Monday, 30 July 2012

Triggering lights in Oak Bay

It does not seem to be widely known by motorists or cyclists that cyclists can trigger lights intersections or that many intersections are set up with this equipment. These triggers (called inductive loop detectors) are designed to set off an advanced left turn light or simply a green light. Sometimes they don't work because of a malfunction, but most often they don't work because the cyclist has no idea where to position his or her bike in order to activate the trigger. 

A painted symbol on the road lets cyclists know where to position their bikes, but without that, many would not know that this option exists. Some might simply venture out into the intersection without bothering to wait for the light to turn—an obviously unsafe and unwanted situation. 

In Oak Bay recently, a member of the Active Transportation Advisory Committee, set out to discover which intersection inductive loop detectors were working and which were not. He checked out eight intersections and found some worked and some did not. The results of his survey can be seen here

The survey results were presented to the municipal engineering department recently, which agreed that the intersections needed attention. Oak Bay staff are now painting bike symbols at all triggered intersections to indicate the correct place to position your bike. The Active Transportation Advisory Committee is pleased with the cooperation that took place on this item and invites all cyclists to watch for and test Oak Bay's newly painted intersections over the next few weeks and let us know how this the inductive loop detectors are working. 

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