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Thread: Really trivial stuff that bugs you

  1. #10201
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    This isn't trivial, but related.
    I frequently commute via bicycle. Part of the commute is on a bike/jogging path that parallels the roadways, and crosses several intersections at ordinary crosswalks.

    Unfortunately, this leads to a situation where cyclists approach the intersection from the "wrong side" 50% of the time.
    Mix this with drivers making a "right on red", and you have a recipe for disaster.

    Counter intuitively, the most dangerous situation is when everyone has stopped and I begin crossing after waiting for the "walk" signal.
    Right-turn drivers never note the walk signal, and consider the lull in traffic a departure opportunity at the exact same time the cyclists begin crossing from their right side.
    That "right turn on a red" scares the heck out of me when I'm driving in the US or Canada. Every now and then I seem to have horns sounding behind me and pedestrians milling around in front of me.

    Grant Hutchison

  2. #10202
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    I avoided using the phrase "green man" so as not to confuse our overseas cousins. The child in my story actually said, "Why didn't he wait for the green man?"

    Grant Hutchison
    The reason I asked was because I have lived in the US my entire life, and until I was an adult I thought the man was green. I honestly see very little difference between that light and the green traffic light, presumably due to my color-blindness, and just assumed they were both green.

    I learned of my misconception when I made a comment about the "little green man" and nobody else knew what I was talking about.
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  3. #10203
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    The reason I asked was because I have lived in the US my entire life, and until I was an adult I thought the man was green. I honestly see very little difference between that light and the green traffic light, presumably due to my color-blindness, and just assumed they were both green.

    I learned of my misconception when I made a comment about the "little green man" and nobody else knew what I was talking about.
    I have a problem using US crosswalks because I rely on the transition from red to green that happens on British pedestrian crossings. So I don't really look at the signal, just wait for that flicker of colour change in my peripheral vision. And then the people around me surge forward, and I realize I've missed the transition again.

    Grant Hutchison

  4. #10204
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    ...And then the people around me surge forward....

    Grant Hutchison
    On my first visit to New York City, I wanted to cross the street along with a substantial crowd.
    I noticed that many people were standing off the sidewalk in the street, and figured I'd join them. (When in Rome, and such.)

    Suddenly, they all disappeared, and I was alone in the street with a taxi approaching at high speed.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  5. #10205
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    This isn't trivial, but related.
    I frequently commute via bicycle. Part of the commute is on a bike/jogging path that parallels the roadways, and crosses several intersections at ordinary crosswalks.

    Unfortunately, this leads to a situation where cyclists approach the intersection from the "wrong side" 50% of the time.
    Mix this with drivers making a "right on red", and you have a recipe for disaster.

    Counter intuitively, the most dangerous situation is when everyone has stopped and I begin crossing after waiting for the "walk" signal.
    Right-turn drivers never note the walk signal, and consider the lull in traffic a departure opportunity at the exact same time the cyclists begin crossing from their right side.
    Graham was actually once hit by a car making a right turn on red, back when a bicycle was a necessary part of his commute. (No bus line goes closer than a couple of miles, I believe, to his place of employment at the time--which is definitely non-trivial, given it's one of the largest employers in the area that pays within a few dollars of minimum wage.) He's passionately opposed to right turn on red for this very reason. (Which incidentally is not legal in every state, it turns out, as I discovered only by watching an episode of The People's Court years ago!) I'm careful about pedestrians while driving, myself, because I didn't drive until well into adulthood. If you're used to being a pedestrian, I suspect it makes you more careful about pedestrians' habits. Though pedestrians in Olympia sometimes seem to have a death wish, based on their casual disregard of traffic laws and also common sense. Jaywalking is one thing. But jaywalking while a car is in the intersection?
    _____________________________________________
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    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

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  6. #10206
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Graham was actually once hit by a car making a right turn on red, back when a bicycle was a necessary part of his commute. (No bus line goes closer than a couple of miles, I believe, to his place of employment at the time--which is definitely non-trivial, given it's one of the largest employers in the area that pays within a few dollars of minimum wage.) He's passionately opposed to right turn on red for this very reason. (Which incidentally is not legal in every state, it turns out, as I discovered only by watching an episode of The People's Court years ago!) I'm careful about pedestrians while driving, myself, because I didn't drive until well into adulthood. If you're used to being a pedestrian, I suspect it makes you more careful about pedestrians' habits. Though pedestrians in Olympia sometimes seem to have a death wish, based on their casual disregard of traffic laws and also common sense. Jaywalking is one thing. But jaywalking while a car is in the intersection?
    Right turn on red is legal in Ohio. But I do note drivers often mess up one aspect of it.

    Imagine a four way intersection. I am going northbound, and I am making a left turn to go westbound and I have a green light (or arrow). There is a car going southbound, they want to make a right turn to go westbound, and they have a red light. Yes, they can make the right turn on red, but they don't have the right of way; I have the right of way because I have the green light. Yet I've gotten cut off innumerable times by people making the right turn in such situations (if we both had green lights, the car making the right turn has the right of way).

    The law, at least in Ohio, is right turn on red after stopping. So, even with no other traffic, you need to stop and then turn on a red light. That is supposed to give you the opportunity to look for pedestrians, bicycles, other cars, etc. But again, I often see people just cruise through the red light making the right turn.

    One of my best karma moments involved such a situation. I was making the left turn on a green light, and got cut off by a car making the right turn on red, to the point that I had to brake hard to avoid hitting them. About 15 seconds later I see flashing lights of a cop, who passes me and pulls over the car that cut me off. I don't even know where he was hiding, but he must have seen the whole thing.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  7. #10207
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    Guilty. One of the first traffic tickets I ever got was for a right turn on red, without fully stopping. After innumerable stops for exceeding the speed limit.

  8. #10208
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    I have a problem using US crosswalks because I rely on the transition from red to green that happens on British pedestrian crossings. So I don't really look at the signal, just wait for that flicker of colour change in my peripheral vision.
    I believe that one of the reasons the US decided not to use red-green for pedestrian lights was a concern that drivers, who may have become accustomed to noticing the green lights come on in their peripheral vision, would mistake a green pedestrian signal for a green traffic signal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Imagine a four way intersection. I am going northbound, and I am making a left turn to go westbound and I have a green light (or arrow). There is a car going southbound, they want to make a right turn to go westbound, and they have a red light. Yes, they can make the right turn on red, but they don't have the right of way; I have the right of way because I have the green light. Yet I've gotten cut off innumerable times by people making the right turn in such situations (if we both had green lights, the car making the right turn has the right of way).
    The same is true here, in South Dakota. However - if there are two westbound lanes, you would be required to turn into the inside lane, and the other drive could make their right turn into the outside lane simultaneously.
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  9. #10209
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    In N.Z. our "little green Man" is always green, but isn't always a Man.

    https://wellington.govt.nz/your-coun...affic-lanterns

    (No, this doesn't bug me, I think it's great; just seemed on current topic.)
    Measure once, cut twice. Practice makes perfect.

  10. #10210
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    Quote Originally Posted by grapes View Post
    Guilty. One of the first traffic tickets I ever got was for a right turn on red, without fully stopping. After innumerable stops for exceeding the speed limit.
    I do understand right turn on red but the four way stop on minor roads? I have seen the empty case which seems an unnecessary stop and the full case all arrive at once and wait to see who dares. In Belgium and France it's priority to the right which works really well except for foreigners and slow drivers. Plenty of cars with big dents in the rhs.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  11. #10211
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    I do understand right turn on red but the four way stop on minor roads? I have seen the empty case which seems an unnecessary stop and the full case all arrive at once and wait to see who dares. In Belgium and France it's priority to the right which works really well except for foreigners and slow drivers. Plenty of cars with big dents in the rhs.
    Another argument in favor of roundabouts. Our local communities are installing rotaries and replacing 3 or 4-way stops, and with very good success.

  12. #10212
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    Sports car drivers love roundabouts in rain in the early morning, but one needs manual shift for that.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  13. #10213
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    I do understand right turn on red but the four way stop on minor roads? I have seen the empty case which seems an unnecessary stop and the full case all arrive at once and wait to see who dares. In Belgium and France it's priority to the right which works really well except for foreigners and slow drivers. Plenty of cars with big dents in the rhs.
    I must admit that I was worried about the "four way stop" when I drove in Canada in 2016 - no such thing in W.A. . It seemed to work well on "minor" roads. However, when I was in relatively "busy" towns e.g. Wolfville Nova Scotia where there was a "four way stop" in the centre of town, there were relatively long delays at "peak" periods.

    Once I became conditioned to the right turn on red I found it reasonably easy to use in both Germany & Canada. I must admit that I missed the opportunity to use the equivalent, left turn on green, when I got back home.

    I am used to roundabouts here so it wasn't a big problem to use them overseas - as long as I remembered to circulate anticlockwise rather than clockwise of course. I must admit the only roundabout I ran across in Canada was a big one on Prince Edward Island. I think that it was pretty new as it was fun coming up to it and watch people struggle with the concept while I could happily sail through. ( I just googled roundabouts on PEI and there are lots of articles about how to use them and problems people seem to have with them.)

    The only problem we had with crossing the road as pedestrians in Canada was that Canadian drivers (outside the big cities like Toronto) are so polite and considerate. It seemed that the moment you even thought about crossing the road they would all stop to let you cross - a politeness I am certainly not used to here. A couple of times we actually crossed over when we didn't particularly want to but felt guilty because the traffic had stopped.

  14. #10214
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    The reason I asked was because I have lived in the US my entire life, and until I was an adult I thought the man was green. I honestly see very little difference between that light and the green traffic light, presumably due to my color-blindness, and just assumed they were both green.

    I learned of my misconception when I made a comment about the "little green man" and nobody else knew what I was talking about.
    The signals in NYC are a walking figure (in white) and a hand (in red), every now and then, you hear people cry out "The white man!" and nobody seems to realize how unfortunate it sounds.

  15. #10215
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    While I was working at Patrick Air Force Base in east-coastal Florida, they shifted a major route to and from my building to a road that passed a gymnasium for Air Force folk. There was a perfectly good path that we were using every day, but for some reason, they didn't want traffic passing so close to some building that was important for some reason

    This particular road had specially-marked pedestrian cross walks from the parking lot to the building that every driver had to drive across. No stop sign or lights, but you had to yield to joggers and just-plain-walkers IN the crosswalk. Okay, but those who benefited from this rule seemed to extend it to absurd levels.

    I'd drive through at a 3 mph creep while some guy in a sweatsuit and headband s-l-o-w-l-y approached the curb, or another so equipped jogged in place whilst chatting with a buddy, but these guys would get really incensed (and display said emotion) that I didn't stop dead and wait for them to declare their intentions to cross the street or defer until better times.

    I guess that I was expected to read the minds of everybody along that strip to deduce that they just might be waiting to plunge into traffic at any moment without getting scared. I'd have gladly taken another, longer route to be spared this, and eventually found one.

  16. #10216
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    My college has a yield to pedestrian rules which are strongly enforced. Im cool with it. What is not cool is this campus is in the middle of the city and if you step one foot off campus, the rules change. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen a student step off a curb into four lanes of traffic as if they expect everyone to stop.

    Not too far from the school, Iroquois and Lincoln Parkway come to a T intersection. The intersection is easily 100 feet wide and I see pedestrians try to cross at the widest part instead of the nice, manageable crosswalks before the intersection. What makes this area so dangerous is, the stop signs are about 200 feet away from each other. People get all confused deciding whos turn it is to go and pedestrians make it all the harder.

    The speed limit and configuration of the street also creates difficulties, because left turning traffic from Iroquois enters an expressway ramp. Drivers going that direction can make it to the next stop sign before anyone at the Lincoln Parkway stop sign can get through the intersection. A funny story about this intersection - I used to drive home after an 11 am class and used this Iroquois street route to go home. There was another driver who would also get on the same ramp from the Parkway. If anyone cut ahead of him, he would scream, beep and gesture wildly. Since everyone ended up at the same stop sign before entering the expressway traffic, youd get an ear full. Wed talk about him in class, as if scoring ourselves points for making him mad.

    Here is a link to a map of the area. Right now, there is a state order to have the Scajaquada Expressway (just off the north edge of the map) speed 30 mph. It used to 50 mph, so you can see all the problems this would cause. The stop sign at the end of the ramp is also new. You used to be able to floor it and enter traffic at speed. Not any more.
    Solfe

  17. #10217
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    Most of my driving has been in a small town and it is legal to turn on red and I have seen people go up along side a car waiting to go left or straight just to turn right in hurry.
    ...I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.
    You cannot run away from the truth, the world is not big enough. DI Jack Frost
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  18. #10218
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    While I am walking, when it comes to intersections I tend to avoid the busy one if I can. I can easily avoid most of the lights in my town because they are along on street.
    Last edited by astrotimer; 2018-Feb-11 at 05:39 AM.
    ...I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.
    You cannot run away from the truth, the world is not big enough. DI Jack Frost
    Don't Panic THGTTG
    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. Einstein
    http://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  19. #10219
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    I might post an ATM theory on the 1/2 spin characteristics of USB cables. Try it one way, wrong. Try it the other way, also wrong. Give it a third shot with the first configuration you tried? Bingo, it works! I wonder if some UBS cables have 3/2 or 5/2 spins? Maybe...
    Solfe

  20. #10220
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    USB connections have a temporal component that is why it takes 3 tries to get it right.
    ...I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.
    You cannot run away from the truth, the world is not big enough. DI Jack Frost
    Don't Panic THGTTG
    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. Einstein
    http://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  21. #10221
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    My college has a yield to pedestrian rules which are strongly enforced. Im cool with it. What is not cool is this campus is in the middle of the city and if you step one foot off campus, the rules change. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen a student step off a curb into four lanes of traffic as if they expect everyone to stop.
    My father, who was a police officer, was opposed to the law requiring vehicles to stop for school buses. He believed it ultimately endangered children more than protected them, by virtue of training them to expect drivers to stop.
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  22. #10222
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    My father, who was a police officer, was opposed to the law requiring vehicles to stop for school buses. He believed it ultimately endangered children more than protected them, by virtue of training them to expect drivers to stop.
    Exactly! I've seen the kids get off the bus and immediately walk into traffic, knowing that every vehicle within 100 yards in any direction was required to stop for 'em. (I exaggerate, but only slightly.) Not just the little first-graders, but the high school seniors.

    Such immunity, I could have told them, does not extend to every street and to one's older-and-(hopefully)-wiser years. I know, I've been through it!

  23. #10223
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    Not just the little first-graders, but the high school seniors.
    High School seniors riding a bus??? Must be a unique species to your area.

  24. #10224
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    Either you don't live in the US, or you're color-blind (like I am). Am I right?
    Yes, you are correct I live in the UK.

  25. #10225
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    High School seniors riding a bus??? Must be a unique species to your area.
    What, do all of 'em in your area have cars?

  26. #10226
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    High School seniors riding a bus??? Must be a unique species to your area.
    Nope. In Ohio, most high schools have bus service; I couldn't tell you how many kids drive themselves to school and how many take the bus, but there is a significant percentage of each.

    Growing up in New York City, I took the bus, but not a school bus - if you couldn't walk, most kids take public transit (either bus or subway).
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  27. #10227
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    Here too high school students cab use the bus, some drive or get driven, some walk. For most of my high school years I took the bus in the morning and walked home, about five miles or so.
    ...I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.
    You cannot run away from the truth, the world is not big enough. DI Jack Frost
    Don't Panic THGTTG
    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. Einstein
    http://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  28. #10228
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    What, do all of 'em in your area have cars?
    The local school district only buses students up through 8th grade. It's not that high school students are expected to have cars, it's that they're expected to be able to find their own way to school. I'm sure a lot of them ride a bus - but that would be public transportation, not school buses.
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  29. #10229
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Growing up in New York City, I took the bus, but not a school bus - if you couldn't walk, most kids take public transit (either bus or subway).
    In Pasadena, California, students get an LA transit pass. I didn't learn to drive until college, and my older sister still didn't get her license until after I did. I knew people who drove, but I knew a lot more who walked or took the bus.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  30. #10230
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    In our Florida district, the high school students who weren't within walking distance of their school had school buses. Our son was one of 'em.

    As a high school student in Chicago, I was able to get a special pass for the city buses. can't recall if it was discounted rides or free rides.

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