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Travis Baker blogs about the problems and idiosyncrasies of Kitsap highways and byways.
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What’s the point of 13th & Warren traffic detectors?

May 14th, 2013 by travis baker

The in basket: I noticed that the new traffic signal at 13th and Warren in Bremerton has traffic detection wires (called “loops”) cut into the asphalt on Warren, even though left turns are forbidden by signs suspended over the intersection there and right turns don’t require a green light.

Having noticed that, I looked at Warren’s pavement just up the street at 16th Street, the entrance to Olympic College. It also has wires to detect southbound traffic, even though the only signal-controlled turn permitted there southbound was eliminated when right turns were given a Yield sign.

I asked what good the detectors do.

The out basket: Gunnar Fridricksson of the city street engineers says, “At 13th Street, the loops are functioning and being used now for vehicle

detection on Warren.  Even though left-hand turns on Warren are prohibited, the signal system still needs to know where the demand is.

“Same story at 16th Street – except for the southbound right turn lane,” he said.  “That

loop is still there, but I believe has been disconnected in the cabinet, as the Yield sign controls the lane.”

Without the loops, the signal would detect constant traffic on Warren, he said, just as it does when one of the in-pavement detectors fails. It won’t change as needed.

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2 Responses to “What’s the point of 13th & Warren traffic detectors?”

  1. Cha Ching Says:

    Loops AKA Traffic Signal Actuators or Inductive Loops. In Bremerton they make a very distinct sound…..Cha Ching, like the sound of money in the bank for Redflex Inc who replaced the City’s loops with their own. Why would they do that? Because the loops are what switches the traffic signals? Like some kind of magnetic switch? Changing the green to yelllow………but the Signal Dept said the cameras don’t control the lights. But the loops trigger the lights and Redflex replaced the city’s loop at Sylvan at least.
    Can these detector loops turn the yellow to red? Cha Ching! Conspiracy theory you argue? Look at the yellow timing, 3.5 seconds (lowest legal limit) but look closer there is also an auxiliary yellow time of 3.0 seconds. What if you approach the intersection on yellow and come to a stop at 3.1 seconds chink you are rewarded with a red light for your stop. Now lets say you approach the intersection, you realize the light is now yellow, you start to stop but check your mirror and see the Mack trucker on your tail is not paying attention, it is safer to continue thru the yellow, you pass over the traffic signal actuator at 3.2 seconds Chink the magnetic switch changes the yellow to red. Cha Ching the Redflex camera flashes and you are cought in the intersection in the first 27/100th of a second like the vast majority of these violations. Redflex sends you a bill from Arizona with a BPD officers signature. The Redflex video shows a scene starting at green, long before you have crossed their loops. So how did they know you were going to run the light? How did the camera start filming before you crossed their loop? By law they can only film while an infraction is occurring. I think they film 24/7/365 ……..but anyhow even the buses and ambulances can switch the lights with their Opticon’s. Rumor has it you can switch the lights with a universal remote control, so why is it so far fetched to think loops are switching the yellow to red? Conspiracy? Prove me wrong! Just keep in mind that the city has not changed the yellow time since Redflex implemented it’s for profit program. The proven method to reduce red light running is to properly adjust the yellow time. The City is obligated to allow drivers proper time to react and stop safely. If this was about safety they would adjust the yellow not profit off short yellows and a traffic signal actuator loop hole.
    Again, I welcome you to prove me wrong.

  2. Cha Ching Says:

    Just a heads up, there is a big story coming out of Chicago that you can read at
    thenewspaper.com ……..”There is no evidence that the world’s largest red light camera program is operated as a safety program, according to a report released Tuesday by the inspector general for the city of Chicago, Illinois.”

    There you have it, this is what I have been saying all along these Redflex cameras are based on profit not safety. It is unfortunate that the KS sun could not put aside it’s bias and report loud and clear the facts about these Red Light Cameras. I’ve handed these news tips to the KS on a golden platter for the past three years but still no unbiased reporting, just a spin of a story of how it was potentially a good thing Red light cameras are being unlawfully used to solve crimes.
    So you ask what Bremerton and Chicago have in common? REDFLEX INC.
    So you ask what does Bremerton and Redflex and Chicago have in common? Like I said, Sending officers on a all inclusive trips to Arizona at the RITZ CARLTON. Bribery? Chicago thought so and so they kicked out Redflex but now we learn they never really did and the red light program is not even about safety.
    Like I said, I have been saying this all along and my argument of the safety benefit of increased yellow light times is spelled out pretty clearly in a mainstream article coming out of Florida that cought that city shorting their yellow times.
    To bad none of this will get out to the people of Bremerton now that the KS requires money to read articles and has consequently censored comments and open discussion. I guess I found a loop hole by commenting on a blog.

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