Monday, 8 March 2010
"Evergreen" - a new kind of Green Wave for cyclists
Rotterdam is introducing a new kind of "Green Wave" for cyclists, called "Evergreen".
Green LEDs embedded in the cycle path from a couple of hundred metres before the junction will assist cyclists in judging the correct speed at which to cycle to avoid stopping at the upcoming traffic light. If you are riding amongst the green LEDs then you won't have to stop. The front green LED "travels" slower than the back LED which assists both faster and slower cyclists to arrive in time at the lights
The new infrastructure should be in place by the summer, and will feature in publicity surrounding cycling when the Tour de France starts in the city.
Green Waves are not the best treatment possible for traffic lights
Where green waves exist they dictate an efficient speed. Whatever speed is chosen by the designer, almost all cyclists will actually be either faster or slower than the chosen speed so they will be penalized and forced to stop. Stops cost cyclists a lot of their efficiency.
Traffic lights exist in order to resolve problems caused by motorized vehicles. They affect cyclists only when their routes are the same as the routes taken by drivers. It's frequently possible in the Netherlands to make shorter journeys by bike and avoid traffic lights altogether due to the unravelling of bicycle routes from driving routes.
Green waves for cyclists are rare in the Netherland and we don't have any in Assen. Frankly, I don't miss them as we have better infrastructure than this.