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  1. #1
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    Ames Black Cables Over Road...

    What the heck are these things? I've been driving over them all night in Ames tonight.

    Black cables stretched across the road, some on University, some on 16th, Beach Ave, Mortensen...some sort of sensor for stop lights? Though a few are in weird spots. Some sort of speed something?

    Appear to be connected to some boxes off the side of the road with solar panels on top.



  2. #2
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    Re: Ames Black Cables Over Road...

    I always thought they counted how many cars drive on the road. Might be wrong though.



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    Re: Ames Black Cables Over Road...

    Most likely Car counters, to find what routes have a certain traffic count. Probably to figure out where to spend road funds.


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    Re: Ames Black Cables Over Road...

    Road tubes. Used to count traffic, determine the average speed on the road, etc. Basically they're used in traffic studies to determine if roads need to be expanded.



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    Re: Ames Black Cables Over Road...

    Thanks guys. Hoping it wasn't the next step in the red light/speed camera craze or I probably would have earned enough speeding tickets to pick up a second job to pay em off.



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    Re: Ames Black Cables Over Road...

    Yep, for traffic studies. If there is a single cable, they are strictly counting the # of cars. With 2 cables, they are counting cars and recording speeds.



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    Re: Ames Black Cables Over Road...

    They steal your credit card numbers.



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    Re: Ames Black Cables Over Road...

    Quote Originally Posted by kilroy View Post
    Most likely Car counters, to find what routes have a certain traffic count. Probably to figure out where to spend road funds.
    Yep this is it. Ames does it all the time.



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    Re: Ames Black Cables Over Road...

    I don't think they would be used for storing the speed of cars due to different lengths between wheels on cars



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    Re: Ames Black Cables Over Road...

    Quote Originally Posted by bos View Post
    They steal your credit card numbers.
    That is only if there are 3 cables.


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  11. #11
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    Re: Ames Black Cables Over Road...

    Quote Originally Posted by IowaStateClones View Post
    I don't think they would be used for storing the speed of cars due to different lengths between wheels on cars
    That's why there are 2 cables, sometimes.
    Taking the time it takes for your front tires to hit the first cable, and then the second cable. Has nothing to do with the rear wheels.


    Last edited by cyclonedave25; 04-18-2011 at 08:29 PM.
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    Re: Ames Black Cables Over Road...

    Quote Originally Posted by IowaStateClones View Post
    I don't think they would be used for storing the speed of cars due to different lengths between wheels on cars
    Average it out over a ton of cars and it becomes more useful.


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  13. #13
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    Re: Ames Black Cables Over Road...

    Those are traffic counting tubes. They actually do it every year, just in different parts of the state. The one tube is just a pure volume number, while the two tubes are there for seeing which way the vehicles are traveling and which class of vehicle it is. No speeds are recorded or stored in the machines, but can be seen if the box is open and in a specific mode. I have done this job the past two summers and possibly this summer if a full time job doesn't pan out.

    And this is done by the Iowa DOT and does not really have anything to do with changing of stop signs to lights or anything. Mainly just a survey of the traffic flow in Iowa.


    Last edited by agardini; 04-18-2011 at 08:45 PM.

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    Re: Ames Black Cables Over Road...

    Hopefully they finally put some street lights up on Mortensen. Well overdue.


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    Re: Ames Black Cables Over Road...

    Quote Originally Posted by vmbplayer View Post
    Hopefully they finally put some street lights up on Mortensen. Well overdue.
    No kidding. Surprised that street didnt get lit up like the sun after that girl got hit there a few years back.



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