Look At The Hearts And Stop Burning Reds

Two new sets of hearts got tossed onto the telephone wires along The Wiggle yesterday. The set pictured above hangs at the intersection of Scott and Oak Street, and it’s the first time I’ve seen the hearts at this location.

I’m happy to see the hearts at this intersection, because on a daily basis I witness a lot of kooks on bikes making bad decisions by going early on the red light at Scott St and racing to Fell St.

Now I’ll roll a stop sign if it’s safe, but the three streets at the end of The Wiggle, starting with Oak St, are basically timed lights which improve the safety of bicyclists along the route. Here’s how to approach them:

Scott at Oak St – Grab some top tube and look at the hearts until you get the green light. You could go on the walk signal, but that’s going to put you at the Fell St intersection too early for the left turn signal.

Scott at Fell St – Approach at a leisurely pace, enjoying the bike lane. If you waited for the green light at Oak St and rode casually to Fell St, you’re going to get the left turn signal at just the right time. Crossing Scott St to turn onto Fell St while the light is still red will get you hit by a car, eventually, and I don’t want to see that.

Fell St at Divisidero – You’ve got to really be moving to make the green light (or, you risked your life crossing Scott St before Fell St and turned on red), so just ride leisurely towards Divisidero. Good luck with the cars and the gas station. For now, it’s just a crumby situation and you’ve got to be aware of your surroundings. I tend to let bicyclists who I know can really haul it up Fell St go in front of me at Divisidero, because it’s just polite, and without a separated bike lane on Fell St passing a fellow cyclists is a risky maneuver.

Riding a bike is all about efficiency so if you maintain momentum, even at a slow pace, you’re going to maximize your energy and have a better ride. In closing, take it easy, look at the hearts, and smile because you’re on a bike.

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2 Responses to “Look At The Hearts And Stop Burning Reds”


  1. 1 Katherine Rosa April 2, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Thank you for writing this! I too used to burn through late reds thinking it’d get me ahead. But after a couple commutes, I realized the timing of the lights, if you just wait for that first green, is actually perfect for bikes. I couldn’t agree more with your post!


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