New Law Makes it Easier for Bicycles to Change Traffic Light

New Law Makes it Easier for Bicycles to Change Traffic Light

There’s hope for bicycle riders who often find themselves needing to employ tricks to get the traffic light to change.   New state laws require all new and modified traffic signals to include bicycle friendly signal detectors. 

Two Bay Area cities are getting right to work.  A test project in Pleasanton is working with a camera-like device that can tell the difference between a car, motorcycle and bicycle.  If the microwave detector senses a bike approaching, it will add more time to the green light.  If it works, Palo Alto may start using the system next year. 

San Jose just received a $1.5 million grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to identify the best bike detection devices and install them throughout the city.

Up until recently, sensors usually only got triggered by four wheeled vehicles.  Two-wheel riders have had to resort to laying their bike flat, putting down the kickstand or getting off and pressing the crosswalk button to get the light to go from red to green.  One motorcycle rider told the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin he even put weights in his jacket to trigger the sensor.

Krystal Salmans