Infrastructure-based systems have the potential of avoiding an accident or reducing the impact of a collision. Bicycle friendly infrastructures, such as green waves which anticipates traffic lights, and rain sensors traffic lights are measures that can mainly reduce the chance of an accident but not so much the impact.
With green waves, the traffic signals at a set of intersections turn green in succession and stay green long enough for cyclists to pass through all the intersections without having to stop repeatedly.
Green waves have many benefits:
- They can decrease the impulse for cyclists to ride against red lights and eventually reduce the likelihood of collisions;
- The can allow a speed increase then reducing the travel time;
- They are perceived pleasant and user-friendly, require less energy and ensure the continuity of the travel; lastly, they can increase positive attitudes toward bicycle use.
Green waves are increasingly used in a number of cities. In the Nørrebrogade area of Copenhagen, on average 30,000 cyclists pass each day. The green wave has one direction at a time, so that cyclists going towards the city centre have a green wave during mornings and cyclists going away from the city centre have a green wave during afternoons. In Amsterdam, green wave tests show that public transport can benefit from that and cars may travel slightly more slowly
XCYCLE will investigate the potential of signals that can adapt to the cyclists’ behaviour, and thus cater to low-flow situations where the risk is greater.