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City councillors to debate eliminating ‘revert reds’

City councillors to debate eliminating ‘revert reds’

A sensor at a traffic light in Ottawa. (Tyler Fleming/CTV News Ottawa) OTTAWA — City councillors will soon debate whether to get rid of a…

Tuesday, Nov 23

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A sensor at a traffic light in Ottawa. (Tyler Fleming/CTV News Ottawa) OTTAWA — City councillors will soon debate whether to get rid of a red light technology that some say is dangerous for cyclists.

Red reverts, also called “revert reds,” pose a safety hazard to people on bikes, according to some councillors and cycling advocates.

Coun. Jeff Leiper is bringing a report to the city’s transportation committee next month aimed at putting an end to the practice. What are red reverts?

A red revert occurs when a vehicle trips a sensor at an intersection, leading to a traffic light change.

Before the light changes, the sensor does a final check to ensure there’s still a car or bike on the sensor.

If there is, the light turns green. But if not, the light stays red and the crossing street returns to a green light after five seconds.

Where multi-use pathways intersect with busy city streets, those vehicles are most often bicycles. The danger comes in if cyclists start biking when the light in the opposing direction turns red, to maximize their time crossing the intersection.“Should a person on a bike move off the sensor before the traffic light has turned green, a red revert will result in them ending up in the middle of the intersection while traffic in the crossing directions reverts to green, resulting in a safety hazard,” the report on Leiper’s motion says. What is being proposed? Leiper is proposing that multi-use pathway traffic signals hold the call […]

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