He’s like the energizer Bunny


He’s like the energizer Bunny

I just love Tom Potter. He just keeps going and going and inventing and inventing. His latest is a loop detector designed to count vehicles and detect tailgating and actually work. As we all know most of these anti-tailgating devices don’t work very well. Tom says his does, and frankly I  believe him. After all, he invented the self turning loop detector low those many years ago.

Tom has been running his Reno A and E operation in the northern Nevada city for over a decade and turning out innovation after innovation in the loop detector business. He is a shoemaker that has stuck to his last. I’m not sure there’s anyone who knows more about these very necessary devices.

If it wasn’t for loops we couldn’t turn left, issue a ticket, close a gate, count cars on levels, and do a myriad of things dealing with traffic and parking.

I asked him why anyone cared about tailgating in left turn lanes and he told me that the important thing was the number of cars that turned left. Traffic engineers need to know that data so timing can be adjusted.  A couple of cars different and you could end up sitting in that lane through three light changes. I’m sold.

He has a wolf in his logo — its from his association with the University of Nevada, Reno and their mascot, the wolf. We exchanged stories about wolves and coyotes. Great when you live out in the wild…

Tom’s a great guy, and from what I can tell, his stuff does what he says it can. Not something one can say about everyone in the room at the IPI.

I did challenge him, Make a loop that could be used to issue a ticket, properly — that is, ensure that the thing sitting in front of the ticket spitter is a car and then be sure that it drives off properly and enters the lot.  You know, replace the old treadle and loop fandango that works, but would drive Rube Goldberg wild. He thought about it for a minute and said he would get back to me.  I’ll bet he will


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John Van Horn

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