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Signal Priority in N.Y.C. to Make Streets Safer for Cyclists

New York City will create green waves by adjusting traffic signals to keep cyclists moving, even when drivers will have to slow down.
November 6, 2019, 5am PST | Camille Fink
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Winnie Hu reports on plans in New York City to retime traffic signals to give cyclists priority. The strategy will recalibrate signals for cyclists, who travel about 10 to 15 miles per hour, by giving them a series of green lights and stopping drivers traveling above 15 miles per hour.

"New York’s experiment with what has been called a green wave is part of a global movement to make urban streets more welcoming to bikes, even as the country’s streets have become more dangerous," writes Hu. With a green wave system in place, traffic also runs more smoothly and the potential for crashes decreases as cyclists and motorists stop speeding up to try to beat red lights.

Copenhagen was the first city to adapt the concept of the green wave for biking. In the United States, traffic signals have been adjusted on streets in San Francisco, Chicago, and Portland, Oregon. New York City had implemented a green wave on a small segment of a Brooklyn roadway and plans to expand it to other streets in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens.

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Published on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 in The New York Times
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