Where Traffic Signals Automatically Give Cyclists Priority

If you’re walking to a signalized intersection in the United States, there’s a good chance if you don’t push a button, you’re not getting a signal to cross.

That cars-first approach can get to seem like the natural order of things. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In the Dutch city of Assen, the situation is reversed at some traffic lights — cars must wait, while bicyclists are given priority. David Hembrow at A View from the Cycle Path explains:

Assen has 28 sets of traffic lights. Three of them are set up in such a way that they default to green for cyclists. i.e. their usual situation is showing a green light for cyclists and they will only switch to red for cyclists and green for motor vehicles a sensor leading to the junction is triggered by the motor vehicle.

The junction featured in this blog post [and above video] is one of two very close together on a secondary cycle route in an industrial area in the west of Assen which give priority to bikes.

Hembrow says even though this is an industrial area far from the center of town, the Dutch know that all portions of the city have to be safe and convenient for cycling if that’s going to be a viable transportation option for most people. These lights help encourage cycling even for long distances and out-of-the-way places.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 reminds readers that every decision we make as drivers can have enormous consequences for the lives of children. The Active Pursuit reports that a pretty solid “vulnerable road users” law seems to be on its way to passage in the Wisconsin Statehouse. And Beyond DC laments the loss of DC planning chief Harriet Tregoning, who’s moving on to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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