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The rectangle is the back of the street sign mounted on the light pole directing people to the Police Station.
weststmbtres, Any good traffic engineer has a stopwatch handy so yes I did time the signals to see what cycle length they are running at, not from the Rio however. Mahogany Ridge happy hour is the preferred location. My wife can tell you about the many "interesting" vacation pictures we have of traffic control devices around the world.
I see the comments that are often in the Pilot forum about how bad traffic is so I wanted to observe and see for myself. Coming from the Washington DC area I see nothing to complain about, but traffic is all relative to the local population. I thought the basic progression patterns that were implemented worked fairly well. Also for a downtown area with significant pedestrian traffic you want to try and keep the cycle length as low as possible while still serving the traffic. You could have a much longer cycle length that could move the traffic along Lincoln more efficiently but that would mean longer waits on the side streets and people more likely to jaywalk. Signal timing is always a balancing act of competing demands and trying to achieve a happy medium.
I agree the signals should be programmed to rest in the walk mode for people on Lincoln to cross the side streets and then change to the don't walk only at the end of the Lincoln phase. That would provide much greater opportunity for people to cross and it would be safer since when it does transition to the don't walk with the count down timers you would know when the green phase was actually going to end. As it is now, the flashing don't walk and count down interval times out and it rests in the steady don't walk for probably close to 50 seconds. People tend to ignore the don't walk and then are susceptible to be caught in the middle when the light changes.
As I understand it, since Lincoln Avenue carries the US 40 routing CDOT has responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the signals so even though the City has to live with the operation, CDOT staff are the only ones that can make changes to the timing. This is common across the country where there is split responsibility between the state and local jurisdictions.
To Melanie's question about pushing the button, those between 5th and 11th are most likely programmed to bring up the ped indications each cycle. Therefore you wouldn't need to push the button at those locations, but at other intersections outside the downtown you will need to push the button. Even if there is a vehicle present to actuate the signal, it is safer to push the button as it will give you the full pedestrian timing to cross whereas if it is only a single vehicle you are likely to only get the minimum green time of around 5 seconds.
When in Steamboat over the 4th of July I noticed that the ped signals along Lincoln for crossing the side streets were only giving the initial 5-7 seconds of walk rather than resting in the walk interval until near the end of the Lincoln Avenue phase. This should be an easy fix to change the programming to have the signals rest in walk for the main street phases.
The installation of the fiber should have no impact on the signal timing and it doesn't really matter when it is installed. The timing is all controlled locally at each intersection controller through the internal time clocks. The fiber will most likely provide connections to a master controller that will ensure that all of the controllers have the correct time and synchronization is maintained. This will also allow CDOT to remotely access each intersection and to easily make the programming changes I mentioned from their office rather than sending a technician to the intersection.
Based on my observations of the new timing plans that have been installed during my visits to Steamboat in February and earlier this month, the plans appear to be providing as good of a progression that can be achieved on a two way street and with the existing conditions. Having optimized timing for thousands of intersections around the country, I think the work that has been done in Steamboat was done as well as the community could hope for. I have had no involvement in the project and only offer my professional opinion as someone who owns property in Steamboat.
A few points of clarification of how a coordinated signal system operates. In order to maintain progression, the signals must operate on a fixed cycle length. For Lincoln Avenue this is 110 seconds not over two minutes as has been mentioned. If you want the signal to immediately change when you press the ped button you will not be able to maintain progression. Therefore, there is a set point in each cycle in which the main line traffic is stopped to allow the side street and pedestrian traffic to be served. If you push the button once or 100 times makes no difference, it should come up at the same point in each cycle.
Since I haven't observed the operation late at night I don't know for sure, but my guess is that the signals have been programmed with the side street pedestrian phases on recall during most times of the day for the intersections other than 3rd Street. That makes sense for an area like downtown that has a decent amount of pedestrian activity throughout the day. Late at night the signals could be programmed to be in free operation without coordination and in those cases if the ped button is pushed or a vehicle detected on the side street, the signal could change immediately so long as the minimum time programmed for the main street had elapsed. Don't know if that is being done now or not.
Because of the two separate phases for 3rd Street, all movements can't be accommodated within the 110 second cycle length. If the pedestrian button is pushed for someone to cross the east side of Lincoln, the intersection goes over the cycle length, gets out of synchronization with the rest of the signals and then must transition back into synchronization. Despite the disruption this may cause, in my professional opinion this is the best alternative given the limited amount of activity that pedestrian crossing receives. The alternative would be to run a longer cycle length for all of Lincoln Avenue, probably at least another 25 seconds, meaning longer waits for the vehicles and pedestrians on the side streets.
Nice to hear that Comcast is able to deliver some fairly decent speeds with their service in Steamboat. Thanks for all the data points that have been shared. Will be helpful as our condo associate evaluates the various options available to us.
Kevin, That is most likely the design speed of wireless connection hardware. While it may be capable of operating at 54 Mbps, your actual Internet connection speed will be much less. Try connecting to a site such as Speedtest.net which will actually test the upload and download speed of your Internet connection.
Would be interested to know what speeds others are actually able to obtain. Our condo association is considering various options for our Internet service so hearing what others are actually achieving would be helpful.
Having just spent a week at our condo in Steamboat I must say I found the speed and quality of service of our Internet access to be extremely poor. As a consulting professional that relies heavily on the Internet for conducting business it was extremely frustrating even for the limited amount of work I was trying to accomplish while on vacation. Living in northern Virginia where I am able to obtain 35 Mbps download speed and 6 Mbps upload speed with just ordinary home residential Internet access probably has me spoiled. During the times the Internet was available to me in Steamboat this past week, 0.98 Mbps was the best download speed I could achieve.
I understand that the Internet provider for our condo that serves many of the resort properties in Steamboat is in the process of upgrading their physical infrastructure to improve their speed. However, the technician that worked on the modem in our unit said that even with the upgrades, the speeds would be much less than what are typically available in larger cities.
As someone that plans to eventually reside in Steamboat for at least half the year, and will likely still be trying to provide consulting services, having faster and more reliable Internet access would certainly be welcomed. Having more reliable cell coverage that doesn’t drop out when I move from the balcony to the inside of the condo would also be more conducive to conducting business.
As a small business owner with less than 10 employees we have just seen our health care premiums increase almost 20% from last year and our deductible increase from $1,000 to $1,500. No wonder 61% want the law repealed.
I think you missed George's point completely. It was the residents and the business owners that did participate in the planning and design process that had the greatest influence on the project design. Because of the requirement for public involvement in most public work projects anywhere in the country, the few vocal participants that take the time to get involved are the ones that end of shaping the final outcome. As George said, if you don’t like the outcome, during construction is not the time to complain. Get involved in the planning and let your voice be heard then.
There are times the final decisions may go against the recommendations of the professionals such as George. There are generally many different alternatives and variations that can be applied to a project, all of which may be technically feasible, but have advantages and disadvantages. Unless a concept violates generally accepted design standards or practices it is hard for the professionals to override the will of the public.
As a transportation engineer I too have concerns with the impacts the bumpouts have on snow removal and to turning vehicles. The pluses are they reduce the crossing distance for pedestrians and therefore can reduce the time need to be provided to the side street, and generally improve pedestrian safety. If the businesses had a large input into the final decision then their agenda is generally to slow down traffic and make it easier for the pedestrians to move around and visit their businesses.
One of the biggest factors impacting the amount of tax revenue is the average rate people are paying to stay. As a rental property owner the number of rental nights I had in 2009 was one more than 2008 but the rental income was down nearly 25%. So while a similar number of tourists may be coming to town, the amount they are spending on lodging is significantly reduced. I have no idea what percent of the tax revenue is lodging based but I assume this is a major factor in the reduced sales tax revenue.
Last login: Monday, July 30, 2012
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