Saturday, November 21, 2009

Traffic Lights at Union and Front Improved for Bikes

Though the Union Street Railroad Bridge is closed for the winter and spring while contractors clean up the old lead paint, its eastern bridgehead just got better for bikes!

This week the City just installed two video cameras to make crossing Front street at Union easier. Originally, bicyclists were asked to use the pedestrian signal and crosswalk. The Vision 2020 bike/ped group asked the Downtown-Riverfront Urban Renewal Area for support on improving the intersection. They had set aside some fund for Vision 2020 projects and agreed to help fund the new signs and new traffic light controllers.

The cameras mean that improvements on the first intersection on the proposed Union Street Bicycle Boulevard are essentially completed!

The detection zone for bicycles is in a hypothetical bike lane near the right hand curb on each side of the intersection. Traffic engineers will fine-tune the zone over the next couple of weeks.

The west-bound crossing had been especially difficult, and the induction loops there seemed dead to bicycles. This makes it possible to cross the intersection while maintaining usual lane positioning!

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