Cyclists protected from road hogs

פורסם: 16 ביוני 2011, 7:11 על ידי: Sustainability Org

Gelderland provincial authorities have taken measures to protect cyclists from motorists running a red light. When a motorist approaches a traffic light at high speed, the green light for crossing cyclists is postponed for a bit.

To this end speeds are measured at a distance of 100 metres ahead of a traffic light. When the speed exceeds 90 km/hour and cyclists are waiting to cross, the red phase for the cyclists is extended by six seconds. This is but one example how traffic lights may be managed to improve the position of cyclists. Although cyclists are awarded more attention in traffic light regimes in recent years, there is still much to be gained, is the firm belief of Guus van der Burgt, traffic light regime specialist and co-inventor of ‘Kwaliteitscentrale’, a tool to evaluate the performance of traffic light regimes in the street. Van der Burgt thinks 80 per cent of all traffic lights in the street have not been optimally fine-tuned from the very start. But over time lots of things may go wrong as well. Van der Burgt: ‘Some loops perform well for years without any hitch, but others fail after a short period or display occasional hitches.’ The promises contained in the traffic policy documents are by no means always substantiated either. ‘Sometimes cyclists are promised maximum waiting times of 30 seconds, for instance. But in actual practice that is more often the exception than the rule.’ 

Van der Burgt advocates having those 30 seconds laid down in instructions anyway. ‘A case in point is public transport, where maximum delays at traffic lights are prescribed in public transport concessions.’