[flickr]photo:5495345960[/flickr]

There are many intersections in Chicago that are so long that, while cycling, I can enter it (by passing the stop bar) on a green light, be in it during the entire 3-second yellow phase, and exit the intersection after it’s been red for several seconds.

I don’t like this. I think it puts me at risk. We could make our intersections shorter or we could increase the length of the yellow and all-red phases. One of these intersections is Elston Avenue at Ashland Avenue. Going southbound on Elston Avenue, the distance from the west side to the east side is about 200 feet. Traveling at 14 MPH (because you didn’t have to stop, it was green when you arrived), that will take you 9.75 seconds to cross. Some people will be traveling faster but at this point you’re also riding uphill because of the railroad viaduct you just crossed under.

Traveling at 17 MPH, it will take you 8 seconds to cross – you’ll still be in the intersection when it’s red!