h a l f b a k e r y
A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside a rich, flaky crust
add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random
news, help, about, links, report a problem
or get an account
On most sensor-equipped traffic lights, an
inductive sensor detects the presence of a
big metal vehicle above it and directs the
light to cycle such that the car is allowed
Unfortunately, these sensors can't reliably
detect the presence of bicycles, so the
light never changes.
This forces a cyclist
to either run a red light, or scurry over to
the curb and press the pedestrian "push-
to-cross" button, neither of which is a
terribly safe option.
Video sensors can detect the presence of
cyclists, but are susceptible to rain and
snow foiling their operation. Or in some
cases buttons at the curb can be installed
for cyclists, but this isn't always practical.
Instead, a lightweight metal cable could be
suspended from above the bike lane.
Cyclists would simply come to a stop and
give the cable a tug to signal the light to
change. The cable could be equipped with
a lightweight rubber ball at the end to
avoid damaging errant cars that might run
||/suspended from above the bike lane./
||If there is a designated bike lane, why not have a more sensitive sensor in that lane only? I have seen this on one particular bike lane. It seemed to work at the time.
||cyclists stop at red lights?
||Great for motorcycles and scooters too! (+)
||It also annoys me that the sensors ignore bikes, but I'm not sure about a chain hanging down. How long before a truck driver, or someone else with a high vehicle, just cuts the chain up too high for use, or flips it up over a branch or something? I like Texticle's idea, and I think the pedestrian button could often be made more accessible. I don't generally mind pressing the button when the curb cuts make access simple.
||As can many problems in life, I find
||Having seen a traffic light that automatically responded to bicycles two decades ago (on a bike path in Cambridge), I'm thinking that you might as well get the powers that be to install more reliable sensors.