Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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bike pull chain

Pull Chain for Cyclists to Change Traffic Light
  [vote for,

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 to pass.

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 into it.

frankus, Jul 19 2007


       /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.
Texticle, Jul 20 2007

       cyclists stop at red lights?
po, Jul 20 2007

       Great for motorcycles and scooters too! (+)
Galbinus_Caeli, Jul 20 2007

       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.
awesomest, Jul 20 2007

       As can many problems in life, I find
BunsenHoneydew, Jul 23 2007

       Tin is ferrous?!
Texticle, Jul 25 2007

       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.
DrCurry, Jul 25 2007


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