Bicycle Detection Works Well in Pleasanton

This radar device detects bicycles at Foothill Road and Bernal Avenue in Pleasanton.

As promised, I hauled myself over to Pleasanton to check out the nifty bicycle detection system installed at the intersection of Foothill Road and Bernal Avenue. I took Calaveras Road to Sunol and then Foothill, a tree-shaded road along Arroyo de la Laguna Creek.

By the way, this creek is the site of a $650,000 streambank restoration project. One reason for the work is because the backyards of homeowners along the creek are falling away from erosion.

Also following the creek, on the other side of Foothill, there’s the Niles Canyon Railway right-of-way that was lovingly restored for excursions between Sunol and downtown Pleasanton. However, the NIMBYS in Pleasanton put up a stink and the plan has been shelved.

But I digress. I arrived at Bernal and Foothill on a Sunday morning, so traffic was light and I had a chance to test the Intersector without cars around. I went left from Bernal to Foothill at the light and it worked perfectly, triggering the left turn signal.

Intersector motion and presence sensor

The Intersector is made by MS Sedco, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, costing about $5,000 each.

It’s basically a small radar with microwave motion and presence detection; it was installed here in January 2010, one of Pleasanton’s 104 signaled intersections.

The device can differentiate between vehicles and bicyclists crossing the road and either extends or triggers the light if a cyclist is detected.

The Intersector is bolted to the upper traffic light pole and communicates with the control cabinet below. It uses Power over Ethernet cabling for power.

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