Sunday, May 7, 2017

In Which That Light Won’t Change

I got a little tired of this view Friday morning--red light where F Avenue crosses Collins Road, Headed south, I was stuck as the light's camera apparently could not "see" a giant old guy on a bicycle.
It was a good biking week. It ended with some adventures on Saturday. We had the Sebers grandchildren today, four active children. Our youngest daughter, who is finish law school, need to go study, so my wife and I also took care of our youngest grandson.

And I biked. I attached the Tag-A-Long to Clarence and also put on the toddler seat. The youngest grandson rode in the seat while the oldest granddaughter rode the Tag-A-Long. Our oldest grandson rode his own bike and Audrey drove the rest of the kids as we went to park.

After a picnic lunch at the first park, we moved to an elementary school playground, then to an ice cream shop. The grandson gamely kept riding his bike, while a shifting cast of his sisters rode the Tag-A-Long.

The grandson was a little tired of riding his own bike by the time we got home, and wanted his  turn on the Tag-A-Long. What with one thing and another, we didn’t get that done until shortly before supper, but we managed it.

I am pretty sure I rode more than 10 miles today, possibly more, and it seemed like more, towing kids on the Tag-A-Long all day long.

Anyway, Saturday was not the only beautiful Iowa spring day this week. It was a largely dry, sunny week.
Young trees along C Avenue. Not sure what the one above is--some sort of flowering nut tree? Below, a Ginkgo Tree.

 On Friday, I snapped some images of young trees along C Avenue, planted last fall by the city when it redid a block of that busy street. It’s nice to see those trees come to life.

I crossed, as I do most work days, at the crosswalk leading to Rockwell-Collins HQ. I appreciate this crossing because it’s so “normal.” You press a button, C Avenue traffic gets a red light, and you have a walk light.

Contrast that with the First Avenue Cedar River Trail crossing in Cedar Rapids, or the place when the Lindale Trail crosses Lindale Avenue in Marion. Makes me appreciate a good old fashioned traffic light.

Crossing light on C Avenue at Rockwell Collins Headquarters. A crossing light as it ought to be.

But, as fate would have it, the light at Collins and F Avenue was far less cooperative. It’s an intersection controlled by camera, but the camera sometimes can’t “see” a biker, and this was one of those frustrating mornings of waiting through multiple light cycles, before saying heck with it, and “stealing” the light from traffic coming the other way.

City of Cedar Rapids—you’re getting more of these camera controlled crossings. How is a bike to be “seen” at these? Are they bike tested by city staff? Are the cameras designed to see not just cars, but people on two wheels, whether bikes, mopeds or motorcycles? Is there a rule of thumb for bikers about where to position ourselves to maximize our chances of catching a green light?

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