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Which do bicyclists prefer: in-street loop detectors or traffic signal detectors with pole-mounted, video-actuated detectors?

An in-street loop detector requires a bicycle to be on top of it to trigger the traffic signal to change. A beginning bicyclist may not know how to trigger the loop detector. The cyclist may be confused when waiting on the side of the road and the light does not turn green. In contrast, a pole-mounted video detector can "see" a bicycle almost anywhere in the intersection.

Even if bicyclists prefer video-actuated detectors, in some locations loop signals may be safer because they require bicyclists to take the lane at the intersection. Thus, a community may choose to install a loop detector to make bicyclists more visible to motorists. This decision helps to protect a bicyclist from a right-turning motorist who fails to look for bicyclists before turning right and whose inattentive driving decision could injure or kill a cyclist.

Columbia, Missouri, places small bicycle symbols over loop detectors at intersections to alert the bicyclist to be on that spot. As the community educated bicyclists about the symbols, more people understood how to trigger the detectors.