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    Let them eat airbags

    My previous post was about a school crossing in a quiet residential area. Lets step up to the high stakes table where the big boys play.
    It's called State Road 84 West. It has a very theoretical speed limit of 45mph. It's actually the off ramp from I-95, and the Florida Turnpike coming from urban Miami Dade County into the sprawling suburbs of west Broward County. It used to get gridlocked at the first traffic light, but they created a through lane that doesn't stop except when the rarely used pedestrian crossing is activated .
    That's where I come in. Walled of from the highway is a Greenway that connects the Town of Davie to Ft. lauderdale. It does nothing else. It by passes all other roads and neighborhoods along the way.
    It is also the ONLY connection that doesn't involve riding on high speed highways with no bike lanes. It bypasses a very busy cloverleaf in State Road 84. It's almost unkown, and therefore unused. A few joggers, and dog walkers that live at the east end of it and that's about it.
    When they put in the through lane they added a warning light 100yards down the road that says "Prepare To Stop' when the crosswalk is activated. All this did was get the already speeding drivers to drive faster to make the light. Usually 3 people would run the crosswalk before anyone stopped, all of them accelerating. When driving my car one day I took a look at this from the drivers perspective. DOT had not bothered to put any "Pedestian Crossing" signs along the road. That and the hidden Greenway explains why the drivers "saw" no reason to stop.
    So I brought this to the attention of the DOT. After lengthy investigation, they decided that yes signage would be a good idea and 4 months later as if by magic 2 signs appeared. One near the "Prepare To Stop" sign was a Pedestrian placard and the word AHEAD added below. Then AT the crosswalk there was another placard with a big arrow pointing down at the crosswalk. They are both behind the concrete wall where the drivers can't get at them.
    Now it's time to test the new signage. I was riding back at early evening and stopped at the crosswalk. Hit the button, and turned on my Niterider daytime strobe light and aimed it at the painted crosswalk. So we have a flashing" Light Prepare to Stop", then a Ped Xing AHEAD sign, Then another Ped XING Here sign, and a painted crosswalk rapidly strobing in the dark.
    Holy shit! It worked! For the first time ever someone stopped for the red traffic light there. Of course this is Florida so it can't be that simple.
    Cars #2, and #3 were still accelerating to make the light. This would be a much better story back in the days before Antilock Brakes. But they both ended up crossed up in the emergency lane to avoid hitting the stopped SUV, and each other. Of course they were blowing their horns at the driver who stopped for the pedestrian crossing. SoFla road rage at it's finest.
    Last edited by Retrorockit; 02-13-2021, 08:37 AM.

    #2
    So this crosswalk is how you get to the greenway? Or its an alternate to the greenway?

    Comment


    • Retrorockit
      Retrorockit commented
      Editing a comment
      It's the only entrance to that end of the greenway. One way in, one way out of the greeenway. This 2 mile piece of the greenway is isolated from the rest of it. From Ft.Lauderdale to Davie this is all there is. There is about a 1/4 mile gap at this point. Then it continues uninterrupted except for crossing major roads all the way to the Everglades at Markham Park in Weston. I feel lucky that they bothered to build this at all.
      Last edited by Retrorockit; 02-13-2021, 09:37 AM.

    • Retrorockit
      Retrorockit commented
      Editing a comment
      When I say it's the only way I mean there is no other road provided that you can realistically ride from Davie to Ft.Lauderdale. Even on a 1500W outlaw Ebike.
      The cloverleaf exchange from I 95,I 595,FL Turnpike, and State road 7 can't be ridden safely at less than about 50mph. Even then it has several memorials placed there where people have died.
      Last edited by Retrorockit; 02-17-2021, 07:10 AM.

    #3
    I've had time to digest this new info. and it seems I still have to wait and see what car #2, and #3 are going to do before crossing. There is the not unlikely possibility that car#2 will just swerve into the emergency lane and blast through at 70mph. Not an unusual tactic around here. The traffic engineers have already hung an extra traffic signal over that lane. This would leave car #3 to slam into the stopped vehicle ahead and shove them into the pedestrian crossing also. The only safe bet is the one you make after the roulette wheel stops turning.

    Comment


      #4
      I gave it a couple weeks to settle down. Now the drivers seem to have gotten used to the idea of stopping there. Maybe one car will stretch the yellow a little. But mostly they just stop.
      The added pedestrian crossing signs really do seem to be working. If you have a place where drivers seem to be acting badly, get in a car and see what they see ( or don't see). maybe the road department can fix it.
      That first crossing at night was pretty hairy though!

      Comment


        #5
        Well I spoke too soon. Tailgaters around here just do whatever the car in front is doing. They don't actually drive their own cars. So I had one driver run the red light, and #2 was right behind. They were going too fast for the air horn to make much difference. It's funny how they ignore a red light but slam on the brakes for a one finger salute. Stopping right in the middle of the pedestrian crossing. Then he pulled ahead and stopped again, then drove off. I guess he was exploring all of his possible bad options

        Comment


        • Retrorockit
          Retrorockit commented
          Editing a comment
          I tested my tailgater theory once by driving off the road onto the grass to let the tailgater go by. They followed me off the road, and then blew their horn at me for "making" them run off the road.

        #6
        A little more drama on the Greenway. I always stop and clear broken bottles off of the path on my way into town during the day so I don't run over them at night on the way back. Most of the bottles are next to the high way and you can tell they came from passing vehicles. But the other day I found one up under an overpass on the Greenway. No way it came from a car, and too close to the guard rail to have come from a passing boat. Also harder to see being in the shade. There is a bum that's been sleeping up under that bridge for about a week. I've never seen a LEO there ever. I cleaned it up. When I came back the next day there were broken bottles all over the place , and the bum was there this time. He didn't see the connection between himself, and the broken bottles (2 things that don't belong there). It was an interesting experience reporting the vandalism. I seem to be the only person in the county who actually knows who has jurisdiction over that area. I called the City of Davie where I live (they own it). They were confused as usual about where it was, and if they were responsible, and they transferred me to the County and the County Sherrid had to explain it to them for me. Once upon a time it was a lucrative speed trap on SR84 called Hacienda Village (trailer park with it's own police and jail) that The Town of Davie annexed. But now that the interstate, and Turnpike run through there they seem to have lost interest in it.
        There is another bum there who appears to be a bicycle thief. Different bike every few days, and extra wheel sets being swapped around. Spray paint too.But late at night when he and the bikes are there the police actually don't answer the phone. I doubt if they could find the place anyway.
        So it looks like the bum has been removed. His bundle is gone. I cleaned up all the glass that was still there yesterday evening. I'll have to wait and see what happens next.

        Comment


        • Retrorockit
          Retrorockit commented
          Editing a comment
          What happened next is kind of interesting. I didn't ride there a few days. Partly concerned about blowback from the evicted bums. Next time I rode though going into town, no bums, no broken bottles.But some new obscene graffitii painted on the Greenway.
          When I rode back it had already been painted over. So something has changed there.There are a lot of people who jog and walk their pets there. Their kids too. Anyway it looks like they're taking this seriously for a change.

        • Retrorockit
          Retrorockit commented
          Editing a comment
          A new bum has moved in and the graffitti is back. The bum pulled a piece of concrete out of the bridge abutment and broke it up all over the bike path.
          There was a witness, but Mexicans on bicycles usually don't want to talk to the police.
          My local police are now refusing to patrol that area. They say it's the Highway Patrols area. Good luck with getting the State Police to do community policing. So city and county have bailed out on this.
          But there is hope. Since now the bridge is being damaged I called the high way maintenance dept. and asked them if they could fence in around the abutment instead of across the top. Maybe this will put a stop to the micro ghetto scene that's forming up there. The guy seemed receptive to this.

        #7
        The red light runners have a new tactic now. if they see someone is going to stop for the normally always green lane, cars 2 and 3 just switch one lane over to the other non turn lane and just run the already red light there. Sure why not, what's the difference. So now I have to make sure the traffic is stopping in 2 lanes before using the crosswalk.

        Comment


        • Retrorockit
          Retrorockit commented
          Editing a comment
          Yep this is the new SoFLA normal. 2 lanes of traffic running the cross walk signal. I wonder what took them so long to figure it out?

        #8
        Another new trick. 3/4 ton truck trying not to stop for the light, but then he saw the flashers on a police cruiser across the intersection. What to do? A good thing i didn't try to cross in front of him. He stopped blocking the active crosswalk completely. I had yellow side marker lights flashing on my bike. Maybe the cop car gave him tunnel vision. Who knows. So even when they don't run the light completely, they still screw up the crosswalk.

        Comment


          #9
          Moron State Rd 84 West.
          A truck broke down there. There are 2 west bound traffic lanes, a bike lane,and a diagonal striped emergency lane. The tractor trailer driver put out his reflective triangles. One at the left rear of the truck, another 50' back 1/2 way across the emergency lane, another 100' back at the curb in the emergency lane.
          Cars had run over both of the reflectors further back from the truck. Somehow they managed not to hit the truck itself. They had to cross the bike lane, and the emergency lane to hit these reflectors.
          Fortunately there is a service road there, and that's where I ride. I'm not a big fan of painted bike lanes on busy 45mph highways.

          Comment


          • Retrorockit
            Retrorockit commented
            Editing a comment
            If you think reflective clothing will keep you safe..........................

          #10
          You can't fix stupid .

          Comment


            #11
            Well I've got a couple more updates for my favorite pedestrian crosswalk. I had to stand the bike on the front tire the other night. Waited for the usual 3 cars to run the light in the rh lane, then started across. The furthest lane was clear but as I came up a car came racing up too fast to stop before getting into the walkway. I had left my yellow side strobes at home on the charger.
            Next day crossing the other way, the usual suspects ran the light 3 times. As I was crossing an MC moved into the emergency lane and ran the light just as I was getting there. I saw the asshole coming. I can't actually watch where i"m going here. That's not where the danger is. If there was a truck or SUV there I might not have seen him. I could have T-boned him into the gap in the concrete barrier. Didn't think of it soon enough. 3.5 Stooges!
            Last edited by Retrorockit; 02-25-2023, 08:26 AM.

            Comment


              #12
              The airbag munchers are at it again. On this same road there is a border sign for the town I live in. "Welcome to the Town of Davie". i t used to be a town. Pastures and orange groves, but it's become a sprawling South Florida suburban city. The sign is on the downhill side of a bridge over a waterway that defines the border. About 15 feet from the road and part way down the bridge embankment.
              To hit it you have to jump a curb,cross a sidewalk, and go offroad a bit to get there. Next stop is the drainage ditch. About 6 weeks ago it got run over. It was pretty strange that someone went off the road there. I thought it was a 1 time thing. They put in a new sign and about 3 weeks later it got taken down again. About 40' past the sign is a RH turn at the bottom of the bridge. The only thing I can figure is that someone in the left lane needs to turn and is running people off the road to turn there.
              I took a ride to Miami with a younger person. The navigation was entirely provided by the cell phone app. Even for the 2nd trip there. If Siri says turn you turn. So if your Ebike isn't plotted on Google earth you may be SOL.

              Comment


              • Retrorockit
                Retrorockit commented
                Editing a comment
                BTW if you call the Davie Police to report something in that area be prepared to have to argue with them about whether that's their jurisdiction or not.Maybe the police are knocking down the sign so they won't have to patrol there? They were happy to patrol there when it was a notorious speed trap on SR84. Now that it's the Interstate they've lost interest.

              #13
              I had a new version of running the 4 lane crosswalk today. The light changed and the traffic stoppped in the 2 nearest lanes. I looked into the 3rd lane and it was clear so I crossed into that one. there was a car comingin the 4th lane. It wasn't speeding up, or blowing it's horn at me. I was clearly visible in the 3rd lane. I almost thought it was going to stop. Actually it just drove through thecrosswalk at the posted 45mph speed limit. Texting. Completely ignored the "Prepare to stop ahead" flashers, the 2 red overhead traffic signals, and me sitting right there in the crosswalk part way across the road. The driver didn't see any of it.
              Staying alive one lane at a time.
              Last edited by Retrorockit; 08-02-2023, 04:16 AM.

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              • Retrorockit
                Retrorockit commented
                Editing a comment
                Just in case someone else is confronted with something like this crosswalk. When I say "Staying alive one lane at a time" I mean EVERY lane.
                Even if there are cars stopped in all 4 traffic lanes, I still need to check the emergency lane for motorcycles running the light.

              #14
              They're at it again. Share the sidewalk! I turned around to get the photo. if I was coming the other way when this happened it would ahve been a 20' section of guardrail coming at me.
              Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20230901_162631449_HDR.jpg
Views:	59
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ID:	164400‚Äč You can see the finished end of the previous section of guardrail. There is a bout a 2 foot gap between the 2 sections. He put the front wheel of a dually truck into that gap. The back of the truck is a bout a foot wider on each side. So he was nowhere near being in a lane. The 2 pieces of pipe on the ground are rub rails from the back of the guardrail to keep cyclists legs out of the rail support posts.
              On the other side of this bridge is where they took out the Welcome to the Town of Davie sign twice. The have to cross the sidewalk and go down the side of the embankment to hit that.

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              • Retrorockit
                Retrorockit commented
                Editing a comment
                They haven't fixed this yet. The other night i was riding toward the camera when some of the crime scene tape they put up on the handrail side was blowing around and grabbed my left foot. IDK if it broke or just got pulled loose but I'm lucky it did because the only place to put my right foot down to remove it was in the middle of the mangled girders.

              • Retrorockit
                Retrorockit commented
                Editing a comment
                They finally fixed this. They also installed a new Welcome To The Town of Davie sign on the far side of this bridge. The previous one lasted about a month.
                Not only did this guy get his tires into the retaining wall he got all the way up into the handrail and broke it too.

              #15
              Notice they guy giving you the finger?....lol

              Comment


              • Retrorockit
                Retrorockit commented
                Editing a comment
                You mean the guy who tried to drive a 1 ton truck through the gap in the guard rail for the crossbar to come down. I guess that's one way to get him to stop picking his nose while driving.

              • Retrorockit
                Retrorockit commented
                Editing a comment
                Moron this. Do you see the load on the truck with no tie downs? When they tow it that will probably end up in the road and cause another accident.

              • Retrorockit
                Retrorockit commented
                Editing a comment
                Also notice the tire scuff marks on the concrete wall to the right of the sidewalk. They just cleaned and painted that a few months ago.
                Last edited by Retrorockit; 09-06-2023, 06:03 AM.
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