For as long as I've been in A2 (got about 3 weeks left) I've taken
advantage of a microwave detector for vehicles at Pine Valley and
Packard. There are just a few of these in the city, and I never did
get a satisfactory response from the city engineering staff why there
aren't more or even where the other ones were located. What's so
great about them? This detector never failed to "see" me on my
bicycle. I'd ride up to the intersection with Packard, the device
would trigger the light and I'd do a left turn onto Packard with the
traffic stopped. Nice. Safe.
Thanks to ARRA funding, this section of Packard is now integrated into
the Scoot system for A2, a datasystem that optimizes signal timing in
real-time for maximum traffic flow. One bicycle on Pine Valley
waiting for a green light may or may not be considered traffic. Fact
is, I can't tell if I'm being detected anymore because there is no
indicator and the signal change isn't immediate. I sit and wait, and
wait, and today decided that I probably wasn't detected so I waited
for a break in the traffic and pulled out.
This is WAY MORE Dangerous than the way this intersection used to
My other choice is to cross onto the sidewalk, push the pedestrian
crossing button, and ride across Packard in the crosswalk, then turn
left on the road surface and procede, essentially riding through a red
light. I don't like doing this ... this style of riding requires two
"trasitions" - vehicle to ped, then ped to vehicle - that makes my
riding less predictable to motorists.
Mr. Cooper, I support the concept of the Scoot system, and I'm all for
getting motorized vehicles in and out of A2 efficiently, but the
implementation in this case has degraded bicyclist safety. At the
very least these Scooterized intersections need some sort of indicator
to tell bicyclists they are detected. Without this, we are obliged to
wait until we see a break, then procede (this is in compliance with
the law), but this puts bicyclists at greater risk.