September 25, 2012

Comments (14)

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It's interesting that, in that last clip the sensor is NOT aligned with the bike lane at all. Hopefully that's not the case in most places.

Alexa more than 1 year ago

traffic lights

Very interesting article from urban velo magazine on the subject. I must admit that I ride as if
these laws were already in effect.

J. KANDERS` more than 2 years ago

Legal Requirements

I find it ironic that for crossing a low volume intersection on a red where these sensor traffic lights are usually installed can cost you fines, points etc. while the sheer volume of traffic on main roads & highways are always consistently well above the set speed limits. Its amazing how our prejudices & behaviours are so skewed to allow the majority of road users to break the law & drive in a fashion that is inherently more dangerous than the cyclist who can safely cross a vacant intersection.

Glen Aldridge more than 2 years ago

Camera detectors

No mention of camera detectors we use in Iowa City that are becoming the preferred dector method. Daytime, cameras seem to see cyclists pretty well. At night, not so much. I've found if you angle yourself in the lane--the camera will see you as a wide object (they're looking for cars, of course) and the camera has a better chance of "seeing" you. Shining your headlight in the camera's direction seems to not work at all.

Donald Baxter more than 2 years ago


I got arrested in Reno, NV several years ago for going through a red light on my bicycle!

TruckerJohn more than 2 years ago

Pressure pads

WELL I live in Auckland, New Zealand (x3 Islands in the South Pacific Ocean) and this the comment I made when I posted your link:
Well, I don't actually know. Given that we have cycle bays at the front of lanes at intersections, I wonder where the pressure pad is then.
Personally, if I cannot see a car coming up behind me I go press the crossing button to activate the lights.
I have actually been in the situation where the lights do not recognize me and I wait through several stages until a car comes up behind and activated them
I thought that this was a good discussion post to make sos I could see what others do, or where they thing the pads are.

Julie Carr more than 2 years ago

City of Richmond BC

Ive found our city very responsive to my feedback about which sensors aren't working. In some cases, they've gone out the next day and re-calibrated the sensor. I've been very pleased with the service!

CaroLyn more than 2 years ago

no mention

No mention of how a handcyclist can hit the crossing button which are almost always nit very accessible for someone on a handcycle.

Tom more than 2 years ago


You guys actually STOP for red lights???? Unbelievable!!!

arnaldo more than 2 years ago

loop actuators

I live in the Great Lakes region, and this tactic -- which I have tried to use for three years now -- is pitifully inadequate. More than a few times, I have considered contacting the city about adjusting the electronic controls for these, but given the reaction they've had to other issues, I never felt much optimism about the results.

Mark B. more than 2 years ago


A lot of those supposed bike triggers don't do anything. There are many intersections in Toronto where the lights simply won't actuate until a car stops at the line.

The purported bike actuation spots are in many cases like the 'door close' buttons on elevators - there to make the user feel like something has been accomplished.

Adam H. more than 2 years ago

Actuated signals are a failure of traffic engineering

I understand and appreciate the pragmatic approach shown in this video. Honestly, as a cyclist, I would never bother waiting so long for a light- it just as safe (in most cases) to simply run the light as soon as there's a sufficient gap in traffic.

Regardless of your feelings towards red lights, and the necessity of bicyclists to wait at them, hopefully this video will at least demonstrate to you the idiocy of using traffic-sensing technology (like loop detectors) to actuate traffic lights.

Why should road users of any kind- whether traveling by foot, bike, or car- be expected to have to understand civil engineering technology just to be able to cross an intersection? There are enough distractions when we are out and about.

Moreover, actuated signals also increase delay for road users who must wait for them much longer than signals which automatically cycle through their program. If all road users are expected to stop and wait every time they come to an intersection, this represents a failure of traffic engineering, the whole point of which is to improve traffic flow- not delay it further.

Christopher Neal Wyatt more than 2 years ago

Nerf world

The long waits are caused by the over use of protected left turns rather than use of sensors. Who is behind this movement to ban the unprotected left turn?

Louis more than 1 year ago

Bicycles Detected at Traffic Signals

That video is out of date, no one understands what the X is, the new standard is to put a bicycle stencil down. Here's a good article about it:

Also, this one:

Peter Koonce more than 2 years ago