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Crossing "buttons" for bicyclists(9 posts)

Crossing "buttons" for bicyclistsLAIrish
Aug 10, 2001 7:33 PM
I live in Long Beach, California near a small community called Belmont Shore. There's a short commercial strip, about a mile or so, through the residential area, where the traffic signals on the cross streets are all pressure activated. Either a car has to run over the pressure plate imbedded in the asphalt or a pedestrian has to push the "push here to cross" button.

Of course, this is hassle if you're on a bike because you're too light to activate the pressure plate and you're arms aren't long enough to reach all the way across the sidewalk to where the pedestrian button is mounted.

Well, I'm riding in "The Shore" the other day and I come up to the intersection. Lo and behold, right there beside me (built right on the curb at the side of the street) is a steel column, on which is mounted one of the pedestrian activated buttons, with a picture of a bicycle and the legend "Bicyclists - press here to cross."

So, now I don't have to wait fifteen minutes for a car to show up, ride up onto the sidewalk to press the pedestrian button, or make a death defying dash through a hopefullly large enough gap in traffic.

I think that is kinda neat. I've never seen this before and I'm wondering if it has been done elsewhere.
I see your buttons and raise you a loopCliff Oates
Aug 10, 2001 7:38 PM
Up here in NoCal where I live, the town of Danville has actually embedded loops in the bike lanes to trigger traffic lights along Danville Blvd. I've seen a few buttons put out where we can reach them too, but it's inconsistent.
They're going in around San Diego, too ...Humma Hah
Aug 10, 2001 8:11 PM
... and I wish we had them here in Northern Virginia.

My pet peeve at the moment is a left turn between two multi-lane highways that intersect at a light. Not only are there no bike crossing buttons or loops, there are also no pedestrian crossing buttons. This despite the fact that there is a housing development on one side of the intersection, and a shopping center on the other.

One of these roads is the parkway where I use the bike lane. To reach it, I must get in the far left lane of a double-left-turn lane pair. The bike path is tight left, as I turn it is left of the oncoming traffic, i.e. the "wrong" side of the road. And here's the catch: I can't reach it legally. When my traffic gets a green left turn arrow, the traffic coming from my left has a green RIGHT turn arrow, right across my path! The only time they don't have that green arrow is when other traffic lights vector traffic across the same point! And there's no fallback way to cross by pretending to be a pedestrian -- they not only have no button, they face the same problem. To enter this bike path, you must break the law!

I do it almost every day.
Haven't seen them, butmike mcmahon
Aug 10, 2001 7:41 PM
I used to spend a lot of time riding in and around Belmont and Long Beach. I'm glad to hear L.B. has done something cycling-friendly. Have a beer for me at the Acapulco Inn or the Bayshore Saloon next time your on 2nd Street.
Will do . . .LAIrish
Aug 12, 2001 12:02 PM
In fact, I tend to stop at the Bayshore on Saturday afternoons for a refreshing libation and the opportunity to bask in the presence of one of the loveliest bar-maids of which I am aware.

I'll think of you.
We have them all over the city.Atombomber
Aug 10, 2001 9:03 PM
Cyclist activated traffic buttons are all over Vancouver. There is a huge grid-work of designated bike routes thoughout the city and the surrounding municipalities.
re: Crossing buttons for bicyclistsDave Woof
Aug 11, 2001 11:26 AM
In and around phoenix we have a few, mainly near grade schools and high schools for the kids to cross.

By the way, those are not 'pressure' plates in the road, the are metal detectors, just like the kind in metal detectors people use at the beach or wherever. Everyone thinks they are weight activated. What about the weight of ice or snow on the road? what about when they repave the road?

{minor rant}

re: Crossing buttons for bicyclistsgmagee
Aug 12, 2001 10:07 AM
How much snow and ice does phoenix get annually?

Just curious.
Thanks. I didn't know that.**LAIrish
Aug 12, 2001 11:57 AM