Richard Z's picture

First Advance Green Bike Signal for Calgary

Advance green signls for cyclists are a useful and (in other parts of the world) common way of giving bikes a head start, making them more visible by letting them enter the intersection ahead of motor vehicle traffic.  When there is no right turn on red, an advance green for cyclists also reduces conflicts between bikes in the curb or bike lane and right-turning cars.

At 16 Ave NW, the advance green for bikes in the 10 St NW bike lane doesn't serve these functions: it's mainly there so that the buses, which share the curb lane at the intersection with bicycles, don't have to wait behind a bicycle at the intersection.  The advance signal is only activated when a bus is waiting to cross 16 Ave NW. It is, however, activated for both directions, so cyclists going the opposite direction of a bus get a head start as well.

Still, it's really nice to see this type of traffic control device appear in Calgary, and it is to be hoped that many more will appear around town soon.  A recent discussion in the forum indicates that the intersection of 11 St SW and 11 Ave would be a prime candidate for this type of traffic control device.

Cyclists going south on 11 St conflict with cars turning right onto 11 Ave SW. The solution would be to prohibit right turns on red from 11 St onto 11 Ave and provide an advance green for bicycles -- or better yet, a bike box.

This may very well be the northernmost bicycle signal in North America.


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critninja's picture


I'd expand on Darren's comment and say the intersection of 11 st sw and 6 ave sw should have a bike box and an advance green bike signal.  The bike box should be placed on 11 st sw heading north with a painted bike lane leading from the bike box to the bike path directly. Heading south, a simple advance bike signal would be all that needed.

When I am riding southbound I usually "jump" the green so I can get across 11th before the cars heading northbound get moving.  When heading northbound I usually move myself into the centre lane and then proceed directly onto the bike path.  My guess is timid cyclists woud find this manoever scary.


winterrider's picture

I never had a problem there

Until today. I hit the intersection just as the light was going green, and I had an angry driving yelling at me for crossing the street. He clearly had no idea that bikes would be there as he seemed confused that I was even there (must not be his regular route).

Some bike specific signals and signs would definitely make that intersection more hospitable.

bclark's picture

Chat with the City

So a couple of us from Bike Calgary met with members of the City Transportation Solutions Group and this very intersection came up in the discussion.  This led to a one-on-one chat with one of the senior members of the group, who was unaware of this being a concern and asked if it had been put through 3-1-1.  Now, I know it's been brought up before on the forums (including being raised by myself) but I haven't personally called it in (my excuse being that I feel like 3-1-1 hears from me too much already...perhaps that's a bad way to look at it).  I did let him know I was hopeful that some of the others posting to the BC forums have raised the concern.  So, I guess what I can tell you is that a member of Transportation Solutions is now aware of this concern but that it is best to put it into 3-1-1 so that it is formally addressed.  Hope this helps.  Guess I should put in a request for a safety assessment there as well...

Richard Z's picture

Not sure at all.  Just struck

Not sure at all.  Just struck me that it may well be the northernmost bike signal. Well, the one on the other side of the street would be.

gyrospanner's picture


Sorry to be a dumba$$, but is that on 10th street?

amf673's picture

This is a nice addition to

This is a nice addition to the 10 St bike lanes. Up til now there have been signs: bicycle proceed on |, the bus signal. Once when I did that a motorist in the lane next lay on the horn to express his disaproval of my legal maneuever. Nice to have any confusion cleared up with the little green bike.

Care is still needed at that intersection. It is the cities' worst for red light runners and speed on green. A person can get a nice tan from all the camera flashes! Always make sure the cross traffic has stopped before heading through, no matter the light.

bclark's picture

Be Aware

I rode in via 10th St this morning and arrived at 16th Ave on a green bicycle signal.  Just as I entered the intersection the "green bike" went away.  Mid-way through the intersection I expected to see the traffic lights turn green for SB 10th St traffic to proceed.  What struck me as odd, is that the light didn't change and, even when I was a few hundred meters down the hill looking back, cars still hadn't moved.

My concern was that perhaps the bike signal changed, then the left turn signal for NB 10th St traffic activated prior to SB 10th St traffic getting the green.  Obviously this would be a problem if there were NB left traffic on 10th St.  They could potentially turn into the path of a bicyclist.  Unfortunately I didn't catch a look at the NB 10th St lights so if anyone can confirm the light timing please post it so we can bring it to the attention of the City. 

mikewarren's picture

NB turns left first

Yes, that light allows north-bound motorists turning left an advance green. Also, the "bike" advance green is only activated if there are busses there (either direction, probably some short-range radio beacon).

bclark's picture

NB left first

So, the sequence is...

Bike advance green (SB/NB), NB advance green L-turn, Green (NB/SB)?

Yeah, that could be a bit interesting if the NB advance green "L-turners" don't heed the bike signal, i.e. try and make a left without realizing a bicyclist may still be proceeding through.


mikewarren's picture

bus/bikes first

No, the bus/bike advance is before everything, then the left-turn, then everyone else.

GR33N's picture


Nice to see! =)