Bicycle Signals

Bicycle signals and beacons facilitate bicyclist crossings of roadways. Bicycle signals make crossing intersections safer for bicyclists by clarifying when to enter an intersection and by restricting conflicting vehicle movements.  Bicycle signals are traditional three lens signal heads with green-yellow and red bicycle stenciled lenses that can be employed at standard signalized intersections and Hybrid Signal crossings.  Flashing amber warning beacons are utilized at unsignalized intersection crossings. Push buttons, signage, and pavement markings may be used to highlight these facilities for both bicyclists and motorists.

Determining which type of signal or beacon to use for a particular intersection depends on a variety of factors. These include speed limits, average daily traffic (ADT), anticipated bicycle crossing traffic, and the configuration of planned or existing bicycle facilities. Signals may be required as part of the construction of a protected bicycle facility such as a cycle track with potential turning conflicts, or to decrease vehicle or pedestrian conflicts at major crossings. An intersection with bicycle signals may reduce stress and delays for a crossing bicyclist, and discourage illegal and unsafe crossing maneuvers.

Active Warning Beacon for Bike Route at Unsignalized Intersection

Active warning beacons are user-actuated amber flashing lights that supplement warning signs at unsignalized intersections or mid-block crosswalks. Beacons can be actuated either manually by a push-button or passively through detection. Continue reading

Bicycle Signal Heads

A bicycle signal is an electrically powered traffic control device that should only be used in combination with an existing conventional traffic signal or hybrid beacon. Bicycle signals are typically used to improve identified safety or operational problems involving bicycle facilities. Continue reading

Hybrid Beacon for Bike Route Crossing of Major Street

A hybrid beacon, also known as a High-intensity Activated CrosswalK (HAWK), consists of a signal-head with two red lenses over a single yellow lens on the major street, and pedestrian and/or bicycle signal heads for the minor street. There are no signal indications for motor vehicles on the minor street approaches. Hybrid beacons were developed specifically to enhance pedestrian crossings of major streets, however several cities have installed examples of hybrid beacons explicitly incorporating bicycle movements. Continue reading

Signal Detection and Actuation

Bicycle detection at traffic signals is used at actuated signals to alert the signal controller of bicycle crossing demand on a particular approach. Bicycle detection occurs either through the use of push-buttons or by automated means (e.g., in-pavement loops, video, microwave, etc). Continue reading