AARoads Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: New York  (Read 1134157 times)

seicer

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1787
  • Last Login: Today at 10:07:25 PM
    • Bridges & Tunnels
Re: New York
« Reply #5550 on: September 09, 2021, 08:19:32 PM »

I like what Ohio has done: variable speed limits based upon whether or not it is needed or not. On long stretches of I-71 and OH 11 (from last weekend), the variable speed limits were set to 70 MPH because the construction zone was not active. When they are active, the lights flash, and the variable speed limits are lower.

What determines active? On both highways, they were in various stages of being asphalted. Nothing major, and nothing that couldn't be attempted at 70 MPH. There were no workers. There is no reason that it needs to be signed for 55 MPH if it's not required.

Jim

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 5431
  • Check out https://travelmapping.net

  • Location: Amsterdam, NY
  • Last Login: Today at 10:36:45 PM
    • Travel and Other Pictures
Re: New York
« Reply #5551 on: September 09, 2021, 08:58:26 PM »

And not all "inactive" work zones are the same.  Take the NY 30 bridge rehab in Amsterdam.  Right now, the one open lane in each direction is very narrow between jersey barriers and slowing down is prudent even when there aren't workers just on the other side of the barriers.

Bottom line for me: keeping unreasonably low work zone speed limits in place for inactive work zones where driving conditions are more or less normal discourages slowing down in those cases where it's necessary for safety.
Logged
Photos I post are my own unless otherwise noted.
Signs: https://www.teresco.org/pics/signs/
Travel Mapping: https://travelmapping.net/user/?u=terescoj
Counties: http://www.mob-rule.com/user/terescoj
Twitter @JimTeresco (roads, travel, weather, sports)

Alps

  • Everybody Obeys the Octagon
  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 14654
  • Elimitante the truck trarffic,

  • Age: 38
  • Location: New Jersey
  • Last Login: Today at 08:42:18 PM
    • Alps' Roads
Re: New York
« Reply #5552 on: September 10, 2021, 12:35:26 AM »

So back to the work zone question, how might one establish that workers are not present—as opposed to present, but on break, or just working away from the roadway—and thus the speed limit not in effect?
The speed limit should only be in effect when work vehicles are active or you see workers. Opinion.

Well, that's what I mean—how do you determine, by observation, that a work vehicle is active? And what about those with in interest in the case who aren't present to observe anything? I mean…suppose you hit a worker because you didn't see him?

(Mind you, I'm not arguing in favor of speed limits at empty work zones. I'm just trying to visualize how something that seems so subjective could be applied fairly and evenly—and effectively.)
It's active if it shows any sign of moving or lights flashing or being occupied. It's not active if it's just sitting there doing nothing. And if you don't observe a worker, that is entirely your fault anyway and signs won't stop you.

empirestate

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4862
  • Last Login: Today at 09:38:18 PM
    • Empire State Roads
Re: New York
« Reply #5553 on: September 10, 2021, 01:44:00 AM »

So back to the work zone question, how might one establish that workers are not present—as opposed to present, but on break, or just working away from the roadway—and thus the speed limit not in effect?
The speed limit should only be in effect when work vehicles are active or you see workers. Opinion.

Well, that's what I mean—how do you determine, by observation, that a work vehicle is active? And what about those with in interest in the case who aren't present to observe anything? I mean…suppose you hit a worker because you didn't see him?

(Mind you, I'm not arguing in favor of speed limits at empty work zones. I'm just trying to visualize how something that seems so subjective could be applied fairly and evenly—and effectively.)
It's active if it shows any sign of moving or lights flashing or being occupied. It's not active if it's just sitting there doing nothing. And if you don't observe a worker, that is entirely your fault anyway and signs won't stop you.

Yeah, so…that's probably why this isn't how they determine it. Those criteria are fine and all, but simply too subjective to hang a broad regulation on—with such judgment calls as you describe, you'd be talking about reckless driving, or too fast for conditions, that sort of citation. And if that is the preference, perhaps the better solution is to forgo the concept of a work zone speed limit altogether.
Logged

kalvado

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4310
  • Location: upstate NY
  • Last Login: Today at 09:20:09 PM
Re: New York
« Reply #5554 on: September 10, 2021, 07:27:40 AM »

So back to the work zone question, how might one establish that workers are not present—as opposed to present, but on break, or just working away from the roadway—and thus the speed limit not in effect?
The speed limit should only be in effect when work vehicles are active or you see workers. Opinion.

Well, that's what I mean—how do you determine, by observation, that a work vehicle is active? And what about those with in interest in the case who aren't present to observe anything? I mean…suppose you hit a worker because you didn't see him?

(Mind you, I'm not arguing in favor of speed limits at empty work zones. I'm just trying to visualize how something that seems so subjective could be applied fairly and evenly—and effectively.)
It's active if it shows any sign of moving or lights flashing or being occupied. It's not active if it's just sitting there doing nothing. And if you don't observe a worker, that is entirely your fault anyway and signs won't stop you.

Yeah, so…that's probably why this isn't how they determine it. Those criteria are fine and all, but simply too subjective to hang a broad regulation on—with such judgment calls as you describe, you'd be talking about reckless driving, or too fast for conditions, that sort of citation. And if that is the preference, perhaps the better solution is to forgo the concept of a work zone speed limit altogether.
The question is what are we trying to achieve with these speed limits.
If actual safety is at stake, most work zones I see have trucks with flashing lights parked a bit upstream. Since workers typically do not just walk into the work site, they typically arrive in one of those vehicles equipped with lights and what not. So active equipment definition would work just fine. If there is no visible vehicle and no vests are seen, then either there is no need for enforcement, or there is a much bigger safety concern about drivers not seeing hazards. 55 MPH crash into a person isn't much better than 75 MPH crash.   

NY typical hypocrycy, of course, means safety is an afterthought and actual fine receipts are the true thing. Then a most obscure and meaningless definition would be violated the most.
Logged

Rothman

  • *
  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 8771
  • Last Login: Today at 10:32:13 PM
Re: New York
« Reply #5555 on: September 10, 2021, 08:07:12 AM »

NY typical hypocrycy, of course, means safety is an afterthought and actual fine receipts are the true thing. Then a most obscure and meaningless definition would be violated the most.

Not sure how you came to this conclusion given the previous statements.  It also ignores NY's stringent work zone safety practices (e.g., I have seen shirtless guys leaning on shovels and the like in Maine -- that would result in a work zone shutdown in NY).

Work zone speed limits are only one tool in trying to ensure safety of the work crews.

Work Zone Fatalities, 2018:

Texas: 157
Florida: 80
California: 71
Georgia: 58
Alabama: 27
PA: 23
...
NY: 5 (31 out of 50 states; I'd imagine even lower, if normalized per VMT)
« Last Edit: September 10, 2021, 08:18:21 AM by Rothman »
Logged
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position(s) of NYSDOT.

webny99

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 8418
  • Age: 22
  • Location: Rochester, NY
  • Last Login: Today at 09:42:15 PM
Re: New York
« Reply #5556 on: September 10, 2021, 08:18:12 AM »

It also ignores NY's stringent work zone safety practices (e.g., I have seen shirtless guys leaning on shovels and the like in Maine -- that would result in a work zone shutdown in NY).

Why would that be, just because they aren't wearing a high-vis vest?

I've definitely seen construction workers in NY (and probably other states too) wearing a high-vis vest in place of a shirt, but that's a bit different.
Logged

Rothman

  • *
  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 8771
  • Last Login: Today at 10:32:13 PM
Re: New York
« Reply #5557 on: September 10, 2021, 08:34:37 AM »



It also ignores NY's stringent work zone safety practices (e.g., I have seen shirtless guys leaning on shovels and the like in Maine -- that would result in a work zone shutdown in NY).

Why would that be, just because they aren't wearing a high-vis vest?


That and lack of other protective gear (hard hat).  From what I heard in a training from construction supervisors, NYSDOT policy is that work must stop when a safety violation is observed.
Logged
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position(s) of NYSDOT.

jemacedo9

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 754
  • Age: 49
  • Location: Phoenixville PA / Rochester NY
  • Last Login: Today at 10:01:33 PM
Re: New York
« Reply #5558 on: September 10, 2021, 08:36:21 AM »

PA changed its work zone laws back in 2014. the "ACTIVE WORK ZONE WHEN FLASHING" sign was introduced with a little white light at the top.

Per PennDOT:
Quote
Active Work Zones:
Posting of active work zones. Active work zones must be designated as such to notify motorists when they enter and leave the work zone. A white flashing light attached to the "Active Work Zone When Flashing" sign will indicate an active work zone. The flashing light will only be activated when workers are present and turned off when workers are not present.

Fifteen-day loss of license for driving dangerously. Motorists caught driving 11 miles per hour or more above the posted speed limit in an active work zone, or who are involved in a crash in an active work zone and are convicted for failing to drive at a safe speed, automatically will lose their license for 15 days.

Fines doubled/jail time increased. Fines for certain traffic violations — including speeding, driving under the influence, and failure to obey traffic devices — are doubled for active work zones. Also, the law provides for up to five years of additional jail time for individuals convicted of homicide by vehicle for a crash that occurred in an active work zone.

In 2014, 377 suspensions were imposed on motorists for work zone violations.

Most times, the use of the white light seems accurate.  Not always. I don't know how widespread these are being used now, however.
Logged

kalvado

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4310
  • Location: upstate NY
  • Last Login: Today at 09:20:09 PM
Re: New York
« Reply #5559 on: September 10, 2021, 09:04:45 AM »

NY typical hypocrycy, of course, means safety is an afterthought and actual fine receipts are the true thing. Then a most obscure and meaningless definition would be violated the most.

Not sure how you came to this conclusion given the previous statements.  It also ignores NY's stringent work zone safety practices (e.g., I have seen shirtless guys leaning on shovels and the like in Maine -- that would result in a work zone shutdown in NY).

Work zone speed limits are only one tool in trying to ensure safety of the work crews.

Work Zone Fatalities, 2018:

Texas: 157
Florida: 80
California: 71
Georgia: 58
Alabama: 27
PA: 23
...
NY: 5 (31 out of 50 states; I'd imagine even lower, if normalized per VMT)
I don't believe speed limit per se is helping. 55MPH crash vs 75 MPH crash is the same if hardhat and vest are the main protective equipment. If anything, driver awareness of workers and equipment  should matter. Of course, that should include speed adjustment that appropriate for the conditions - I wonder if most drivers would do that regardless of signage. Any driver would hate to be involved in a fatal or injury crash - both personally and from the consequences standpoint.

As for data... It can always be looked at in many ways. Just looking at the numbers, and some look strange.
One datapoint I definitely don't understand is 38% of pedestrians killed in work zones are actual roadway workers (national number). Sounds like road work is more dangerous to those around the site and innocent bystanders are more likely to get hurt than actual workers. WHY??
Nationally, 1/4 of those killed in work zones are workers, up to about 1/2 in NY.
About 1/3 of fatalities are truck involved, lower in NY.

My first impression is that data is significantly skewed.  Of course, that would never happen in NY, as COVID reporting shows. But defining workzone accidents as work-related as opposed to in-area should be an easy trick.


Logged

Rothman

  • *
  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 8771
  • Last Login: Today at 10:32:13 PM
Re: New York
« Reply #5560 on: September 10, 2021, 09:34:20 AM »

I'd imagine speed is a significant factor in how far a vehicle can intrude into a work zone and thus be a danger to workers.

Truth be told, I don't know how I feel about the new pilot camera enforcement, other than I know it has been allowed in other states and therefore legal arguments against it are pretty moot.  It also sounds like the next step in evolution from NY's Operation Hard Hats (targeted work zone enforcement by State Police).  Devil will always be in the details.
Logged
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position(s) of NYSDOT.

empirestate

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4862
  • Last Login: Today at 09:38:18 PM
    • Empire State Roads
Re: New York
« Reply #5561 on: September 10, 2021, 09:48:37 AM »

The question is what are we trying to achieve with these speed limits.

In this case, we're just trying to achieve a regulation that doesn't require unnecessary slowing for work zones when they are not being used to do work.

If actual safety is at stake, most work zones I see have trucks with flashing lights parked a bit upstream. Since workers typically do not just walk into the work site, they typically arrive in one of those vehicles equipped with lights and what not. So active equipment definition would work just fine.

You mean, defining active equipment as the display of flashing caution lights? That would certainly be less subjective, and more similar to other existing laws (like those for school buses and emergency vehicles).

It would also be fairly similar to the below:

PA changed its work zone laws back in 2014. the "ACTIVE WORK ZONE WHEN FLASHING" sign was introduced with a little white light at the top.

That's not [/i]quite[/i] the same thing as "when workers are present", but probably a much more practical solution than "it's a work zone if you see people doing stuff."
Logged

Rothman

  • *
  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 8771
  • Last Login: Today at 10:32:13 PM
Re: New York
« Reply #5562 on: September 10, 2021, 10:07:30 AM »

I do like the active work zone signs in PA, but when they're not flashing, it can cause minor confusion.  Still better than "when workers present" or similar phrases used in other states.
Logged
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position(s) of NYSDOT.

kalvado

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4310
  • Location: upstate NY
  • Last Login: Today at 09:20:09 PM
Re: New York
« Reply #5563 on: September 10, 2021, 10:15:06 AM »

I'd imagine speed is a significant factor in how far a vehicle can intrude into a work zone and thus be a danger to workers.

Truth be told, I don't know how I feel about the new pilot camera enforcement, other than I know it has been allowed in other states and therefore legal arguments against it are pretty moot.  It also sounds like the next step in evolution from NY's Operation Hard Hats (targeted work zone enforcement by State Police).  Devil will always be in the details.
Still, you touched a pretty interesting topic which I am digging a bit into.
Looking at the data, NY reports 35.5% ratio of workzone worker fatalities to number of fatalities in workzone crashes (all numbers are 9 or 10 years averages). Importantly, worker fatalities are a BLS number including con-crash fatalities. Same number in PA is 28.6%, 10.5% in TX and 18% nationally.
Gap between TX and NY  fatalities goes from 136:6.5 to 14:2.7.
Somehow my best explanation is how crashes in abandoned work zones are accounted for. Overall higher road fatality rate in the south is yet another story I don't understand.
Logged

Flyer78

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 175
  • Location: Philadelphia
  • Last Login: Today at 05:58:09 PM
Re: New York
« Reply #5564 on: September 10, 2021, 10:46:27 AM »

...
Most times, the use of the white light seems accurate.  Not always. I don't know how widespread these are being used now, however.

Pretty common at least on major projects (Turnpike, Interstates at least) - and the camera enforcement here requires at least two "Active Photo Enforced" signs before the "Enforcement Vehicle" (with an amusingly small sign) can grab your picture. Seems to get the job done, slow people down, if only long enough to pass that point.

PA also has "Covid-19 Safety Plan in Effect" signs... I guess that's ... nice?
Logged

kalvado

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4310
  • Location: upstate NY
  • Last Login: Today at 09:20:09 PM
Re: New York
« Reply #5565 on: September 10, 2021, 02:57:36 PM »

The question is what are we trying to achieve with these speed limits.

In this case, we're just trying to achieve a regulation that doesn't require unnecessary slowing for work zones when they are not being used to do work.
More like "reduce unnecessary slowing". even then there are two factors - slowing for people and harsh fines for endangering workers and slow down to road conditions.
There are situations when work zone slow down slow down is needed regardless of people present - hard lane changes, for example. 
Logged

Jim

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 5431
  • Check out https://travelmapping.net

  • Location: Amsterdam, NY
  • Last Login: Today at 10:36:45 PM
    • Travel and Other Pictures
Re: New York
« Reply #5566 on: September 11, 2021, 10:43:31 PM »

I was on the lookout for work zones with unneeded reduced speed limits today on a ride from Amsterdam to Pleasantville to Chatham and back home.  Other than the NY 30 Mohawk River bridge, which was under active work even at 7 AM on a Saturday, none would be considered active and none had any lane adjustments or pavement issues that would require traffic to slow for safety.  Yet all had their work zone speed limits in effect.  I slowed down through the zones on the Thruway but much of the traffic did not.  The worst was on the Taconic, an 11-mile or so stretch posted at 45.  Once it was clear that there was no good reason to slow down (other than wanting to avoid a speeding ticket), I went through a good 10 miles of it pretty much at 65, never passed another car, and must have been passed by a couple dozen, many going much faster than me. 
Logged
Photos I post are my own unless otherwise noted.
Signs: https://www.teresco.org/pics/signs/
Travel Mapping: https://travelmapping.net/user/?u=terescoj
Counties: http://www.mob-rule.com/user/terescoj
Twitter @JimTeresco (roads, travel, weather, sports)

seicer

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1787
  • Last Login: Today at 10:07:25 PM
    • Bridges & Tunnels
Re: New York
« Reply #5567 on: September 12, 2021, 08:39:57 AM »

There were vast swaths (+10 miles) of I-88 signed for 55 MPH because of "construction" for about two weeks when no work was being performed except for at the approaches to a bridge. They were finally doing work after on rehabilitating the concrete pavement but... this would have been a good candidate for the "work zone when flashing" signs with variable speed limits.

crispy93

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 146
  • Location: New York
  • Last Login: December 06, 2021, 03:44:00 PM
Re: New York
« Reply #5568 on: September 15, 2021, 03:28:02 PM »

There were vast swaths (+10 miles) of I-88 signed for 55 MPH because of "construction" for about two weeks when no work was being performed except for at the approaches to a bridge. They were finally doing work after on rehabilitating the concrete pavement but... this would have been a good candidate for the "work zone when flashing" signs with variable speed limits.

I got stuck in that 10 mile long work zone on the Taconic as well as miles of 55 on 684 where there wasn't even construction equipment on site.
Logged
Not every speed limit in NY needs to be 30

kalvado

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4310
  • Location: upstate NY
  • Last Login: Today at 09:20:09 PM
Re: New York
« Reply #5569 on: September 15, 2021, 04:05:59 PM »

There were vast swaths (+10 miles) of I-88 signed for 55 MPH because of "construction" for about two weeks when no work was being performed except for at the approaches to a bridge. They were finally doing work after on rehabilitating the concrete pavement but... this would have been a good candidate for the "work zone when flashing" signs with variable speed limits.

I got stuck in that 10 mile long work zone on the Taconic as well as miles of 55 on 684 where there wasn't even construction equipment on site.
And effect of such on true work zones was first described around 580 BC by Aesop who published a work entitled "A Boy Who Cried Wolf"
Logged

Roadgeek Adam

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1187
  • Warren CR 14 - Warrensburg, NY

  • Age: 30
  • Location: East Amherst, New York
  • Last Login: Today at 08:20:54 PM
    • My Flickr Photostream
Re: New York
« Reply #5570 on: September 15, 2021, 04:11:29 PM »

A Boy Who Cried Construction Zone.

Yeah, one of my trips on I-57 in IL heading northward was known for that.
Logged
Adam Seth Moss
M.A. History, Western Illinois University '17
B.A. History, Montclair State University '15
A.A. History & Education - Middlesex County College '13

ARMOURERERIC

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1149
  • Age: 57
  • Location: Morganton NC
  • Last Login: Today at 09:34:28 PM
Re: New York
« Reply #5571 on: September 15, 2021, 07:39:13 PM »

I-79 in northern WV says hi.
Logged

astralentity

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 84
  • Location: Galway, NY
  • Last Login: November 29, 2021, 12:12:51 PM
Re: New York
« Reply #5572 on: September 28, 2021, 07:22:40 AM »

https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Getting-There-Will-New-York-change-its-highway-16488756.php+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=safari

My X button can only take so much.

I don't see consistency.  I hear a lot of drivers looking for Exit 23 on I-87 to get to Albany, only to find themselves in Warrensburg.
Logged

Rothman

  • *
  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 8771
  • Last Login: Today at 10:32:13 PM
Re: New York
« Reply #5573 on: September 28, 2021, 08:12:22 AM »

https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Getting-There-Will-New-York-change-its-highway-16488756.php+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=safari

My X button can only take so much.

I don't see consistency.  I hear a lot of drivers looking for Exit 23 on I-87 to get to Albany, only to find themselves in Warrensburg.
Heh.  Brian gets an A for effort, there.  Poor guy having to tow the party line and not bring up the fact FHWA's pressure was behind the conversion in the places where it has happened.

It will be a great day in NY when people can tell how far they need to go on the Thruway just by simple subtraction.
Logged
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position(s) of NYSDOT.

kalvado

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4310
  • Location: upstate NY
  • Last Login: Today at 09:20:09 PM
Re: New York
« Reply #5574 on: September 28, 2021, 09:30:48 AM »

https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Getting-There-Will-New-York-change-its-highway-16488756.php+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=safari

My X button can only take so much.

I don't see consistency.  I hear a lot of drivers looking for Exit 23 on I-87 to get to Albany, only to find themselves in Warrensburg.
Heh.  Brian gets an A for effort, there.  Poor guy having to tow the party line and not bring up the fact FHWA's pressure was behind the conversion in the places where it has happened.

It will be a great day in NY when people can tell how far they need to go on the Thruway just by simple subtraction.
A more interesting part  is how much they would need to pay for that.
https://www.thruway.ny.gov/news/meetings/public-hearing.html
Public hearing on workzone automatic speed enforcement is scheduled for Wednesday Oct. 6, 2021, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. 
Logged

 


Opinions expressed here on belong solely to the poster and do not represent or reflect the opinions or beliefs of AARoads, its creators and/or associates.