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Measuring speed of traffic. #197877 12/25/10 04:31 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 783
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LarryC Offline OP
Member
Folks,

We live on a "shortcut" that people use to avoid one traffic light in town. I am looking for an UNOBTRUSIVE, inexpensive automated means of recording vehicle speed, direction, and time of day. The road is a paved asphalt unstriped country lane that is approximately 20 feet wide.

My thought was two pairs of garage door obstruction sensors that are mounted fixed distance apart, along the side of the road. Record the time when each light beam was broken. Taking the differnce between the times will give me average speed and direction.

Cost and robustness is important. We are up in the New England portion of the US. I am thinking of using the parallel port of a PC for the data logging.

Thanks

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: Measuring speed of traffic. [Re: LarryC] #197878 12/25/10 09:15 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,546
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gfretwell Offline
Member
That will work if you are only looking at one lane. You can still have cases where you get bad results.


Greg Fretwell
Re: Measuring speed of traffic. [Re: gfretwell] #197879 12/25/10 09:29 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 783
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LarryC Offline OP
Member
Typical traffic is one vehicle at a time. It is the speeding Jack***** that decide, "Let's see if we can shave the almighty 30 seconds off of our trip, by speeding thru this low traffic neighborhood."

Watching the traffic data over a several week period would tell us when enforcement would be most efficient.

Re: Measuring speed of traffic. [Re: LarryC] #197880 12/25/10 09:40 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,546
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gfretwell Offline
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Don't they have the radar trailers there. We get them from the sheriff's volunteer group when we complain. Don't really expect much tho. Even if they do figure out you have a speeder problem, the "fix" will only last a few days (a cop with a radar gun).
For us, it slowed down a few people for a little while but it didn't last.

They may not even accept your data, only your complaint and you can always do that.

I did "let a trashcan" slip a couple of times and I have no hesitation of rolling a basketball out in front of the crazies. I thought about a bowling ball but plausible deniability is a little tougher with that. wink


Greg Fretwell
Re: Measuring speed of traffic. [Re: gfretwell] #197882 12/26/10 11:26 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,218
HotLine1 Offline
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We had the local PD do various 'surveys' to respond to complaints. Ranging from very well hidden speed recording/logging devices (chained to utility poles) to manned squad cars, to 'unmanned' squad cars. Visability reduced the problem, but as soon as that was gone it was back to speeding. I remember the 'top recorded was 65+ (in 25)

It's not 'shortcut' people, as we live in a waterfront area & this is one of the 'main' roads in & out. Yes, it's most prevelant in the spring/summer/fall. Speed bumps are requested, but the Twp is stalling for 3+ years. I'm begining to like Greg's ideas!!

Good Luck Larry!


John
Re: Measuring speed of traffic. [Re: HotLine1] #197883 12/26/10 12:36 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 359
M
mbhydro Offline
Member
If you could get the neighbors to contribute some money or you live in an area governed by a community association, United Rentals has the radar trailers for rent.

If not maybe the local township/city council could give you a grant to rent one.

Our Auto Insurance company loans out portable speed watch devices to community groups for a week at time to track speeding on residential streets.

Maybe some of the big auto insurance companies in the US like Allstate, Geico, State Farm have the same program.

Re: Measuring speed of traffic. [Re: mbhydro] #197884 12/26/10 01:25 PM
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gfretwell Offline
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There is always the obvious way to influence government. Have all of your neighbors write or call your local politician.


Greg Fretwell
Re: Measuring speed of traffic. [Re: gfretwell] #197885 12/26/10 01:46 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,218
HotLine1 Offline
Member
Dropping the matter to the politicos was another real waste of futility. Excuses abound, budgetary, engineering, astetics, etc.



John
Re: Measuring speed of traffic. [Re: HotLine1] #197890 12/26/10 03:55 PM
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Posts: 9,546
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gfretwell Offline
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I guess that is a local thing then. We can usually shake the bushes by calling a commissioner. It might be more response than you need.
I have had big things change with a well worded email hitting the commissioners and CC the county people who would actually implement it. It only took one Email to get that radar trailer here for a week and a cop for a few days after they looked at the data, but, as I said, it didn't last long.
I hit my county commissioner, the DOT commissioner and the VOICE people (the volunteers). I was CC'ed on a few back and forth "can we handle this" emails and the trailer showed up a few days later.


Greg Fretwell
Re: Measuring speed of traffic. [Re: gfretwell] #197892 12/26/10 05:11 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 783
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LarryC Offline OP
Member
It took me talking directly with the Chief to get an afternoon of enforcement. The next night I talked to the town Selectmen and it was "taken under advisement". The town applied to get a radar gun trailer via a gov't grant, I don't know if that will come thru.

What I want to do is collect data to show the Chief, so that he can provide "encourement" at the most opportune times.

Larry

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