Who ya gonna call?
I mentioned in my post about last Friday’s ride to dinner that a loop detector didn’t pick us up. When I got home, I used the Metroplan Orlando Spot Improvement form to report it. The entries from that form go to Mighk Wilson. He was out of the office at the beginning of the week, but yesterday he alerted Seminole County about this issue.
This morning I received a call from Shad with the county engineering department. He wanted to make sure he understood the problem and corrected it. He had already made an adjustment but said he would double-check it with a bike. I offered to meet him there with a bike and he agreed. I decided to bring the LHT and a carbon fiber Roubaix. We tested both and both were detected.
Shad took the time to explain the light cycles in the area and he showed me the workings of the box. That was cool!
The loop detector will pick us up now, but it is not an instant response. The light here is on a timed cycle along with the other nearby lights on 434. So at peak traffic times, traffic at this light still may have to wait a couple minutes for a green. But traffic has to be detected at this intersection in order for it to be included in the cycle at all. As bicyclists, we often have no idea if we’re being detected. On a long cycle we sometimes have to wait several minutes just to find out that we’re not being picked up. I’m happy to have peace of mind here, that I’m not waiting in vain.
Oh, I also mentioned to him the need for a crosswalk and button to cross 434 here. He made a note of that. There will be new light poles going in at this intersection, so hopefully a crosswalk will be included in those plans.
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.
It’s a bonus to get to meet the folks who make things work for us. Thank you, Shad!