I get through, as all it takes is one of those drivers to be distracted by yakking on the phone for everyone behind them to miss the light. If I'm the sole car that's crossing Briargate, no matter how quickly I take-off, the light is yellow before I'm halfway through the intersection.

The issue of ill-timing can be partly blamed on the lack of one-way streets. We solved that problem in Baltimore in the 1950's when a guy named Henry Barnes made just about all streets into one-way flow, which allows for sequential timing and good traffic flow. I've often driven north from downtown Baltimore up Charles Street and gone for miles without stopping, right through the heart of town. Barnes earned the nickname "Traffic Czar" and did such a good job that NYC hired him to fix Manhattan.

Not so in COLO SPGS.

Downtown has a bit of a grid which could be a one-way scheme but the city won't do it. They have some sequential timing but it has to favor whatever direction has the heavier flow, usually in-bound traffic in the morning and outbound traffic in the evening. As long as streets remain 2-way, one direction will always get stopped every several blocks.

Where someone really blew it was on Powers Blvd. That fairly new road should've had a quarter-mile of separation between north and south bound lanes, with all of that retail space in the MIDDLE. This way, traffic could've been sequential in both directions, all the time, and traffic would flow without interruption for miles. Only stopping would be if you went too slow, too fast, or turned left onto a cross-wise street.
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Last edited by Mike from back east; 02-24-2012 at 11:35 AM..
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
310 posts, read 1,061,138 times
Reputation: 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuck_in_FL View Post
I'm sure I'm not the only one in the city who has noticed that the traffic lights are timed just short enough to make you stop at each one.
What is with this?
Unless you speed (a lot) you are almost guaranteed to hit each red light, or at least 8 out of 10 lights. It really seems as though the traffic engineers are trying to inconvenience you.

It also seems like residential side-roads that have a weight-sensored lights coming out of their neighborhood have preference over the bigger/main roads. These lights change within 3-5 seconds of a car arriving at the light, stopping heavier traffic for 30-45 seconds for 1 car to cross the road.

Then there's the left turn lights on roads with clear visability in every direction and very little traffic. You sit there and sit there, abiding the law, waiting for the light to turn while, maybe, 1 car passes through the intersection. You don't dare 'run the light' because you are sure to be stopped by one of the 2,000 (snake-in-the-grass) traffic cops who will pop out of nowhere and give you a hefty ticket and a raise in your insurance rates.

For a city with very poor public transit (no light-rail, few buses) they sure make it a royal pain in the ass to get around, don't they?
To say that you are preaching to the choir is an understatement. I hate driving in this town for so many reasons.

1. Traffic lights are designed to make your blood pressure go way up. (I really can think of no other purpose why they work the way they do. Probably because the city's half broke and half stupid.)

2. The roads in Baghdad are a little smoother than ours, even after a carpet bombing. This one is a bummer for me, as I drive a sporty car and not a SUV or F-350. (My wife drives our 4WD daily) This part I would say is 75% weather and mother nature and 25% the city's fault. I don't know how many times they have come along and fixed a pothole only to do a ****-poor job so it's even bumpier after they're done.

3. The sand. Why oh why do we need sand all over the roads from October thru June? For traction? O...K, but CLEAN IT UP!!! My windshields get hammered everyday and it makes our already dry-as-a-popcorn-fart air all dusty!

4. The cops. In eleven years of living here I have gotten 6 tickets. Never was I allowed to talk my way out of it! Jeez! And a speeding ticket here goes like this:TICKET-$140, COURT APPEARANCE-$40, MISSED WORK-$40. And all for going 44 in a 35 AT THE BOTTOM OF A BIG HILL.

Also, I have bolded Canuck's turn arrow comments because this one is beyond retarded. Go over to Woodmen and Lexington area. There's a double turn arrow to turn left onto Lexington from Woodmen and you can see for miles there. Go a little more east and there's no turn arrow at Rangewood and you can't even see the speeding cars coming at you!!! Unbelievable.
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:10 AM
 
1,895 posts, read 1,133,551 times
Reputation: 2171
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuck_in_FL View Post

For a city with very poor public transit (no light-rail, few buses) they sure make it a royal pain in the ass to get around, don't they?
You said it all!! What's up with "traffic court," here? Lived in Denver many years, could at least talk down a fine. Ticket received here, points off but....drum roll: that will be $120/PLUS court fine. The hills get you. Cruising along, down a hill and there is 1 of 2000 of our finest WAITING.

Colorado Springs is one of my favorite cities. NO bus service on Sunday, limited all other times, sure is a turn off.

How ironic that in a city with no mass transit it is so hard to navigate.

My pipe dream is for Tejon to be a closed street mall..............that's going to happen!
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:34 AM
 
841 posts, read 1,249,916 times
Reputation: 603
I've never had an issue with driving, but I rarely go up north or northeast, mostly downtown and straight east to my work.

Well, I do dislike the timing of Boulder/Platte/Kiowa going south on Cascade. You get stopped at Boulder after the light on Uintah, and then you are stopped almost immediately at Kiowa (or is it Bijou?)

Bijou and Kiowa are two one way streets, but one way for a short distance. Tejon used to be one way as well but that was changed a few years ago to a two- way.

I agree with MollyGee! Tejon should be a pedestrian mall.
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:16 PM
 
20,311 posts, read 37,810,444 times
Reputation: 18092
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuck_in_FL View Post
....Then there's the left turn lights on roads with clear visability in every direction and very little traffic. You sit there and sit there, abiding the law, waiting for the light to turn while, maybe, 1 car passes through the intersection. You don't dare 'run the light' because you are sure to be stopped by one of the 2,000 (snake-in-the-grass) traffic cops who will pop out of nowhere and give you a hefty ticket and a raise in your insurance rates.....
Yeppers. I've already gotten back into my northern Virginia habit of turning left on red (after the green arrow goes off) if there's nothing in sight. We're adults, we can see for 300 yards that it's clear. This sort of stuff, including stop signs, goes back to the days of the model A in 1908 when cars scared horses so they made cars come to a full dead stop at every corner. I rarely come to a full stop at any stop sign. I'm glad for traffic circles / roundabouts, at least you can time it so you can keep at least some forward momentum and not have to waste your brake linings to stop and waste your gas starting from a totally dead stop.

Then, there's a lot of left turn lanes with NO arrow at all. Here on the far north side the most dangerous of these seems to be eastbound Briargate BLVD (near the Mall) turning left onto Northbound Chapel Hills Drive. There's a LOT of left turns made here, but no arrow, and westbound Briargate BLVD is coming downhill and around a bend, limiting your ability to see what's heading your way. Doesn't make sense to me, and I can't blame it all on TABOR when other much less-trafficked intersections get the full arrow treatment.
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Colorado
9,783 posts, read 6,282,029 times
Reputation: 17607
(Aside: Hey guys, I made it! I'm here! )

Tell me about the lights, oh my word...I settled on living out in Colorado Centre, yes the area with the double shooting the other night, whatever...and we've got a light here at Bradley and Marksheffel that is inhabited by a mischievous poltergeist. You'll be barrelling at it, doing 50 mph on Bradley, you can clearly see that there is NO traffic coming at it from any other direction, it's green as grass, then when you're just far enough away to make the call to stop or go, it'll turn yellow/red for NO REASON. I actually had to warn my husband about it when he arrived...slow down for this light, it'll get you!!

And about the folks who have mentioned cops...who needs cops, when just about every intersection I've seen has cameras on it? I don't know if they are all for DOT road condition monitoring, or if they have them set up to catch light-runners, but who wants to take the chance? Not me!
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:32 AM
Status: "Rocktober...well that was fast. :-(" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
10,302 posts, read 10,457,063 times
Reputation: 13254
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post
And about the folks who have mentioned cops...who needs cops, when just about every intersection I've seen has cameras on it? I don't know if they are all for DOT road condition monitoring, or if they have them set up to catch light-runners, but who wants to take the chance? Not me!

My brother lives in Colorado Springs and once heard a police spokesman state that the cameras were not for generation of revenue. So he [my brother] looked into the maintenance costs as well as the average fine collected by the city for infractions recorded by those cameras, and concluded that if the intent is not to generate revenue, that generating revenue is a VERY nice by-product!

He and I agreed that it is fine for the city to use the cameras to generate revenue, but that the police sergeant should have been more honest with the public. Something like, "The primary intent of these cameras is to incentivize safe driving throughout the city. A secondary intent is to generate some $$$ for the city. If you do not wish to contribute, follow the rules of the road."
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:49 AM
 
20,311 posts, read 37,810,444 times
Reputation: 18092
Most of those cameras are just for observation of conditions, not issuing speeding tix. I'm convinced that some of those cameras actually recognize the strobe effect of police / fire / emt vehicles and change the light to a green for the approaching emergency vehicles. If I approach such a light and there's no traffic around, I flash my highbeams as quickly as I can and I swear the lights sometime change for me - well before I trip the usual mechanism.

Now, back in NoVA we had some traffic lights that were linked to a streetside speed detection device, and if a vehicle was speeding, the light would change just to slow you down.

The actually red light cameras are usually mounted about ten feet off the ground, often on their own separate pole, are usually rather large boxes, and pretty unmistakable when you see one.
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
641 posts, read 1,955,374 times
Reputation: 423
The timing of the red lights doesn't seem to matter much around here...as running red lights is a regular past time in this city...especially on Powers.

I've seen folks barrel through lights long after it had turned red.

Everyone's seems so wrapped up with their own sense of self-importance, that it seems red lights are nothing but an inconvenience...that stupid light doesn't apply to me??......stopping is for suckers! Get over yourselves!

As the victim of a pretty major car crash many years ago, caused by a driver who blatantly ran through an intersection, I don't see what the problem is with stopping at lights??

It's a wonder there aren't more collisions at the intersections here in town.
As for the redlight cameras, that program ended last fall.

City of Colorado Springs - Red light cameras will be discontinued - Program will end October 31
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