Friday, January 07, 2011

Would the "Green Wave" Make Spruce and Pine Even More Bike Friendly?

Streetsblog SF reports today that the Green Wave signal timing on Valencia St in San Francisco will be made permanent. Traffic lights are optimized for travel at 13mph which not only gives bicyclists all green lights but also encourages motorists to travel at the same speed, making those dangerous transitions from the bike lane to the motor vehicle lane less harrowing.

Spruce and Pine Streets would make great candidates for experimenting with the Green Wave in Philadelphia. Perhaps it could be piloted on one segment to measure its impact - i.e. Pine St between 13th and Front.

Photo: Bryan Goebel

Video of the Green Wave on Nørrebrogade in Copenhagen


andrewlevitt said...

I find it to be timed to a brisk bike pace already. Nothing race-worthy, just quick.

John Boyle said...

2 Comments from the email list:

Timing the lights on Spruce and Pine would be great.

Thirteen MPH seems slow, however. I'll resist the temptation to pull an "average cyclist speed" out of thin air (and I'll ask for a citation from anybody who yields to it), but I certainly move faster than that on a flat, paved road like Spruce or Pine.

If there's going to be experimentation with this, it might be good to experiment with different values of "bike speed".

I currently travel the length of Spruce & Pine without hitting a red light (except at Broad).

Due to a recent power outage, 21st & Spruce is slightly out of sync, but I'd rather nothing be changed.

Fritz said...

I agree getting cars to slow down a little would be nice (at least the ones that gun it mid-block). But, I think the real problem on Spruce/Pine is the UPS trucks in the lane which force me to get into traffic.

Now, if you propose 15mph limits on most of the minor very small roads in South Philly that I'd go for although mostly because of my pedestrian sensibilities and not my cyclist ones.

Unknown said...

I also don't have problems hitting all the lights across and agree with Fritz that the most danger is dodging parked delivery trucks and cars.

John Boyle said...

I don't hit all the lights, at least not on my folder. Seems like the comments here are from faster cyclists.

An official at the Streets Department once told me that some east west streets in Center City have lights timed at 22mph.

Anonymous said...

22mph is believable. At a brisk pace, I easily make it from Broad to Front without slowing down.

I'd much rather see us adopt a more important and effective change: 20mph primary streets and 15mph secondary streets. This is not considerably slower than many motorists already travel on our narrow roads, but the problem is with the unregulated speeders.

phillygoat said...

Is there any particular reason the city abandoned the (if I recall correctly) 26 MPH wave timing on Walnut from University City to 63rd Street? There are a few intersections that still have defunct "set for XX MPH when lit" devices, but I only recall these last being on in the early 1990s, and there doesn't seem to be a defacto wave effect any more. If these fell out of use due to repair costs or simple neglect, that's a reason with little impact to this discussion. If there is some traffic engineering, legal, or policy reason the city abandoned this before, then what might be different today or in this case that would mean this would be something the city would or could do?