Rotterdam is taking a big step toward becoming a more cyclist-friendly city. In an effort to improve bike commutes and encourage more people to choose an environmentally friendly travel option, the Rotterdam city council is in the process of installing traffic lights with sensors that reduce wait times for bicyclists when it’s raining.
The traffic lights detect moisture and automatically reduce bicycle wait times from three minutes to just 40 seconds. Drivers sitting comfortably inside dry cars, meanwhile, have an increased wait time. So far, the city has installed just one traffic light as a trial run, but there are plans to expand throughout the city.
According to Pop-Up City, bicycle traffic in Rotterdam has increased by 10 percent in the last year alone. Netherlands cycling blog Bicycle Dutch reports that 25 percent of Rotterdam's citizens already commute via bicycle. While that may sound impressive to people living outside of the country, several major cities in the Netherlands already have significantly higher rates of bike use, including Amsterdam with 40 percent and Groningen with 60 percent. The new rain sensor traffic lights are just one of 40 separate measures the government plans to implement in order to encourage bike commuting.