Stop on top of sensor to trip traffic signal

Herald Staff

Q Help! How can I find out where or how to trip the traffic light at 116th Street SE and Highway 527 near Silver Lake? I sat through eight light changes on my motorcycle in the left-hand turn lane until a car pulled up behind me and tripped the sensor. I have tried numerous ways to pull up to the light to trip it to no avail. Usually, traffic is heavy enough that I don’t have to wait so long for someone to pull up behind me, but I have to wait three to five changes on the average.

A Bill Saur, city of Everett senior engineer, said an investigation of the intersection found that cars and trucks are readily detected.

"No motorcycles passed through the intersection while we were there," Saur said. "We did increase the sensitivity of the amplifiers which monitor the left-turn detection loops and also marked the loops on the pavement (three 6-by-6-foot-square loops in each left-turn lane)."

For best detection results, a narrow vehicle should attempt to straddle or wait on top of that part of the loop parallel to the length of the motorcycle, he said. Because the loops are usually centered within the travel lane, this means that a motorcycle will, in general, be detected more easily if the cyclist brings the vehicle to a stop two to three feet to the left or right of the center of the lane, he added.

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