Rain makes the light go green for cyclists in the Danish city of Odense

| May 10, 2016
The top sign says; "When it rains, you get freckles, and you get wet. That is why the light remains green for twice as long in rainy weather" The box below lights up when the system kicks in.

The top sign quotes a Danish saying; “When it rains, you get freckles, and you get wet. That is why the light remains green for twice as long in rainy weather”
The box below lights up when the system kicks in.

As the first city in Northern Europe, Odense has implemented a brand new rain sensor in a traffic light along their Super Bike Highway which enables the intersection to measure when it is raining. As a result cyclists will experience up to 20 second longer periods of green light, meaning less time standing still at a red light, soaking up what the heavens throw at you those not so sunny days.

The rain sensor interacts with two motion detectors also mounted on the traffic light, allowing the system to register when bikes are within 70 meters of the intersection and automatically maintain longer periods of green light for cyclists approaching the junction. A box mounted to the traffic light informs cyclists of the system, and will light up when the system kicks in.

Naturally cars traversing the Super Bike Highway will experience a correspondingly longer red light, but then again they aren’t the ones getting soaked, so they properly shouldn’t complain too much. The Municipality of Odense expects the system to kick in 1 to 3 times per month.

Rain sensors in intersections in Odense

A picture of the rain sensor at the top of the intersection.

The idea behind the system is to make it easier to choose the bike, and the rain sensor is a smart technological gadget making every day commuting slightly better for cyclists. Currently the system is installed as a test but it will properly be implemented in other intersections around the city if it turns out to be a success.

Troels Andersen, head of Odense’s ‘City of Cyclists’ project has the following to say on the project;

“Our ambition is to make Odense the best city for bikes in Denmark, and for that to happen we need a little extra effort. For that goal green light when it is raining is a nice solution, because if anybody needs to wait in the rain, it is only fair that it is motorists, who are after all sitting in dry surroundings. Then bikes can get going faster!”

The Municipality of Odense is a member of the Danish Cycling Embassy, and you can read more about the municipality here.

Category: Commuting, Danish Cycling Know How, Infrastructure, Meet the Members, Municipalities, Planning, Presentation of The Members, Uncategorized

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