As regular readers know, I prefer modern roundabouts (not traffic circles) to signalized intersections in many situations. I believe that one-lane roundabouts could replace many of the traffic signals in our area with benefits for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Of course, a transition from signalized intersections to roundabouts would cost money and involve controversy. Even in the best-case scenario, we will have lots of traffic signals for years to come.
As long as we use traffic signals, we need to make them functional for all legal road users. In Louisville, we have two basic types of traffic signals: signals timed to turn from red to green on a fixed schedule, which might differ for different times of day (for example, morning rush hour versus evening rush hour); and signals that stay green for traffic along the more major street until a sensor detects vehicles waiting on the smaller street. I'll call the first type "timed signals" and the second type "sensor signals." Locally, very few signals of either type work well for bicyclists. Tomorrow, I'll explain the problems and explore solutions.