In cities like Portland in Oregon, bicyclists are seen in a brighter light than automobile drivers. But we are starting to see more cities embrace the fact that people are making bicycles their main mode of transportation, and therefore have to require the needed safety to ensure that these bicyclists stay safe when they are on their commute.

Because of that, we are starting to see a lot of changes take place, especially in Downtown Kalamazoo where an extensive project took quite some time to finish. With it, they've now installed new driving lanes and bicycle lanes all throughout downtown Kalamazoo. Not only have these new lanes been installed, but we now have traffic lights specifically made for bicyclists.

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The traffic lights display a little bicycle symbol on the green, yellow, and red lights. Before the flow of traffic continues in the direction of the bicycle lane, the bicycle traffic signal will have an extended green light so they can get moving before the automobile traffic does. This is meant to help protect bicyclists, according to the National Association of City Transportation Officials:

Bicycle signals are typically used to improve identified safety or operational problems involving bicycle facilities or to provide guidance for bicyclists at intersections where they may have different needs from other road users (e.g., bicycle only movements, leading bicycle intervals). Bicycle signal heads may be installed at signalized intersections to indicate bicycle signal phases and other bicycle-specific timing strategies. In the United States, bicycle signal heads typically use standard three-lens signal heads in green, yellow, and red lenses.

Keep an eye out for them next time you're downtown.

How to Rent a Bicycle and Explore the Portage Creek Bicentennial Trail

It's easy to have fun on two wheels. The City of Portage has added bike rentals near Celery Flats to ride the PCBT.

Gallery Credit: Bobby Guy/TSM

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