Quick Tip – Triggering a Green Light on a Bike – By: Nicole

Note: This does not apply to all intersections

If you have ever cycled on the transitway, which connects the St Paul and Minneapolis U of M campuses, you may have come to the intersection with Energy Park Drive. Each time that I travel down this road, I often come upon a cyclist that is perched on the curb waiting….and waiting…hoping for the light to change. Sometimes this person will eventually give up and get onto the side path in order to push the pedestrian button.

Introducing Exhibit A: outlined loop vehicle detector

These loop detectors are designed to sense when a vehicle is at the light. Whether or not they detect bicycles is dependent on the configuration of the loop design and also the sensitivity.

The ones at the Energy Park Drive intersection and the ones found on the downhill run to Como Ave work quite well, as long as your rims travel over one of the lines as indicated by the arrows. Be sure to experiment to see if you find any lucky intersections that work well on your ride.

If you do travel through a stubborn intersection, be sure to read up on the Unchanging red light law that was added in 2010 or put in a request that the sensitivity of the loop detector be changed, particularly on a bike heavy route.

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5 Responses to Quick Tip – Triggering a Green Light on a Bike – By: Nicole

  1. moose says:

    Very cool. Who do we contact about changing detector sensitivity?

  2. hokan says:

    I sometimes ride on the transitway and can see some of the loops, but not all. I’ve been thinking about asking the U to mark them.

    • hokan says:

      I just talked with the U bike coordinator and he says he’ll see what it takes to get loop detector markings painted on the transitway.

      If you want to see that this symbol will look like, it’s shown in figure 9c-7 in the Minnesota Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (usually paired with sign r10-22).

      The MMUTCD can be seen here:
      http://www.dot.state.mn.us/trafficeng/publ/mutcd/index.html

  3. Nicole says:

    Moose – if you are in Minneapolis, try calling 311. The city handles all the detectors on the streets.

  4. bb says:

    Give them a block mounted wheel and tell them to test.

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