Bike Signal SUCCESS! Patience is a Virtue

12 Jun

If you ride a bike on city streets you probably have encountered it: the traffic signal that rudely ignores you. So you wait for a car to arrive or drag your bike out of the lane and onto the sidewalk to push the pedestrian button. You complain to the city and they say they’ll fix it. Then one day six months later, on your same old commute home there it is–marking exactly where bikes need to wait to trip the signal. Patience is a virtue.

Bike Signal Loop

Location: Wright Avenue at N Shoreline Boulevard, Mountain View, California, USA.


Posted by on June 12, 2013 in Bike Lane FAIL


10 responses to “Bike Signal SUCCESS! Patience is a Virtue

  1. Margaret

    June 14, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    My patience has ran out. 2+ years of complaining (politely) about an intersection that eventually had a major traffic signal, sensor and crosswalk overhaul. But, STILL no bike markings. I’m going to send this link to my city.

    Congrats on your success.

    • ladyfleur

      June 14, 2013 at 4:57 pm

      I was worried they wouldn’t mark this one since it’s actually on private property on the driveway of a condo complex. The DPW engineer initially said: “we’ll have to see if we have an agreement with the condo complex.”

      My thinking is that if the residents get a signal loop, it has to be marked for bikes since that’s the standard for complete streets. But I didn’t have to go there fortunately.

      • Margaret

        June 14, 2013 at 5:05 pm

        Lucky you didn’t have to pull the ‘complete streets’ card. I just sent your link to my city contact with yet another plea to have my intersection completed. Now that school’s out, there won’t be the necessary cars to trip the light for me. I hate having to schlep across traffic to get to the crosswalk. Sad thing about my intersection is that it is on the city approved Master Bicycle Plan. The major intersection overhaul was completed without even considering the bike plan. **sigh**

      • ladyfleur

        June 14, 2013 at 5:09 pm

        One more detail: The loop actually detected bikes before I complained. It just wasn’t marked so I knew it existed. After the engineer told me there was a loop I figured out where it was based on the cut in the roads. But I never saw anyone else do it except me. Everyone else went over and hit the ped button, which puts you in the crosswalk.

  2. Psy

    June 14, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    I wonder if they’re trying to tackle a few of these at the moment – after a year of waiting (and complaining), they finally adjusted the sensor on Shoreway and Holly so that the left turn signal picks up cyclists. It’s not marked yet, but it’s definitely working!

    • ladyfleur

      June 14, 2013 at 9:16 pm

      Thanks for holding the city (San Carlos?) accountable and bugging them. The hard thing on the Peninsula is that each city is managed independently. So progress in one city has little impact on another, unless we poke them and use a little peer pressure.

  3. PedalCat

    June 30, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    We have a few of these near Arizona State University. However, even at the intersections WITH bicycle signals, engineers place bicycle signal buttons on the edge of the sidewalk. This encourages cyclists to place themselves between the curb and turning vehicles. Here is an example: Do these cycling signal buttons occur in your state?

    • ladyfleur

      June 30, 2013 at 6:23 pm

      We have some of those buttons, but I don’t think they’ve installed any lately. As you said, it requires cyclists to move all the way to the curb which sets them up for right hooks. But they are better than being forced to use the pedestrian button which puts you in the crosswalk.

      When/if your school’s traffic engineers put these in-lane signal loops in, make sure they adjust the signal timing to allow a bike to cross in time. Some in California are 3 seconds, which puts riders in the middle of the road when the light turns yellow. I had the same city engineer lengthen a cycle for me at another intersection. It was an easy fix for them.

      • PedalCat

        June 30, 2013 at 6:29 pm

        Very good to know! I am currently working on my honors thesis project and originally wanted to do something with bike lanes on campus; however, I have revised my plans because of how difficult it is to work with city and campus engineers! Headache! I will certainly keep your advice in mind.

  4. Maggie

    July 1, 2013 at 2:02 am

    Love this blog….well done


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