Response from City of Sydney re: Bike Lane Lights

As I was drafting the previous post, this popped into my mailbox. It resolves a few questions, more so than the previous RTA email, in fact

Subject: RE: Bike lanes, traffic lights, police operations and RTA guidelines

Hi Jason
The Lord Mayor has asked me to reply to you directly on this issue.  I'm also available to speak to you in person if you'd like to discuss in detail  
You've raised quite a few issues, and I know John at RMS has replied to you though you feel not all questions are fully answered.  So I'll try here, and you can let me know if you want more detail on any of these, or if I've missed anything.
1. Induction loops, carbon fibre and aluminium bikes, and drainage grate lids
The induction loop electical field detects overhead conductive (not just ferrous) material.  It will detect a bike with a carbon frame if it has aluminium rims.  The detector "learns" about nearby static metal such as the pit lid, and will ignore it.
2. Passing over versus staying put on the loop
Just before each phase change, it checks to see whether the loop detects the presence of a bicycle (at that actual time) and if so, will allocate a green light in the phase.  So you do need to stay on the loop until it does the check.   We have recently double checked all the loops on Union Street, and all work if there is a bicycle in the loop at the phase check time.
3. Location of the loop
As you point out, many riders pull over to the left kerb to rest their foot on the kerb, putting them outside the loop area.  To better match the infrastructure to the behaviour, we are doing three things:
(a) RMS have increased the sensitivity of the loops to the maximum setting, so that detection should now extend to slightly outside the loop itself;
(b) some of the loops have already been recut to put them as close to the kerb as possible and made wider to provide a wider area of detection, and more will be extended;
(c) RMS will investigate using a new overlapping loop system to extend coverage, though this hasn't yet been tested fully.
Let me know if you want more information, and thanks for spreading the word on the diamonds and how things work - it's helpful.
Fiona Campbell
Manager Cycling Strategy
City Of Sydney

posted @ Wednesday, March 21, 2012 12:51 PM


Comments on this entry:

# re: Response from City of Sydney re: Bike Lane Lights

Left by Farmer Bob at 3/21/2012 1:55 PM
Why? Why is the government wasting all this time, money and effort for a bunch of wankers on push bikes.

A more pressing issue is the pacific highway.

# re: Response from City of Sydney re: Bike Lane Lights

Left by Jason at 3/21/2012 2:00 PM
City of Sydney doesn't cover Pac Hwy, Bob. That's the NSW RTA and the NSW govt, with input from various local* councils on the way. Talk to Barry.

In other news, how's things?

* nearly wrote lolcat

# re: Response from City of Sydney re: Bike Lane Lights

Left by Farmer Bob at 3/21/2012 8:10 PM
Ah shit be alright I guess, radelaide got that stupied "Tour Downunder" thing going a few months ago and took over the roads. I'm pretty much anti push biker troll ;)

As for who funds what, I'm sure local council has beter things to worry about some push bike lanes.

They spend millions on these bike lanes and what's the ROI on usage compared to the ROI on road use. I'd be surprised if the bike lane ever had the kinds of parking lot problems the m2 has everyday.


# re: Response from City of Sydney re: Bike Lane Lights

Left by Jason at 3/22/2012 11:53 AM
Well, I can answer part of that. City of Sydney has counted 2100 trips per day through the Union street cycle corridor. SMH quoted 700 bikes in each rush hour, just through the PBH jucntion.

The ROI is not bad, especially when you do whole-picture economics on it and factor in non-immediate factors like better health outcomes based on higher cycling uptake. For my part, I'm a way lower risk to the health system, seeing as I've lost nearly 15kg since january, just from riding my bike and eating a bit better.

There's actually a bigger picture - Cycling is just part of some larger overarching strategies to reduce traffic pressure in Sydney, which is utterly absurd right now. I spent 1 1/4 hours travelling from Pyrmont to St Peters the other night, 55 minutes of which was on Harris Street in Pyrmont. I wanted to abandon the car and give up for ever. The council is trying for better bus and train usage (and timetables), it's pushing teleworking, and it's establishing bike lanes through otherwise low-trafficked streets to try and get more people out of cars, because cars are killing the place, they really are.

Council also likes to point out that not one car lane has been lost due to bike lane addition

# re: Response from City of Sydney re: Bike Lane Lights

Left by Beau Fabry at 3/22/2012 12:16 PM
Chrissakes, just install some bloody buttons. The inductive sensors were clearly never meant for bycycles.

# re: Response from City of Sydney re: Bike Lane Lights

Left by Jason at 3/22/2012 12:19 PM

I *like* the buttons at Harris Street/Union Street. Nice satisfying click, well-known and intuitive user interface, and can be given an audible feedback feature so you know that your light sequence is cued up.
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