For years, the state did not require lights to detect anything with fewer than four wheels. "That meant at many signals," said John Brazil, San Jose's bicycling coordinator, "bicyclists cannot receive a green unless a car happens to also be present."
But help may be coming.
San Jose has received a $1.5 million grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to test and identify the best bicycle-detection devices and install them at signals throughout the city. This may serve as a model throughout the nine Bay Area counties.
State legislation passed four years ago required that all new and modified signals include bike-friendly signal detectors and directed Caltrans to develop a standard. But the state provided no guidance on the best way to do this.
My favorite bit:
Travis, the Harley rider, was on his bike at a red light one day in Scotts Valley. After waiting for what seemed like forever, he finally ran the light -- and was pulled over by a city cop who did most of the talking.
"He just wanted to tell me he has had to go through the intersection against the red as well," Travis said, "and did not cite me."