Green to go

8 Dec

Even though I don’t ride my bike as often as I should, there are many people who still do every day, even when it’s raining. Of course, Holland is known for its bike riding and everything, but the seduction of taking the car when it’s raining becomes much bigger when you finally get your driver’s license.

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But, for those diehards wo still take the bike, moving from one destination to another ASAP is one of the most important thing when it’s raining. However, this can be difficult. Especially in the city when there are lots of traffic lights. For us cyclers, this is one of the biggest irritations; the endlessly waiting for a traffic light while all these dry motorists drive along. To make cycling in the rain a little more pleasant, in the city Rotterdam they’ve developed traffic lights who turn to green faster when it’s raining.

The city is getting better at responding to cyclists through things as wider cycle paths. Now they’re trying to enhance the bicycle experience even more. On a crossroad within the city they set up an experiment. They placed a sensor which notices when it’s raining.

Where bicycle lights are up to a maximum of three minutes on red, it gets adjusted to a maximum of about 40 seconds when it’s raining. This means that motorists, who are in their dry cars anyways, have to wait a little longer. A smart innovation for cyclists, but maybe an adverse change for motorists.

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For now, the sensors are only placed in Rotterdam. The municipality already suggests to expand these plans within Rotterdam. When it becomes a success, the idea will be transferred to other cities as well. It sounds like a great plan, so let’s hope it becomes a success so we all benefit!


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