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Friday, November 27 2015 @ 02:44 AM UTC

Loop detectors

News you will not see in MarylandBy Keri, Commute Orlando

"In my travels around the country, I’ve listened to a lot of advocates complain that their city and county engineers keep giving them reasons why they can’t make loops sensitive enough to pick up bicyclists. It always makes me feel grateful for what we have, not just in Orlando, but metro-wide. Not only are the cities and counties receptive to ensuring we are detected, we have a great asset with Metroplan. We don’t have to know whose jurisdiction a signal is in, all we have to do is put the intersection on the form and Mighk delivers the request to the right people."

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[B' Spokes: No doubt there are traffic engineers in Maryland who think loop detectors simply cannot detect a bicycle or they can't adjust the sensitivity because of the dreaded &quot;false positive&quot; and that must be avoided at all costs.

You have to love traffic engineers in the way they can obfuscate an issue with techno babble, so what does &quot;false positive&quot; mean anyway? Well it means the detector *might* just think there is a vehicle there waiting for a light to change when there is none. Oh the horrors! So you can see why it would be better to adopt a procedure that would yield more &quot;false negatives&quot; then &quot;false positives.&quot;

Wait, what? It's better to ignore motorcyclists and cyclists and have them run red lights then to have a light that *might* occasionally go off when there is no one there? To further explain, when traffic volume are high and the light is constantly going though it's cycles, there is no problem but when traffic is light then then there is a big problem with a light that *might* change??? I don't get it.

The point here is that loop detectors CAN and SHOULD BE adjusted to detect bikes, if they can do it in Orlando, we can do it here.

P.S. Where to place the wheels for optimum detection

There are two basic types of loop detectors that you can generally see from the saw cuts in the roadway to put them in. One is just a basic rectangle and the other is a rectangle with a seam down the center. With the one with the seam down the center it is best to have the wheels directly over the seam (yes they do detect aluminum rims but not carbon fiber rims.) With the ones that are basic rectangles it's best to have your rims just to the inside of one of the outer cuts (left or right.) If they are adjusted right, you well be detected.]

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