New Downtown Bicycle Signals Are Coming

The Austin Transportation Department (ATD) is planning to install experimental bicycle signals at 12 downtown intersections in early 2017.

The idea is to improve safety for both cyclists and motorists on roadways where both users share space and traffic lights. The bicycle signal faces will control bicycle movements at these intersections, giving them a distinct period of time to move forward through the intersection.

The Center for Transportation Research at the University of Texas at Austin is working with the ATD to conduct a before-and-after study for the experiment. They will be collecting data in an effort to discover whether compliance and safety have improved at the experimental intersections, and are also asking for input in the form of a survey. Check it out and take the survey here.


Image via ATD

5 Responses to New Downtown Bicycle Signals Are Coming

  1. Paul says:

    Exciting to hear but I hope they are not all modeled on the one pictured above at MLK. While I really want to love it, it doesn’t always function well – hard to know when the sensor picks you up or if you will get a signal – have sat through the very long sequence of lights without getting a green signal on enough occasions that I will just run the light when it is clear. A less complicated solution would just to reduce the length of the light cycle, and make sure that the southbound traffic (bikes) gets a green light to cross every time, maybe a 5 second head start on northbound traffic instead of relying on a sensor that seems to only intermittently work.

  2. kris says:

    I think it would be safer for much more bicyclists if the road hazards were dealt with in the bicycle lanes around the city and not the high visibility projects being suggested. When I refer to road hazards I mean things like voids in the pavement, sunken utility covers, manhole covers projecting into the bike lane. It is unsafe for a couple of reasons. Bicyclists have to divert their attention from monitoring traffic to navigate around these hazards or risk damage to the bicycle, which is another hazard, not to mention the expense of repair and hassle getting to a place to affect repairs. If this is not possible, then at least mark the hazards with bright visible paint until these hazards are dealt with.

  3. kris says:

    The survey was poorly designed, I don’t think there will be meaningful results. Questions were not well formed and the choices often appeared irrelevant, there was no legend for the graphics, but I could be wrong because the graphics were so small I couldn’t tell what they represented.

  4. Julia says:

    Please put detection for bicycles at Congress and 15th Street for bikes that are crossing Congress to/from the Capitol! Right now if there are no cars or pedestrians trying to cross you have to get off your bike and push the pedestrian cross button or the light will never change!