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Old 12.10.2017, 12:29
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traffic lights don't see cyclists in Lausanne

So I moved to Lausanne, and it seems that most traffic lights here only turn green if they see a car coming. Problem is, I use a bicycle to travel around the city, and some of them just don't see me. Which is really annoying if there's no car around to trigger the green light.

Now I essentially never run red lights, but I feel like these lights just don't apply to me. Unfortunately, the police disagrees (I was stopped once), and I anyways feel unsafe about crossing big streets on a red light.

Interestingly, some of the lights do see me on my bike (and some others started recognizing me recently), so I guess the system is not inherently broken.

Is there anything that can be done about this? Anyone else had the same experience?
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Old 12.10.2017, 12:35
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Re: traffic lights don't see cyclists in Lausanne

Wave madly at an imaginary friend.
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Old 12.10.2017, 12:35
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Re: traffic lights don't see cyclists in Lausanne

Carbon rims and frame?

Take a metal shovel with you and wave it over the thin asphalt lines where the induction loop is embedded in the pavement.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Induction_loop

If you have metall rims just drive over the loops. Wiggling back and fourth may help.
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Old 12.10.2017, 12:40
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Re: traffic lights don't see cyclists in Lausanne

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So I moved to Lausanne, and it seems that most traffic lights here only turn green if they see a car coming.

Is there anything that can be done about this? Anyone else had the same experience?
It's not uncommon in many countries, especially on lights triggered by sensors in the road which rely on a big lump of metal passing over them.

Sadly your legal options are limited to either waiting for a motor vehicle to trigger them or getting off your bike and pushing it across the junction (assuming you obey any pedestrian crossing requirements).

In practice I'd generally just keep a wary eye open for cops and carefully go through the red if/when it's safe to do so.
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Old 12.10.2017, 12:44
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Re: traffic lights don't see cyclists in Lausanne

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In practice I'd generally just keep a wary eye open for cops and carefully go through the red if/when it's safe to do so.
No, don't jump red lights ever, it just gives all us cyclists a bad name. Does my frigging head in.
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Old 12.10.2017, 12:55
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Re: traffic lights don't see cyclists in Lausanne

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No, don't jump red lights ever, it just gives all us cyclists a bad name. Does my frigging head in.
Well yes, in general I agree, but there are limits. And almost by definition we're talking here about times when there's no other traffic around. Common sense should sometimes be allowed to apply, IMO.
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Old 12.10.2017, 13:09
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Re: traffic lights don't see cyclists in Lausanne

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... Common sense should sometimes be allowed to apply, IMO.
It should. The only problem is that what's common sense to one person is utter lunacy to another.
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Old 12.10.2017, 13:14
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Re: traffic lights don't see cyclists in Lausanne

Its true!

To activate the sensors, you must put your feet aside the bike, and agitate your arms up and down. If you do it fast enough, it will trigger the traffic light to go green.

The key is to spread the arm wide enough, at first I struggle but not I almost have a 100% success rate.

Note: Not all traffic lights have the same sensors, it works best in the populated area of Lausanne (Near the city, near rippones, near Chauderon, near the EPFL university, etc...).

PS: The move is something like this, of course, with your bike below:
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Old 12.10.2017, 13:18
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Re: traffic lights don't see cyclists in Lausanne

Adding magnets around the bottom bracket can help. It helps with some alloy framed/wheeled motorbikes so it might do it for bicycles as well. They need to be strong ones though.
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Old 12.10.2017, 13:54
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Re: traffic lights don't see cyclists in Lausanne

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No, don't jump red lights ever, it just gives all us cyclists a bad name. Does my frigging head in.
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Old 12.10.2017, 14:06
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Re: traffic lights don't see cyclists in Lausanne

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Its true!

To activate the sensors, you must put your feet aside the bike, and agitate your arms up and down. If you do it fast enough, it will trigger the traffic light to go green.

The key is to spread the arm wide enough, at first I struggle but not I almost have a 100% success rate.

Note: Not all traffic lights have the same sensors, it works best in the populated area of Lausanne (Near the city, near rippones, near Chauderon, near the EPFL university, etc...).

PS: The move is something like this, of course, with your bike below:
that's a very bad advice. "a friend" tried it once, moved his arms too fast and got a fine for flying without permit.

Last edited by k_and_e; 12.10.2017 at 16:17.
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Old 12.10.2017, 14:29
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Re: traffic lights don't see cyclists in Lausanne

If you have a metal bike you could ask the city if they can calibrate the inductive loops so it also works properly for bikes, if you have a carbon bike and no metal rims you are in bad luck and there's nothing to do about it besides carrying some metal yourself or get of and become a pedestrian.

Good thing is that countries start to realise the problem and switch more over to camera's or make laws where a bike can cross red light when having waited for at least one cycle. Knowing Switzerland you might be in luck in a decade or two.
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Old 12.10.2017, 14:33
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Re: traffic lights don't see cyclists in Lausanne

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No, don't jump red lights ever, it just gives all us cyclists a bad name. Does my frigging head in.
You should come to Zurich. A friend was sat on her bike waiting for the lights to change. A police van pulled up next to her and the passenger cop told her she must be the only cyclist in Zurich who stops for red lights.

Actually he was wrong. I'm the other.
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Old 12.10.2017, 14:36
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Re: traffic lights don't see cyclists in Lausanne

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her and the passenger cop told her she must be the only cyclist in zurich who maintains any semblance of traffic regulations.
.
ftfy
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Old 12.10.2017, 14:58
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Re: traffic lights don't see cyclists in Lausanne

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Well yes, in general I agree, but there are limits. And almost by definition we're talking here about times when there's no other traffic around. Common sense should sometimes be allowed to apply, IMO.
Yes, but one can become quite blasé after a while. I've seen cyclists shoot through numerous red lights in Bern, often without paying the slightest bit of attention.

I don't know about other places, but traffic lights in Fribourg are set to "proceed with caution" mode outside of peak hours.
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Old 12.10.2017, 15:13
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Re: traffic lights don't see cyclists in Lausanne

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Yes, but one can become quite blasé after a while. I've seen cyclists shoot through numerous red lights in Bern, often without paying the slightest bit of attention.

I don't know about other places, but traffic lights in Fribourg are set to "proceed with caution" mode outside of peak hours.
Every single day at the Welle in Bern, I'm almost run over on the zebra crossing by some cyclist who thinks red lights don't apply to him.
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Old 12.10.2017, 15:51
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Re: traffic lights don't see cyclists in Lausanne

My bike frame is steel.
I'm not even sure if it's induction-based or camera-based detection (maybe depends on the crossing). As I said, it works with some lights.

I've tried waving, tried moving around a bit, even stopping in the lane sideways. Yet sometimes during the nights I would end up alone in a crossing, with red lights from each direction. I guess there's no motorist to upset by running a red light there...
But I really don't understand why they don't just switch off the lights in the evenings.
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Old 12.10.2017, 15:53
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Re: traffic lights don't see cyclists in Lausanne

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You should come to Zurich. A friend was sat on her bike waiting for the lights to change. A police van pulled up next to her and the passenger cop told her she must be the only cyclist in Zurich who stops for red lights.

Actually he was wrong. I'm the other.
I came from Zurich, this wasn't an issue there: lights would turn green within a minute automatically.
In Lausanne, I have stood 5 minutes at a red light before giving up.
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Old 12.10.2017, 16:12
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Re: traffic lights don't see cyclists in Lausanne

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My bike frame is steel.
I'm not even sure if it's induction-based or camera-based detection (maybe depends on the crossing). As I said, it works with some lights.

I've tried waving, tried moving around a bit, even stopping in the lane sideways. Yet sometimes during the nights I would end up alone in a crossing, with red lights from each direction. I guess there's no motorist to upset by running a red light there...
But I really don't understand why they don't just switch off the lights in the evenings.
It has nothing to do with steel, at least in Lausanne. Some sensors are motion activated, others identify the volume of the target. The latest technology, mostly used around EPFL and other high tech neighborhood, as well as the rich center, are also using the NDA sensors (Noise Detection Activation) from QualcomTech.
In practice it means it will detect particular sounds such as the high pitch noise made by a motored vehicle.

This one is simple to trigger, you simply need to make a series of loud high pitch noises, works best in combination with the flapping moves in case there are the other NDA sensors used.

It's quite fast too, you simply need to do that for up to one minute, facing the traffic light.

It takes a while to know which traffic light used which technology, best to started the technique on all of them.
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Old 12.10.2017, 17:26
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Re: traffic lights don't see cyclists in Lausanne

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You should come to Zurich. A friend was sat on her bike waiting for the lights to change. A police van pulled up next to her and the passenger cop told her she must be the only cyclist in Zurich who stops for red lights.

Actually he was wrong. I'm the other.
I never knew you're into urban legends, GG.


You're the only one.
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