Red Lights and the Idaho Experiment

bicyclenomad:

There’s been a lot of attention in our locale about the interaction of cyclists with car drivers. In Perth the traffic lights all trigger when a car sits over the lane in question. My solution is to use the relevant pedestrian crossing to get the intersection lights to ‘recognise’ me, but I’ll now consider the ‘Idaho’ rule. Bike paths are all very well, but they need to allow cyclists to travel at full speed – so sharing them with pedestrians is way more dangerous to all parties than riding on the road.

Originally posted on Off The Beaten Path:

red_light

Running Red Lights
Few things raise the ire of motorists (and some cyclists) more than cyclists running red lights. Yet anybody who has ridden in major cities has seen riders proceeding through red lights. Why do they do this?

Cyclists operate on streets that are designed for cars. The current traffic infrastructure does not work as well for cyclists:

  • Many lights have sensors that do not pick up cyclists. Cyclists often wait at red lights for minutes, and the light only changes when a car pulls up behind them. If there is no traffic, they may wait for a very long time.
  • Cars travel mostly on big streets with few stop signs and timed lights. Cyclists tend to use side streets where they encounter stop signs or red lights every few blocks.
  • Cyclists travel at lower speeds and are less insulated from their surroundings, so they are more aware of…

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