Bicycle Loop Detectors

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peter
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Bicycle Loop Detectors

Postby peter » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:45 am

Random late night browsing led to this page that explains bicycle loop detectors, or signal triggers. Interesting to know.

http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/roads/bicycle ... ction.html
Last edited by peter on Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

human909
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Re: Bicycle Loop Detectors

Postby human909 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:06 am

I guess I'm jaded but what I mostly see in that page is:

-we don't want to implement effective detection so here is the dance you need to do, for the more important road users we have it sorted so this information isn't needed

-also because we've made assumptions about cyclists running red lights we don't we require constant detection not trigger detection as found in regular induction loops. Again this makes it harder for cyclists.

-"Traffic signal coordination is normally provided to modes of transport with the highest public benefit, ie peak traffic flow, public transport or heavy truck movements." Aka we'll keep the priority on bikes low.

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Re: Bicycle Loop Detectors

Postby Hergest » Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:11 am

It was great spending close to two months riding back in my birthplace in England this year. The detection loops for lights are different both in design and layout and one set is laid in the road a fair distance from the junction so it wasn't unusual to have the lights change before I got to the junction so you could just sail through. I think only one set didn't pick me up the whole time I was there.

I know of many where I ride here that never register my bike and every single set I have to ride right up to the white line and wait, and wait, and wait.

There's one in Olympic Park that you have to ride a loop on the road or it will never pick you up or you have to wait for a car to trigger it.
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Re: Bicycle Loop Detectors

Postby g-boaf » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:15 am

Hergest wrote:It was great spending close to two months riding back in my birthplace in England this year. The detection loops for lights are different both in design and layout and one set is laid in the road a fair distance from the junction so it wasn't unusual to have the lights change before I got to the junction so you could just sail through. I think only one set didn't pick me up the whole time I was there.

I know of many where I ride here that never register my bike and every single set I have to ride right up to the white line and wait, and wait, and wait.

There's one in Olympic Park that you have to ride a loop on the road or it will never pick you up or you have to wait for a car to trigger it.


There is one like that somewhere near my place and I must wait for a car to come along, or just ride across the pedestrian crossing - it just refuses to change at all otherwise.

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Re: Bicycle Loop Detectors

Postby Philistine » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:48 am

g-boaf wrote:
There is one like that somewhere near my place and I must wait for a car to come along, or just ride across the pedestrian crossing - it just refuses to change at all otherwise.


Several of the less-traveled junctions in the Moorebank area are controlled by lights with sensors that cannot sense a carbon bike. To compound the problem, their sensing zones are so ridiculously small that if I pull up in one of them on my bike, cars pulling up behind me cannot be picked up either. I'd like to know who the nuclear physicists are who put this system in place.

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Re: Bicycle Loop Detectors

Postby find_bruce » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:23 am

The irony is that the worst places for failing to detect a bicycle are the cycleways. The RMS had a big study about it, dismissing the legitimate concerns with a meh - cyclists run red lights anyway.

Cycleways are also an exception to the idea that lights benefit peak traffic flow - on Union St Pyrmont bicycles are the majority of vehicles, but are limited to 6 seconds of green every two minutes.

The most ironic occasion I have seen was when the cops were doing one of their blitzes at Pyrmont Bridge - the bicycle light failed to turn green & the cop waved the cyclists through anyway.

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Re: Bicycle Loop Detectors

Postby Philistine » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:06 pm

find_bruce wrote:The irony is that the worst places for failing to detect a bicycle are the cycleways. The RMS had a big study about it, dismissing the legitimate concerns with a meh - cyclists run red lights anyway.

Cycleways are also an exception to the idea that lights benefit peak traffic flow - on Union St Pyrmont bicycles are the majority of vehicles, but are limited to 6 seconds of green every two minutes.

.


If government departments had an IQ, the RMS would be borderline retarded. Their name change from the RTA supports the theory that an organization changes its name when the old name begins to smell.

I live about 25 km from the CBD and take pains to avoid ever getting any closer than that. A road with a majority of cyclists sounds like some strange exotic fantasy.

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Re: Bicycle Loop Detectors

Postby Nate » Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:52 pm

human909 wrote:I guess I'm jaded but what I mostly see in that page is:

-we don't want to implement effective detection so here is the dance you need to do, for the more important road users we have it sorted so this information isn't needed

-also because we've made assumptions about cyclists running red lights we don't we require constant detection not trigger detection as found in regular induction loops. Again this makes it harder for cyclists.

-"Traffic signal coordination is normally provided to modes of transport with the highest public benefit, ie peak traffic flow, public transport or heavy truck movements." Aka we'll keep the priority on bikes low.


yep - you're jaded.
Have a look: http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/roads/bicycle ... earch.html

in particular the "ISF-UTS CYCLIST BEHAVIOURAL STUDY", where a LOT of time & effort was spent on measuring detector success, & cyclist behaviour. So no, they didnt make assumptions - they actually paid to get it measured & find out WHY the behaviours happens.

They also did separate studies on different methods to detect cyclists - camera with image recognition, Infrared... So they KNOW the best sensors to use for cyclists, as they've got the data.

Bikes low priority?
No - they keep the priority for east-west the highest, as they're the shortest roads in the city, so become congested faster. (that's from a guy with a PhD & worked/s in traffic design for RTA)
And the fact they sell their traffic management software around the world to other cities suggests it might be pretty good.


It's shameful to see all the complaining in here at time & no real knowledge or insights about topics.
I wont even mention actual efforts to improve anything...

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Re: Bicycle Loop Detectors

Postby find_bruce » Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:10 pm

We have been through this before Nate - Re: How to trigger traffic lights (NSW) & nothing has changed on Union St since this report commissioned by the RMS in 2012.

Short story yes they have the technical capacity to detect bicycles - I have no difficulty being detected on the road, it is just the bike paths - but its implementation displays systemic bias against bicycles, in terms of green cycle, red waves, location of the sensor to require a bicycle to stop to trigger the cycle, latching & sensitivity.

Three more recent examples confirm the systemic bias in the RMS (1) corner George St & McEvoy St Waterloo, (2) Liverpool St Sydney - east - west, but you get a red wave anyway, never mind the abomination of an intersection of Liverpool & Kent if you wish to continue along Liverpool & my personal favourite the Airport Drive bike path that has a red default just in case a car should turn up wanting to turn left.

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Re: Bicycle Loop Detectors

Postby trailgumby » Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:44 pm

RMS wrote:Because of the consistently high numbers of all road users in the Sydney CBD, bicycle and pedestrian phases are automatically introduced in each cycle during peak traffic times.

This is BS. The bicycle phase is consistently red lit unless someone is on the grid on at least one side of the intersection.

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Re: Bicycle Loop Detectors

Postby Hergest » Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:56 pm

Nate wrote:

yep - you're jaded.
Have a look: http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/roads/bicycle ... earch.html

in particular the "ISF-UTS CYCLIST BEHAVIOURAL STUDY", where a LOT of time & effort was spent on measuring detector success, & cyclist behaviour. So no, they didnt make assumptions - they actually paid to get it measured & find out WHY the behaviours happens.

They also did separate studies on different methods to detect cyclists - camera with image recognition, Infrared... So they KNOW the best sensors to use for cyclists, as they've got the data.

Bikes low priority?
No - they keep the priority for east-west the highest, as they're the shortest roads in the city, so become congested faster. (that's from a guy with a PhD & worked/s in traffic design for RTA)
And the fact they sell their traffic management software around the world to other cities suggests it might be pretty good.


It's shameful to see all the complaining in here at time & no real knowledge or insights about topics.
I wont even mention actual efforts to improve anything...



It's annoying to read utter bilge like this. I can take you to a dozen sets of traffic lights locally where my titanium bike doesn't trigger the lights and I have to either ride loops over the sensors to set them off, wait for a car to do so or ride through the red light. If they KNOW (your emphasis) what the best sensors to use for cyclists then why don't they use them?

And no, I don't have a PhD or have worked in traffic design, I just ride 16,000 kms a year around this ridiculously car centric city.
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Re: Bicycle Loop Detectors

Postby g-boaf » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:51 pm

Nate wrote:
human909 wrote:I guess I'm jaded but what I mostly see in that page is:

-we don't want to implement effective detection so here is the dance you need to do, for the more important road users we have it sorted so this information isn't needed

-also because we've made assumptions about cyclists running red lights we don't we require constant detection not trigger detection as found in regular induction loops. Again this makes it harder for cyclists.

-"Traffic signal coordination is normally provided to modes of transport with the highest public benefit, ie peak traffic flow, public transport or heavy truck movements." Aka we'll keep the priority on bikes low.


yep - you're jaded.
Have a look: http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/roads/bicycle ... earch.html

in particular the "ISF-UTS CYCLIST BEHAVIOURAL STUDY", where a LOT of time & effort was spent on measuring detector success, & cyclist behaviour. So no, they didnt make assumptions - they actually paid to get it measured & find out WHY the behaviours happens.

They also did separate studies on different methods to detect cyclists - camera with image recognition, Infrared... So they KNOW the best sensors to use for cyclists, as they've got the data.

Bikes low priority?
No - they keep the priority for east-west the highest, as they're the shortest roads in the city, so become congested faster. (that's from a guy with a PhD & worked/s in traffic design for RTA)
And the fact they sell their traffic management software around the world to other cities suggests it might be pretty good.


It's shameful to see all the complaining in here at time & no real knowledge or insights about topics.
I wont even mention actual efforts to improve anything...



And when you've finished your guided tour with Hergest, you can join me and I'll show you more places far away from the CBD where my bike doesn't trigger the lights. Like Hergest, I do huge amounts of kms.

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Re: Bicycle Loop Detectors

Postby Bentnose » Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:47 am

I had a bad run of lights today that just wouldn't detect my bike, I had to run 3 sets of red lights, very quiet at the moment with few cars about to help trigger them, I'm not waiting all day.
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Re: Bicycle Loop Detectors

Postby Arbuckle23 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:15 pm

Same.
Just got to the footpath to push pedestrian button on one road and a car turned up :lol:
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Re: Bicycle Loop Detectors

Postby Mulger bill » Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:51 pm

Bentnose wrote:I had a bad run of lights today that just wouldn't detect my bike, I had to run 3 sets of red lights, very quiet at the moment with few cars about to help trigger them, I'm not waiting all day.

Perched appropriately over the loop?
Waited thru an entire cycle without luck?
Report it as defective
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Bicycle Loop Detectors

Postby Nate » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:43 am

Hergest wrote:It's annoying to read utter bilge like this. I can take you to a dozen sets of traffic lights locally where my titanium bike doesn't trigger the lights and I have to either ride loops over the sensors to set them off, wait for a car to do so or ride through the red light. If they KNOW (your emphasis) what the best sensors to use for cyclists then why don't they use them?

And no, I don't have a PhD or have worked in traffic design, I just ride 16,000 kms a year around this ridiculously car centric city.



Odd you call it Bilge... its all 100% factual.
So what if you can find lights that dont trigger - i had a set this morning. It doesnt mean they havent done the research or put in huge amounts of $ & effort to get the best working solution.

They have the BEST available technology they could find - this doesnt mean its 100% faultless.
It still needs to be configured, adjusted and maintained on an on going basis.

Re-seal the road - extra thickness = decreased sensitivity
non-steel bike = decreased triggering capability
poor maintenance = broken sensor

Road surfaces are a challenging environment - huge loads, wear & tear, weather extremes & you expect everything to work perfectly every time on every sensor across the country?

This attitude is horrific - "if it doesnt work for me, then the people responsible are useless & not doing anything about it, so i'll whinge on a forum"

Work WITH people & achieve something, complaining on forums achieves nothing.
As per what Mulger said - report the defective sensors, simple.

Or go & spend a 10's of hours of your time & try to help get them a solution before you complain about it.

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Re: Bicycle Loop Detectors

Postby Hergest » Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:40 pm

Nate wrote:
Odd you call it Bilge... its all 100% factual.
So what if you can find lights that dont trigger - i had a set this morning. It doesnt mean they havent done the research or put in huge amounts of $ & effort to get the best working solution.

They have the BEST available technology they could find - this doesnt mean its 100% faultless.
It still needs to be configured, adjusted and maintained on an on going basis.

Re-seal the road - extra thickness = decreased sensitivity
non-steel bike = decreased triggering capability
poor maintenance = broken sensor

Road surfaces are a challenging environment - huge loads, wear & tear, weather extremes & you expect everything to work perfectly every time on every sensor across the country?

This attitude is horrific - "if it doesnt work for me, then the people responsible are useless & not doing anything about it, so i'll whinge on a forum"

Work WITH people & achieve something, complaining on forums achieves nothing.
As per what Mulger said - report the defective sensors, simple.

Or go & spend a 10's of hours of your time & try to help get them a solution before you complain about it.


Why the incorrect assertion that I do nothing about it? I report loops that don't work to both the council involved and the RTA/RMS. Usually the first response from the one entity is that it is the fault of the other entity but in every case, yes, every case the issue is never resolved so no, the people involved are doing nothing about it. One can only assume from the lack of action that cyclists are of no concern to the responsible authority.

So bearing that in mind why should I not whinge about it on a public cycling forum? I believe I have every right to do so. Councils and government departments are paid for out of the money I earn that goes on taxes and rates, it's their job to fix what doesn't work. What do you suggest? I go out and fix the defective loops myself? Maybe I should go out with a jackhammer and spend some 10s of my hours digging up the road or maybe keep my mouth shut. After all why on earth should I complain? They are just red lights on busy intersections and I'm just a cyclist.

Perhaps you should stop being an apologist for people not doing their jobs properly?
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Re: Bicycle Loop Detectors

Postby Bentnose » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:59 pm

Mulger bill wrote:
Bentnose wrote:I had a bad run of lights today that just wouldn't detect my bike, I had to run 3 sets of red lights, very quiet at the moment with few cars about to help trigger them, I'm not waiting all day.

Perched appropriately over the loop?
Waited thru an entire cycle without luck?
Report it as defective

Waited the entire cycle, not worth my time reporting it, these weren't lights i go through often, not going to go through the trouble of reporting it if there is no guarantee anybody will fix.

Annoying thing was on the last set I had issues with I was about to press the pedestrian button when I saw a jogger coming along so I thought I'd leave it to him to press it, he just ran straight across the road without pressing it, that's pedestrians for you :roll:
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Re: Bicycle Loop Detectors

Postby Scott No Mates » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:35 pm

Bentnose wrote:I had a bad run of lights today that just wouldn't detect my bike, I had to run 3 sets of red lights, very quiet at the moment with few cars about to help trigger them, I'm not waiting all day.


I had that experience on West St yesterday morning - had a chat with a pedestrian while waiting for Ernest St lights to change. Then she caught up to me when I was waiting for the Falcon St lights (lights didn't change any faster with both Ped buttons pressed) - very light traffic for some unknown reason.
I really should take up cycling!

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Re: Bicycle Loop Detectors

Postby g-boaf » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:45 pm

Bentnose wrote:he just ran straight across the road without pressing it, that's pedestrians for you :roll:


They should have registration so they can be reported!

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Re: Bicycle Loop Detectors

Postby human909 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:58 am

Nate wrote:
human909 wrote:I guess I'm jaded but what I mostly see in that page is:

-we don't want to implement effective detection so here is the dance you need to do, for the more important road users we have it sorted so this information isn't needed

-also because we've made assumptions about cyclists running red lights we don't we require constant detection not trigger detection as found in regular induction loops. Again this makes it harder for cyclists.

-"Traffic signal coordination is normally provided to modes of transport with the highest public benefit, ie peak traffic flow, public transport or heavy truck movements." Aka we'll keep the priority on bikes low.


yep - you're jaded.
Have a look: http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/roads/bicycle ... earch.html

in particular the "ISF-UTS CYCLIST BEHAVIOURAL STUDY", where a LOT of time & effort was spent on measuring detector success, & cyclist behaviour. So no, they didnt make assumptions - they actually paid to get it measured & find out WHY the behaviours happens.

They also did separate studies on different methods to detect cyclists - camera with image recognition, Infrared... So they KNOW the best sensors to use for cyclists, as they've got the data.

Bikes low priority?
No - they keep the priority for east-west the highest, as they're the shortest roads in the city, so become congested faster. (that's from a guy with a PhD & worked/s in traffic design for RTA)
And the fact they sell their traffic management software around the world to other cities suggests it might be pretty good.


It's shameful to see all the complaining in here at time & no real knowledge or insights about topics.
I wont even mention actual efforts to improve anything...


I'm struggling to reconcile this with the reality. All well and good they did a behavioural study. How about we do a behavioural study on the RMS and the way they consider (or do not consider) cyclists?

Bicycle infrastructure is time and again implemented in ways which are dangerous and contrary to existing road laws. That is the reality.

Do I really need to repost the picture of the green traffic light, red bicycle lantern and a green bicycle lantern? It is a nonsensical traffic light implementation.

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Re: Bicycle Loop Detectors

Postby Philistine » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:46 am

human909 wrote:
Nate wrote:
human909 wrote:I guess I'm jaded but what I mostly see in that page is:


-also because we've made assumptions about cyclists running red lights we don't we require constant detection not trigger detection as found in regular induction loops. Again this makes it harder for cyclists.

It's shameful to see all the complaining in here at time & no real knowledge or insights about topics.
I wont even mention actual efforts to improve anything....



Do I really need to repost the picture of the green traffic light, red bicycle lantern and a green bicycle lantern? It is a nonsensical traffic light implementation.


I tried to be open minded about Nate's original puff piece on the RTA / RMS, and so I downloaded and read the report that was the subject of the first of his links.

The first thing that struck me was the warning against "unauthorized persons" reading or downloading it - notwithstanding that it was published on the official RMS web page! The second was that the RMS, despite having a workforce numbering in the thousands, could not find people within its own ranks to carry out the investigation and prepare the report - and commissioned a private company to do the work!

The third was the subject matter - roads that were one-way for motorized traffic, but with a separate two-way bike lane. Cars and trucks going one way only, with their attention focussed exclusively on other cars and trucks going the same way, and bicycles a metre away going in both directions. What could possibly go wrong with that?

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Re: Bicycle Loop Detectors

Postby g-boaf » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:54 am

human909 wrote:
Nate wrote:
human909 wrote:I guess I'm jaded but what I mostly see in that page is:

-we don't want to implement effective detection so here is the dance you need to do, for the more important road users we have it sorted so this information isn't needed

-also because we've made assumptions about cyclists running red lights we don't we require constant detection not trigger detection as found in regular induction loops. Again this makes it harder for cyclists.

-"Traffic signal coordination is normally provided to modes of transport with the highest public benefit, ie peak traffic flow, public transport or heavy truck movements." Aka we'll keep the priority on bikes low.


yep - you're jaded.
Have a look: http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/roads/bicycle ... earch.html

in particular the "ISF-UTS CYCLIST BEHAVIOURAL STUDY", where a LOT of time & effort was spent on measuring detector success, & cyclist behaviour. So no, they didnt make assumptions - they actually paid to get it measured & find out WHY the behaviours happens.

They also did separate studies on different methods to detect cyclists - camera with image recognition, Infrared... So they KNOW the best sensors to use for cyclists, as they've got the data.

Bikes low priority?
No - they keep the priority for east-west the highest, as they're the shortest roads in the city, so become congested faster. (that's from a guy with a PhD & worked/s in traffic design for RTA)
And the fact they sell their traffic management software around the world to other cities suggests it might be pretty good.


It's shameful to see all the complaining in here at time & no real knowledge or insights about topics.
I wont even mention actual efforts to improve anything...


I'm struggling to reconcile this with the reality. All well and good they did a behavioural study. How about we do a behavioural study on the RMS and the way they consider (or do not consider) cyclists?

Bicycle infrastructure is time and again implemented in ways which are dangerous and contrary to existing road laws. That is the reality.

Do I really need to repost the picture of the green traffic light, red bicycle lantern and a green bicycle lantern? It is a nonsensical traffic light implementation.


My commute didn't go near any of the typical bicycle infrastructure. But it also had the benefit of avoiding the numerous "Operation Pedro" stings done by Police. They'd all loiter around the usual CBD cycling "hot-spots". About the only thing they could have got me for was riding on main roads which they could have interpreted as riding dangerously. I think they tried to do that with some lady rider but it didn't go anywhere. I would have had to do a 40km commute (each way) if I was to use the "infrastructure". No I'm not doing that.

From the RMS web page:

What if I have a carbon fibre bike?

The more metal you have on your bike, the easier it is to be detected. However, carbon fibre bikes usually have some metal in the pedals or wheels.

The inductive loop detectors should be sensitive enough to detect even these small amounts of metal if your bike is positioned in the best place for detection.


Obviously these detectors are not sensitive enough to detect my bike. There are lights on Vaughan Street near Lidcombe that give me problems all the time (I have to wait for cars to come along and activate the lights).

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Re: Bicycle Loop Detectors

Postby Arbuckle23 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:47 pm

It's is dangerous to think, but sometimes I do :P
Has anyone tried a light metal plate on the base of their shoes and place that over one of the loops?
I know, I know, extra weight etc, but I was thinking too much while having lunch :)
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Re: Bicycle Loop Detectors

Postby find_bruce » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:28 pm

The detectors are proximity based - a little bit of metal needs to be close while a big lump of cast iron can be further away

I have a light piece of metal on the soles of my shoes - it’s the Spd cleat & nut plate - works fine for most lights

Where it doesn’t work, either the sensor is faulty or the sensitivity is set too low. In my experience this is mostly on bike paths, but as others have noted it does happen elsewhere

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