in many intersections around Austin´╗┐, traffic lights won't change unless a vehicle is detected. Unfortunately, bicycles and scooters are not massive enough to trigger signal changes. I personally experience this every day on my commute: I have to get off my scooter and walk over to the traffic light pole to push the pedestrian's button in order to get the light to change. This is an improper and potentially dangerous action for me to take, but it beats a) waiting for a car to come so the detection happens or b) running a red light.

I know that technology to detect scooters and bicycles exists. Disclaimer: I actually work in the intelligent traffic system industry. I won't disclose my employer so as not to influence any particular purchase.

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Grace Wilson about 6 years ago

This happens to me EVERY DAY also. So tiresome.

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Pbts Pbts about 6 years ago

One light on my route that is particularly bad is the intersection of Metric and Gracy Farms. Perhaps that can be looked at specifically. I think the phases need adjustment there anyway.

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Nate Nate about 6 years ago

My experience in Austin is that most of the sensors detect bicycles, but you have to place your bike at the right spot over the loop.  There are exceptions such as Metric and Gracy Farms, which should be reported to 311 to get fixed.

Maybe the city could provide information on its website about getting the sensors to detect your bike.

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Pbts Pbts about 6 years ago

Nate, that's interesting! I hope the city provides this info. Thanks.

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COA Transportation admin about 5 years ago

Sorry for the delayed response. This somehow slipped through the cracks.

Starting earlier this year, the City of Austin’s Traffic Signal Section began making changes to the vehicle sensor loops that we install.  For intersections that are malfunctioning of on our list for scheduled replacements, we have begun including “diamond-shaped” loops at locations on the intersection that bicycles most often tend to use.  In addition to the replacement of existing loops, these diamond loops are being included in the designs of nearly all new signal installations, where applicable. 

 Because of the smaller size of these diamond loops, compared to the larger rectangular loops, the sensitivity of the installation is supposed to be much higher, and more equipped in detecting smaller vehicles such as motorcycles and bicycles.  We plan to periodically test the accuracy and sensitivity of these installations, to ensure their effectiveness. 

 

In addition, staff is working to make these markers visible to assist bicyclists in knowing exactly where the best place is to stop, in order to ensure detection. 

The City also continues to evaluate alternate methods of detection including radar and infrared video detection. 

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Doug Jackson 2 months ago

Huge vote for this. This would be revolutionary in the traffic industry and a much needed change.

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panistefanin Miller about 1 month ago

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Walter Raymond about 1 month ago

This is very fascinating technology that could really benefit the metro areas in our country. I've seen countless people injured as a New Orleans tow truck driver because of failed safety equipment like this. Although the city of Austin seems to be improving on this.

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Alisa Romina 27 days ago

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