Who messed up the timing of the Valencia street lights?

What was once a green wave has now become a red tide, as the excellent system in place on Valencia street that allowed cyclists and motorists alike to encounter a consecutive string of green lights so long as they maintained a steady 13 mph pace seems to have succumbed to some obstacles.  MM reader Alex reports:

It used to be that I could zip straight from 25th to 16th (heading North, that is) on my bike without having to stop a single time, because the lights were perfectly set up to be a bitchin’ bike corridor.  Now I always gotta stop around 20th and 21st.  Why?  Who killed the good light timing?

I’ve also noticed this alarming trend, not just on Valencia Street but also on 24th where the same 13 mph speed could be employed from Folsom to Valencia (and probably Guerrero) to get through every green light with plenty of time.  Now I seem to always get stuck on Capp unless I seriously gun it.

Are these changes the result of some recent decision to move away from the Green Wave initiative, or could they just some random coincidence or malfunction that upset the timing of the stoplights?  Anyone know what’s up?

[Photo via Streetsblog]


28 Responses to “Who messed up the timing of the Valencia street lights?”

  1. Jamin-Time says:

    14th street suffered the same fate about 2 months go. I could go Guerrero->Folsom without stopping. Now I stop at 3 lights during this because they are all out of sync.

    Someone screwed up. I would love to know who.

    • marcos says:

      Yep, biked down 14th yesterday and used to be if you caught the Dolores green light heading downhill, you’d make it to Rainbow at speed. WTF?

      Also, hit a meeting in Diamond Heights last weekend and got to bike down Market from Portola for the first time headed for the SF Center at 5th. It was amazing until I got to Sanchez, where I had to stop at 2/3 of all lights until I got to 5th. WTF?

  2. wheniwasarobot says:

    Used to fly down 14th from dolores to best buy in 5 mins. Seriously, can they fix this?

  3. Andy says:

    Call 511 and find the appropriate department (MTA?) and report the issue, it could be a simple malfunction.

  4. Jekka says:

    Bonus side-effect, when turning left onto Valencia from WB 17th, you can now make the light at 18th.

    Also, I’m really jazzed that they’re repaving all of 17th. Hopefully they’ll finally remove some of the parking between Treat and Potrero while they’re at it.

  5. Lindsey says:

    whew, glad i’m not the only one to notice this. i just thought i was getting slower at riding my bike.

  6. Edswar says:

    Just gun through the red lights and stop signs like you normally do. (Then when you get hit, blame it on the car).

  7. It’s a maintenance issue–MTA was notified 2+ weeks ago and they’re supposedly on it.

    Also, apparently the lights go out of sync for “a few minutes each day” while doing regular maintenance.

  8. Oh well says:

    yeah just run the red lights, who cares? Stops signs too. THE ROAD IS OURS!
    Cars must be replaced with bikes!

  9. Casey says:

    I called 311 and submitted a maintenance request. It took about 5 minutes. Go to http://www.sf311.org/index.aspx?page=4 and track request # 1143234. If it’s not fixed in a few days, someone else should call.

    The more of these calls they get, the more likely it is to be fixed.

    • Rhiannon says:

      While you’re calling 311, submit a request for a bike rack in front of The Dark Room! 2263 Mission @ 19th! Apparently we just need a few more!

      • Ryan Dodge says:

        SFMTA stenciled for one new bike rack (two bike parking spaces) in front of this location, which should be installed later this month or early July.

  10. En-Chu Lao says:

    Folsom & Howard streets have been purposely un-synced.

  11. Andy says:

    Im glad Im not the only one who noticed this. My groove was all sorts of fucked up these past few weeks and I wasnt sure what was going on…

  12. mushmouth says:

    Any sort of power outage will stop the clock (often mechanical) of the particular light. Unless it is manually resynced it will mess up the timing.

  13. loinscum says:

    guerrero from 26th to 16th now has screwy light timing as well

  14. cecilia says:

    what a relief to read this. i think there is some issue with the 17th st traffic light too – totally throws me off

  15. mike says:

    The signal infrastructure underground connecting the signals is aging and failed. Another way of synchronizing the signals is being implemented so the green wave can be restored in the next 2-3 days.

  16. js says:

    Seems to be back up. Just went from Army to Seventh without a stop and without much effort.

  17. raymond says:

    my friend can use binary code to induce a red light(with the hand push signals)..so they may be semi-intelligent(semi-sentient???..crazy..huh?)another friend of mine submitted this to the blog here ;but the censors on this web-site quickly pulled it..got through this time..do not dought this web has “watchers” who track comments from certain individuals.

  18. native says:

    C’mon, you don’t seriously expect us to believe bicyclists actually stops at those red lights?

  19. Rainey McGuigan says:

    I suggest you call the traffic department. They should sort this thing soon.

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