Saturday, August 06, 2011

Traffic Lights

     If you're brave enough to cycle in traffic in Fredericton, you probably notice the situation with traffic lights. You're waiting at the stop line for a green light, and you find yourself waiting for the light to change- a light that never changes. About 85% of traffic lights in this city are equipped with motion sensor activated lights. For those of you that do not understand- when a car passes in the motion sensor's vision, it flicks a switch telling Mr. Red-Light that there is a car waiting to proceed through the intersection. If you're a cyclist, you know it's impossible for the traffic lights to "see" you. The other 15% of lights are on 30 second or more cycles, meaning green light for 30 seconds in one direction and vice versa.
Copenhagen Bike Traffic Lights     How the flip are cyclists suppose to get through an intersection?! I think the motion sensitivity needs to be tweaked on the cameras to pick up cyclists, or maybe a special traffic light at major intersections? (Credit to Mikael for the picture.) I'm a little tired of doing a rain dance at an intersection for the light to sense me... Instead of dancing like a fool, I hang behind a car to do all the work for me.
     I'm sure every cyclist has encountered a motorist that misjudges the speed of a bicycle. For instance, this could mean a car passing a cyclist then turning right, cutting off the bicycle. This has happened to me a few times, and I definitely let the driver know. It's so tempting to lash out... Another situation is a car turning left, cutting off a bicycle coming in the other direction. These manoeuvres are extremely dangerous. Unfortunately, there isn't much a cyclist can do about it, other than to expect the unexpected.


  1. When I cycled in Fredericton, in the '70s, I'd just get off and walk across the crosswalk and re-mount on the other side. Simple enough.

  2. Yes, I do that too, depending on the intersection :)