So what are those light on top of traffic lights on arastradero? Palo Alto Issues, posted by John Walkjer, a member of the Gunn High School community, on Jul 26, 2007 at 7:28 pm
I was driving down arastradero and im thinking i entered the terman intersection as the light turned red. I wasnt sure what the rule was as to being in the intersection while the light was red so i called the police department. the woman who answered the phone said that palo alto did not use any such red light cameras. does anyone know what these cameras posted up and down arastradero, el camino, and foothill are used for?
Posted by bruce, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 31, 2007 at 9:32 am
They are most likely red light changing devices that are used by transit buses or fire engines. They hurry the light cycle to green for those vehicles.
The only other red lights mounted on signals I'm aware of are those synchronized with the red-yellow-green lights themselves. They are pointed away from the lights, and when the light turns red, they turn red. This makes it possible for a traffic officer to know when a car runs a light even though he is on a side street or down the street on the opposite side of the signal.
They are small, mounted high up and some are installed at Embarcadero and St. Francis Dr. I don't know the location of others although I think I'll check El Camino and Page Mill, a favorite red light running intersection.
Posted by yet another parent, a member of the Escondido School community, on Jul 31, 2007 at 1:25 pm
Maybe they're part of this Web Link system? You can view live traffic on certain Santa Clara County roads by clicking on the red dots on the map. These are in limited locations, though, so maybe the ones you're asking about are part of a different system.
Posted by Resident, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 31, 2007 at 1:38 pm
These cameras serve two purposes: they replace the wires-in-the-ground detectors that indicate whether a car is waiting and they provide video cameras for VTA to monitor traffic movement. The old wires in the street were a maintenance nightmare and major roads that utilize sensors to control traffic lights are switching over to these "detection" cameras.
Posted by Sarah, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Sep 1, 2009 at 12:34 pm
Big brother? Some of you folks are really paranoid. These sensors are only used to improve the flow of traffic. Most of them do not have enough resolution for any kind of identification of cars or people.