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Pasadena to vote on $1.8 million detector project to help bicyclists deal with intersections

File: People ride along a controversial bike lane on Prospect Park West on Aug. 17, 2011 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.
File: People ride along a controversial bike lane on Prospect Park West on Aug. 17, 2011 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

While riding down streets with intersections using traffic lights, bikers can find themselves halted by red lights for a long time. 

The Pasadena City Council will vote Monday night whether to pass a $1.8 million plan to install a bike detection system at intersections throughout the city. If passed, the current fixed timers on traffic signals would better suit the needs of cyclists. 

According to the proposal, detection systems will be installed in intersections at these locations:

If approved, the project would upgrade 38 intersections along those four streets. Joaquin Siques, an engineer for the Pasadena Department of Transportation, told KPCC that a vast majority of them currently don't have any sort of detection system. Most traffic lights in the area run on a fixed timer and don't even detect vehicles, he said. 

“What we were really looking at was trying to be able to serve the bicyclists in the city better by giving them more time, and going beyond the minimum of just providing the minimum green,” Siques said.  

The idea for this plan was introduced by the department. A grant was issued for the project from Metro in 2009. 

Cameras will be placed at each intersection, able to tell if there's a bicycle or car in the area. The light will be extended for the cyclists, giving them more time to clear the intersection. 

The project will benefit both drivers and cyclists, Siques told KPCC — but the bigger picture is providing safer roads for the growing bicycling community in Pasadena. 

In addition to this project, the department has also been involved in outreach for bicycle safety, including programs that ask them to stay on the right side of the road and providing cyclists with headlights and taillights. 

“It addresses the needs of our bicyclists to be able to move throughout the city,” he said.  

If given the green light, construction would begin in August 2016, with a completion target date of spring 2017.

Read the full agenda here: 

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2835318-1-7M-Pasadena-bike-detection-proposal.html