A new cyclist detection system is being tested at three traffic signals in Washington County.
According to a press release by the county on Thursday, Sept. 17, the thermal bike-distinguishing video detection system detects a cyclist waiting at the intersection when the camera picks up an appropriate heat shape. The system's goal is to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians and to decrease vehicle wait times.
"Washington County Land Use & Transportation Traffic Engineering staff evaluated several bike-distinguishing technologies over the last five years," said the county in a statement. "This newly installed system is the most promising. Technical staff is monitoring the sites to identify errors and work with the manufacturer to improve system performance."
The new technology is being tested at the following intersections: Northwest Rock Creek and Park View boulevards approaching 185th Avenue, Southwest Park Way approaching Cedar Hills Boulevard, and Southwest 85th Avenue approaching Durham Road, across from Hall Boulevard.
Washington County officials say the system automatically sets signal timings for safe bike travel through the intersection. As for cyclists, they don't need to use the pedestrian push-button to trigger a green light.
"The county is coordinating with the Oregon Department of Transportation and other local transportation agencies to provide signs and light detection as an additional assurance to cyclists that they have been detected," added the announcement.
The county says the system costs between $15,000 to $25,000 per intersection, depending on the complexity and number of approaches. Additional locations are planned for 2021 and 2022.
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