New technology that better detects bike riders and pedestrians at intersections is being introduced to Melbourne.
High-definition camera sensors that detect riders and walkers in real time are being installed at 75 intersections.
The system not only eliminates the need to press the button but will also measure how many people are waiting to cross or are already crossing and adapts the crossing time depending on the size of the group.
This new hardware is mounted on existing traffic lights and uses infra-red or high-definition video detectors facing the road pedestrians and riders are crossing.
The project is part of the $340 million Smarter Roads program that will upgrade road management systems across Melbourne’s west, east and south-east.
The sensors will also for the first time collect data on traffic patterns at crossings that can be used to better plan traffic signal operation.
The Smarter Roads program goes far beyond the sensors at intersections project. Some 691 CCTV traffic monitoring cameras, 200 wireless travel time sensors and 40 live travel signs will be installed and multiple air quality sensors are also being rolled out at roadsides.
While there is a risk that schemes designed to improve traffic flow can reduce the performance of bike routes, the Smarter Roads initiative is required to adhere to bike prioritisation as established under the Department of Transport Movement and Place policies.
A longer version of this article was first published by Bicycle Network.