Rockford intersections become safer for bicyclists

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Some Rockford intersections could soon get easier to navigate for those on two wheels.

Aldermen approved the purchase of the technology on Monday evening, and it will make life better for bicyclists. City leaders said that it will give bikers a chance to travel through high-traffic crossings.

“More than anything, what we’re trying to do is make our system safer for bicyclists at these busy intersections, giving them the ability to cross,” said Jeremy Carter, Traffic Engineer for the City of Rockford.

Some of Rockford’s intersections will soon be equipped with “bike detection cameras.” The equipment allows cyclists to trigger a green light. Right now, cyclists are left waiting on certain streets, because of “loop detection systems” designed to only sense cars.

“Bikes don’t have enough metal to set off that magnetic field,” Carter said.

Rockford Aldermen approved the purchase of more than $211,000 in equipment on Monday night. The cameras will be installed at seven busy intersections, such as Spring Brook and Mulford Roads, according to Carter.

It is part of an ongoing effort to improve biking infrastructure city wide.

“We’re really kind of trying to concentrate on making the system that we created more comfortable for bicyclists,” Carter said. “If it was a bike route, maybe making it a shared bike route. Possibly getting bike lanes on some of the roads where it was just a route, and in this case, making it more comfortable too for bicyclists to cross streets by getting detection for them.”

Carter said that an increasing number of Rockford residents are choosing to travel on two wheels.

“We’re trying to make our system safer, more efficient, more comfortable for the people who are choosing to use this, whether it’s for recreation or actually using it as a form of transportation to get to bus, to work, to school,” Carter said.

The bike detection cameras are set to be installed starting next spring.

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