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New cyclist detection system is being tested

A new cyclist detection system is being tested at three traffic signals in Washington County.
Media release

For Immediate Release: Thursday, September 17, 2020

Sponsored by: Department of Land Use and Transportation



A new cyclist detection system is being tested at three traffic signals in Washington County.

The thermal bike-distinguishing video detection system detects a cyclist waiting at the intersection when the camera picks up an appropriate heat shape. The system is designed to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians and to decrease vehicle wait times.  See example image

The new technology is being tested at the following intersections:

  • Rock Creek and Park View boulevards, approaching 185th Avenue
  • Park Way approaching Cedar Hills Boulevard
  • 85th Avenue approaching Durham Road, across from Hall Boulevard

The system automatically sets signal timings for safe bike travel through the intersection. Cyclists do not need to use the pedestrian push-button to trigger a green light.

Travelers are asked to share their experience at these intersections via email or by calling 503-846-7950.

Washington County Land Use & Transportation Traffic Engineering staff evaluated several bike-distinguishing technologies over the last five years. This newly installed system is the most promising.  Technical staff is monitoring the sites  to identify errors and work with the manufacturer to improve system performance.

The County is coordinating with the Oregon Department of Transportation and other local transportation agencies to provide signs and light detection as an additional assurance to cyclists that they have been detected. See temporary sign

The system costs between $15,000-25,000 per intersection, depending on the complexity and number of approaches. Additional locations are planned for FY 2021-22.

Media Contact:

Heather Sturgill, Senior Communications Specialist/PIO
[email protected]