We wrote about the Green Wave for bicycles back in January. The term 'Green Wave' applies to any road where signals are synchronized for traffic to flow during the green phase at a set speed. Last week the City unveiled its first Green Wave signs, posted on Spruce and Pine Streets for 20 mph (the lights are actually timed for vehicles travelling 22 mph; why the round down to 20 is unclear).
These Green Waves run from Front St to Broad St. Cycling at 20 mph can be a bit much for some cyclists; riding Spruce this morning I caught the green lights from 4th to 9th before hitting a red. Still, the message to motorists is clear: that going slower will make their trip smoother, mitigating their biggest annoyance - delay.
Green Waves keep traffic moving by giving cyclists and motorists a system for minimizing delay along their own rides. Of course, it takes some of the fun out of figuring out your own system for timing lights, but we are happy to see Philadelphia giving them a try.