In Amsterdam Cyclists Always Get the Green Light


The green wave of Odense, Denmark.

Taking bicycle infrastructure to the next level, Amsterdam traffic engineers have created a "green wave"  along Raadhuisstraat. Cyclists riding at a speed of 9 to 11 miles per hour will never have to stop at a red light. Tests show that the cyclist "green wave" is helping buses move faster and is slowing down car traffic.

This same idea has already been implemented both in Copenhagen and Odense, Denmark. The video above shows how the system works in Odense, where green lights embedded in small bollards along the road alert cyclists to speed up or slow down to avoid the red light. News from Amsterdam reports:

On average, trams become about 1.5 minutes faster and buses moving out of the city centre about three minutes. Cars moving out of the city centre become three quarters of a minute slower. The municipality did not provide data as to the effect on cyclists’ speed.

Marjolein de Lange of cyclists’ organisation Fietsersbond tested the green wave and found that it works most of the times. However, she points out that most cars drive faster than 18 kmph, which means that they have to wait and then accelerate again at traffic lights, increasing air pollution. She suggests introducing an 18 kmph speed limit for all road users.

  • Larry Littlefield

    That is brilliant. Cars slow down the pace of bicycles, and buses can keep up despite making stops.

    I wouldn’t want to drive very far under these circumstances. Then again, how heavy should motor vehicle traffic be away from highways and major arterials?

  • Nice! We should do that in NY only without the bollards. If we could just program green lights at bike speed, but about 20mph for me.. HAHA

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