Here’s another ingenious and practical infrastructure story from our mentor in all things bicycle and mass transit, Copenhagen. Safety is not a small issue with bicyclists and pedestrians. Copenhagen has many bus stops and cycle tracks with a lot of bicyclists and pedestrians, which provides the need to really integrate them well.
Copenhagen has set up islands at bus stops for the bus passengers to use when disembarking. Copenhaganize states: “It really is the baseline for infrastructure and the City, by and large, prefers it over anything else. Since the City starting retrofitting bus stops to provide islands, safety has increased dramatically across the city.”
Now, in 2015, the City of Copenhagen is taking it a step forward. It will establish LED bus islands at certain locations where there isn’t space to build a full island. The lights will show a green strip along the curb when there is no bus there. The LED light show will expand across the cycle track to indicate to all traffic users that passengers have the priority as the bus rolls up. Then back to the green after the bus leaves. Sounds bright, easily understood, and safe.
Continuing from Copenhagenize: “The Mayor for Traffic and Environment, Morten Kabell, said, ‘We know that traditional bus islands are a good idea but don’t have space everywhere for them because some streets are too narrow. Therefore it will be exciting to see that if a lighted bus stop can create a better sense of safety for both parties, create a better flow on the cycle track and create space for bus passengers’.”
Copenhagenize Design Co notes that there is typically an easy flow between bicyclists and bus passengers anyway. However, people are not always clear on the rules. During rush hour, there are more incidents of the bicycle user and a bus passenger bumping into each other. With this LED solution, the territories for all parties involved will be clearly marked out.
Places such as San Francisco are growing in a Copenhagenize direction. The city has its own transit-protected bike lane that is a fluid success story, but it has nothing like this LED solution yet. It would be great to see this implemented in cities across the US.
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