Fort Collins, CO has installed new bicycle-friendly sensors at six intersections around the city:
Traffic engineers say modern bicycles don’t contain enough metal to trip a sensor that is designed to detect automobiles. So they’ve installed more sensitive detectors directly in the bike lanes at some intersections that are difficult to cross.
“There’s a little white bike symbol right on the pavement,” said traffic engineer Joe Olson. “We just put ’em in place over the past few weeks. These are not actually tied into the pedestrian push button, but rather have the ability to give “Green time” based solely on the presence of a bicycle.”
Olson says each bike detector costs about $700, which is far cheaper than video detection systems, which he says costs about $4,000 per detector. Olson says there may possibly be more on the way. “This is just the beginning,” he says.
This certainly sounds like a sensible and cost-effective solution to the frustrating problem of bicyclists waiting patiently for traffic lights that never change (which, in my experience, is a rather large percentage of signals).
How about getting some of these in Kansas?