Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Classic Traffic Signal of the Week (4-25-07) Previous Next
Top of pageBottom of page

Detroit_signal
Member
Username: Detroit_signal

Post Number: 12
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2007 - 2:12 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

For my first picture, I will start with one of the "forgotten" green signals left in the city of Detroit. This one was at McGraw and Junction just off of Warren Ave. It was manufactured in the mid to late 1940s by Marblelite Inc. in New York City. It has fancy connecting hardware on top complete with "spear caps" or "finials. This particular signal has plastic lenses, probably installed as a replacement for the broken glass originals.


SOW4-25-07


Enjoy!

JOE C.
Top of pageBottom of page

Ray1936
Member
Username: Ray1936

Post Number: 1369
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2007 - 12:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Looking forward to your posts, Joe. That first one is a dandy.
Top of pageBottom of page

Detroitnerd
Member
Username: Detroitnerd

Post Number: 856
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2007 - 12:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hooray for antique infrastructure! They sure knew how to build stuff that lasts. Any pictures of the weird gears and cogs inside the control box?
Top of pageBottom of page

Detroit_signal
Member
Username: Detroit_signal

Post Number: 13
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2007 - 12:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Surprisingly I have no pictures of controllers becuase Detroit replaced most of their electromechanical ones years ago. There was an old GE controller at Alter and Kercheval until last year. It was broken off its post and leaned over, hanging on by the wires - lights still working!

JOE C.
Top of pageBottom of page

Jimaz
Member
Username: Jimaz

Post Number: 2021
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2007 - 2:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Interesting dents in that thing. I'd bet the dents on top came from hitting the cables in a heavy wind. It must have been a very heavy wind!
Top of pageBottom of page

Bulletmagnet
Member
Username: Bulletmagnet

Post Number: 351
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2007 - 6:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroit_signal, nice shot! I like the beat up look of this one, a real veteran of the traffic wars. Thanks for including the additional information about this particular fixture, as I would like to learn about makes these silent sentinels work. I'm looking forward to collecting the whole series! I will post some of my own that may be of interest to the viewers. Thanks again, for your contributions.
Top of pageBottom of page

Peter
Member
Username: Peter

Post Number: 50
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Friday, April 27, 2007 - 1:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

How long was equipment like this used before being replaced?
Top of pageBottom of page

Broken_main
Member
Username: Broken_main

Post Number: 1210
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Friday, April 27, 2007 - 7:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I pass that intersection all of the time. Is that signal still there now??
Top of pageBottom of page

Detroit_signal
Member
Username: Detroit_signal

Post Number: 14
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 6:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks guys for your comments. Typically, signals like the one pictured above were retired 30-35 years ago because of brittle wiring, broken hardware etc. Because Detroit has such a vast traffic control infrastructure and not enough funding (until now) to replace the old stuff, you can still find signals 60+ years old. I went past this signal today and it is still there.
Top of pageBottom of page

Bob
Member
Username: Bob

Post Number: 1457
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 6:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I particularly love how they replaced the old lights (not the fixtures) downtown with LED lights. Probably saved them some money.
Top of pageBottom of page

Psip
Member
Username: Psip

Post Number: 1863
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 8:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just for argument, Say a standard 4 way stop light, the lamps are 100 watts, that means each fixture draws 400 watts 24 hours a day. If there are 2 overheard fixtures, double that to 800 watts. The larger fixtures probably have 150 watt lamps, that means 600w each or 1200 for the intersection.
Using LEDs reduce the power consumption by up to 85%. A significant savings of power and money. Of course the LEDs cost substantially more then incandescent, but that is quickly realized in power and labor savings.

http://www.sunbriteleds.com/ar ticles/index.asp?file=traffic_ signals.htm
Top of pageBottom of page

Detroit_signal
Member
Username: Detroit_signal

Post Number: 15
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 8:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

LEDs mean a lot of energy savings. BUT I don't understand why Detroit converted a lot of old signals to LEDs before the Superbowl and then replaced and removed entire instersections/signals anyway. Was the earlier conversion to LED needed? Could the city have waited 2 more years to do what they are doing now? How much money was needlessly spent if they were just going to get new LED signals eventually?

A typical 4 way intersection of the 1960s had two overhead signal clusters and four corner signal clusters. Four bulbs are on in each direction at a time, 16 total for one indication. Each bulb is 67 watts. 16x67 watts is 1072 watts at ANY given time during a 24 period. That's a lot of watts! It would be about 160 watts for LEDs at a given time. About 85% just like Psip said!
Top of pageBottom of page

Cman710
Member
Username: Cman710

Post Number: 291
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 10:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroit_signal, I am not sure how much you follow stuff about light signals in other cities, but within the last five years, New York City converted to the LED lights in order to save on cost. I could swear, though, that the city left all of the yellows as old style lamps, rather than putting in LEDs. Do you know anything about that?

Also, how long in the old, non LED fixtures, would a lamp last?
Top of pageBottom of page

Detroit_signal
Member
Username: Detroit_signal

Post Number: 17
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 10:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I can absolutley shed light on the NYC LED thing. Yes, the yellow light is left as an incandescent-style becuase of budget/feasability reasons. LED modules are expensive and if a municipality such as NYC can save short-term costs, then skipping the yellow-light conversion is not a bad thing. Yellow lamps are only lit 3-5 seconds anyway, so the cost savings wouldn't take effect for awhile with LEDs.

Lamps can last for more than a year and then some. Most municipalities change lamps once a year regardless. 67 and 69 watt lamps are used in 8" diameter lens signals and 12" plastic signals to reduce lamp heat, while 12" aluminum signals can use 116-150 watt lamps for higher visibility. They throw out TONS of heat!
Top of pageBottom of page

Larryinflorida
Member
Username: Larryinflorida

Post Number: 42
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 11:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Is there a power supply unit to lower the line voltage to LED levels of DC and how hot does it get?
(or how efficient is it?) That has to add to the total if they use them.
Top of pageBottom of page

Psip
Member
Username: Psip

Post Number: 1865
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 11:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Its probably a switching power supply, very efficient (the same type in your computer). Not anywhere near as much copper as in a transformer.
It gets warm, but that normal and helps in the winter. It also can supply power for the computer that runs the signal.
Top of pageBottom of page

Detroit_signal
Member
Username: Detroit_signal

Post Number: 19
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 11:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here is the model of LED used widely here is SE lower MI.

http://www.advancedtraffic.com /dialight-p3.htm
Top of pageBottom of page

Psip
Member
Username: Psip

Post Number: 1866
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 11:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That make sense. They distribute the power supply, provides redundancy, and no wiring changes. They might have to string new cables is the current is higher then the rated cables.
Top of pageBottom of page

Larryinflorida
Member
Username: Larryinflorida

Post Number: 43
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Monday, April 30, 2007 - 3:35 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Looks like a little baby switcher on the back of each LED array. They run in the 90% + efficiency area, so if you were replacing the 67 watt incandescent with the LED array and switcher,
You would have the increased optical efficiency of the LED's but a minor AC to DC conversion loss of the switching supply.

But since its all one unit, retrofit is easier. Way easier!
Top of pageBottom of page

Bulletmagnet
Member
Username: Bulletmagnet

Post Number: 374
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Tuesday, May 01, 2007 - 6:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroit_signal, here is a signal you might like:
http://i148.photobucket.com/al bums/s22/bulletmagnet69/kodakg roup042907072.jpg?t=1178059668
What can you tell us about this one?:
http://i148.photobucket.com/al bums/s22/bulletmagnet69/kodakg roup042907102.jpg?t=1178059747
Top of pageBottom of page

Detroit_signal
Member
Username: Detroit_signal

Post Number: 22
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, May 02, 2007 - 10:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks Bullet!

Both pictures feature signals made by Eagle Signal. Both date around the mid 50s to early 60s. The individual sections are held together by threaded rod that runs the length of the entire signal. Endplates go at the top and bottom to keep everything together. I have one of these at home. The pedestrian signal has the same housings used on the regular signal with square adaptors for the WALK and DONT WALK lenses.

(Message edited by detroit signal on May 02, 2007)
Top of pageBottom of page

Detroit_signal
Member
Username: Detroit_signal

Post Number: 23
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, May 02, 2007 - 10:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here is the Eagle Signal that I restored 3 years ago.


Eagle


JOE C.
Top of pageBottom of page

Patrick
Member
Username: Patrick

Post Number: 4341
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 02, 2007 - 10:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A little off subject....how much does a signal cost? I noticed that there are still a few major intersections in SCS without turn signals. Is it a budget issue?
Top of pageBottom of page

Detroit_signal
Member
Username: Detroit_signal

Post Number: 24
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, May 02, 2007 - 10:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A new intersection (including poles, controller, signals, wiring, cable, etc.) is now from $75,000 to $275,000.
Top of pageBottom of page

Patrick
Member
Username: Patrick

Post Number: 4344
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 02, 2007 - 10:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Does that amount include all the manual labor involved as well?
Top of pageBottom of page

Detroit_signal
Member
Username: Detroit_signal

Post Number: 25
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, May 02, 2007 - 10:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Patrick,

Macomb County has done a lot of signal upgrades during the last 4 years specifically. Everything is pretty much upgraded to its optimum efficiency in the SCS area. Any particular intersection in mind??
Top of pageBottom of page

Detroit_signal
Member
Username: Detroit_signal

Post Number: 26
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, May 02, 2007 - 10:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Does not include labor I believe.
Top of pageBottom of page

Patrick
Member
Username: Patrick

Post Number: 4345
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 02, 2007 - 10:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think there were several along Little Mack, but I havent been there in a few weeks. It just seems like the city was a bit behind the times with that. How long does it usually take to install/replace an intersection light?
Top of pageBottom of page

Detroit_signal
Member
Username: Detroit_signal

Post Number: 27
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, May 02, 2007 - 11:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It can take several weeks/months depending on how much work needs to be done underground.

Little Mack is not really a candidate for left turn signals becuase of lesser traffic volume and demand. Harper on the other hand is a better candidate and now has left turn signals at every mile road (except 11 Mile boulevard). Adding a left turn signal is not always better becuase it takes away the green light time for thru movements. This makes it harder to keep traffic moving in rush periods.
Top of pageBottom of page

Japes
Member
Username: Japes

Post Number: 15
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Thursday, May 03, 2007 - 12:25 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Like detroit_signal said there are many things that go into a intersection, the cost can vary, and even his $275,000 is low, if you have a major intersection, with mast arms (where the lights are on poles like in the CBD, or Big Beaver in Troy) vehicle detection, battery backup / automatic natural gas generator, multi-signal heads, two way communication with other signals, new controllers you can be talking upwards of $800,000 to a million dollars. If your talking just a basic install with diagonal span wire and can use wood poles or existing DTE poles, two heads and no ped crossing your right around $70,000, the cost goes up from there.

Signals are being upgraded as there are some new laws that are going into affect and your in a phase-in period. 12" signal heads, thicker span wire, have to phase out the Flashing Red Left bulb on the turn arrow (they will be replaced with the flashing yellow arrows, seen in newer intersections in Oakland county) Wayne county will start installing them soon as well. Some are just 50-60 years old, you can see them scattered around in old communities.

Some older communities handle their own traffic signals, some contract with the county to handle them, and some do a hybrid of both. Also with the state not having as much money some of these rebuilds are getting pushed back.

(Message edited by japes on May 03, 2007)
Top of pageBottom of page

Patrick
Member
Username: Patrick

Post Number: 4356
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, May 03, 2007 - 12:34 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It seems as if most lights in Michigan have an actual colored bulb inside whereas lights in other states have a solid color or panel inside.

Add Your Message Here
Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.