Bike Traffic Signals Installed Downtown To Enhance Safety
Published on October 26, 2023
Bicyclists riding through downtown Kalamazoo will have a safer route, thanks to the installation of new bicycle traffic signals. The new signals are located on Michigan Avenue along the two-way bike cycle track as well as on Westnedge Avenue and Park Street at Michigan and Kalamazoo Avenues.
“The bike signals function just like regular traffic signals but apply to bike traffic,” said Dennis Randolph, traffic engineer, City of Kalamazoo. “Bicyclists should follow the bike traffic symbols and drivers should follow the traffic signal above their lane.”
The bike signals are the latest step on infrastructure improvements and changes along the main thoroughfares of Michigan Avenue and Kalamazoo Avenue, which will be converted into two-way streets in the coming years. Earlier this fall, City staff created a two-way cycle track downtown along Michigan Avenue as part of the conversion preparation work.
The bike signals have their own separate phase and will turn green before the vehicle lanes. This gives bicyclists time to move through intersections before vehicles, reducing the number of conflict points and the risk of crashes from turns or bike or pedestrian movements. This also means that bike signals will be red while vehicle signals are green.
With the installation of bike signals, the two-way cycle track on Michigan Avenue is now open in both directions. Bike traffic signals have been installed at intersections facing westbound traffic to alert bicyclists when they can cross intersections safely.
City staff are continuing to adjust the signal timing to optimize traffic flow. Bicyclists and drivers are reminded that all road users are required to follow all signals and signs.