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Trigger Happy

Filled under Bache & Lynch, Cycling on September 20, 2011 - no comments.

If you’re a cyclist, it can be frustrating getting stuck at a traffic signal and having to wait for a car to come up from behind to trigger the light.  But did you know that in many instances it is possible to trigger a light with your bicycle?  On-demand signals use what they call “induction loop vehicle detectors” to sense when a vehicle is waiting at a light.  These detectors are essentially metal detectors embedded into the pavement. You can often see evidence of loop detectors as lines cut into the road surface just behind the crosswalk (and it is  possible to trigger a light by placing your bicycle wheels directly on top of one of the wires).  Just be aware that some sensors are more sensitive than others and when in doubt, wait for the crosswalk signal to change so you can cross the street safely.

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