Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fixing of a Prejudiced Light

The city has been constructin' along E 25th Ave, tearing a thin stripe up out of the middle of the road and then putting it back down again. Looks terribly important and productive..

What I've noticed has happened now, though, is that the light on 25th at Downing now recognizes bicycles! (Sort of.) That intersection is on what my map calls a “neighborhood bike route,” and the light used to not change for bicycles. It was a light on my PABST! (Prejudice And Bias Suck: Totally!) list with a "red" or "High Priority" rating. It's a high priority to have traffic signals on city designated bike routes recognize bicycles. That's obvious, right?

So I would reluctantly, but out of necessity, run the red light there at least once a day during my commute.

But, now! Suddenly I notice that twice it turned green for me! Neither time was there any motor traffic to trigger it. After a few more similar encounters, it became clear that the light is now on a timed cycle. (I watched it keenly from several blocks away as it cycled for no traffic of any kind.) I had hoped that maybe the intersection had been modified to recognize and change for bicycles, but I know that was wishful thinking. I'm unaware of any intersection in Denver that does that. But that is not to say that I don't consider this a victory because I most certainly do.

The change has me abuzz with curiosity. Was this a “one shot” kind of thing, an isolated adjustment unique to that intersection and unlikely to occur elsewhere along other bike routes? Or, and this is what I hope for because this would be really stinking cool, is the city adjusting traffic controls along bike routes to actually recognize—or at least periodically assume the presence of—bikes? ‘cause that’d be awesome.

In any case, I’m stoked about this change at this intersection. One less light I have to run!

Yay, safety.

Good ridin's!

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