Thursday, October 22, 2009

Simon Says...Change!

I've even tried Simon Says, but many traffic signals just won't change to green when I'm alone at an intersection on my bicycle.

While that won't change overnight, there is now a mechanism to address those signals thanks to the Bicycle Alliance of Washington. Last legislative session they succeeded with Senate Bill 5482 (Section 10) to create some accountability.

According to the Alliance: "The bill requires that vehicle traffic control systems be upgraded to reliably detect both bikes and motorcycles. Districts must prioritize upgrading on existing systems for which complaints were submitted. They must also establish and publicize a procedure for filing such complaints in writing or by e-mail, and must maintain a record of them."

The address for Seattle is:

For Washington State highways:

To get the proper address for other municipalitie and counties in Washington, go to for cities and for counties.

Also, the Alliance would appreciate your letting them know how your experience goes as you interact with this new system. You can reach them at:

I submitted such a complaint yesterday. I also asked how these signals register a vehicle anyway. Is it by weight? Do I have to stand in a certain place? Is there an "electric eye" as we used to call them at some signals?

Haven't heard back yet, but I'll let you know what I hear.

What I like about the Alliance's work is that not only might we get some progress on the signals, but it is yet another step toward bicycle parity.

Keep it turning green...gotcha! I didn't say Simon Says: Keep it turning green,