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.