There are bike signals at:

The most important thing is if you're driving - DO NOT TURN RIGHT when the bike signal is green. You can take out people entering the intersection from that corner if you do. A symbol for No Right Turn illuminates for the cars on Sycamore facing Russell. Other than that, it's just a cool little reminder that you live in the bike capital of the world.

The law that allows for those "Bicycles Must Obey Bicycle Signal" signs expired on January 1, 2005, but was renewed.

Russell and Sycamore is reportedly the first bike signal in the world.

Russell and Sycamore

Pole Line and Loyola


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Drivers who turn right against the bike light are generally considered to be rude and inconsiderate — they've been waiting for cars to stop coming from Russell, and they don't bother to pay attention to the traffic light, and the fact that they might kill someone. I used to see this happen at least once a day before they made a more visible "no right turn on red" sign.

Drivers who turn left against the bike light are generally given the benefit of the doubt by bikers — they're probably got confused and are so embarrassed about their mistake that they'll never do it again. I've never seen this happen more frequently than once every few weeks. — KenBloom

As a pedestrian, I was hit by a guy turning right against the bike signal. I fell into his hood, gave him the finger and went on my merry way. In restrospect, I should have tried to hit my head really hard and start bleeding, but at the moment, I was more concered with crossing the street. — arlen

2005-02-12 20:13:10   I'd imagine that Hong Kong is the bike capital of the world. We're just the bike capital of the US. —JabberWokky

To my knowledge, we have the highest nuber of bicycles per capita in the world. Hong Kong has a crapload more bikes, but only because they have a super crapload more people.

2005-02-13 00:07:47   Boulder claims a higher per capita ownership, but fewer riders. Holland (and especially Amsterdam) also claims more bikes than people. Those figures are harder to get (darn non-english speakers). I think Hong Kong has the highest *riders* per capita, but that's an unverified "I think it was on Discovery or History Channel" memory. Davis is up there, and very bike friendly and bike focused. —JabberWokky

2005-02-13 02:28:06   The most unfortunate thing about this signal is no matter how distinct the design looks up close, it's still just a red and green light. To try to solve this problem they've gone through at least two seperate lit "PLEASE DON'T TURN NOW" signs to alert the motor vehicles; kind of defeating the purpose, don't you think? I know that even though I lived in Emerson for a year and biked through that intersection at least twice a day, when I drive up to it and see the green bike signal I'm still ever-so-tempted subconciously to turn. Basically I think it should be purple or something. —TravisGrathwell

2005-02-13 16:17:17   When I first got to Davis I didn't understand. I thought— hey, that's funny. A green signal in the shape of a bike. Wow. They really the bike capitol of the world. This was at 3am, with no bikers around, so it didn't really occur to me that it was signal for bikes. —JaimeRaba

2005-02-13 16:18:28   With respect to the bikes per capita, I happened across some statistics on Wikipedia that indicated that Davis has almost twice as many bicycles as people. Maybe that's why we're ahead of Holland? Good ol' competing stats are assuredly out there. —JaimeRaba

2006-01-05 19:10:51   Any info on *how* old that bike signal at Russell and Sycamore is? —JoFeuerstein

1990 according to this city bike plan {3.5mb pdf} —EdHenn

2006-01-06 01:21:30   When I first got to Davis, I first encountered one of these signals at night. And I thought— how funny! One of the lights is in the shape of a bike! It didn't occur to me (despite the shape of the light) that the light was ONLY for bikes. The next day, when all the bikes were lined up in front of it... and and the fact the two lights didn't behave the same way also somehow made sense. Oh, and then there's the funky no turn on red sign at Sycamore. I know there is a special law that makes the bike stoplights legal, but I wonder about the no turn sign. I have a hunch that it might not be up to code... but it would be worth checking out. —JaimeRaba

  • Apparently the law gives municipalities the option to provide "appropriate signal indications or changeable message signs . . . to meet the requirements for the variable right-turn mode." In layman's terms, it says that because the right turn is both allowed and prohibited at different times, then the city can install appropriate signs or signals to keep traffic moving safely. The specific law can be found here in section 4D.07-D. However, there could be more pertinent language that I didn't find. If anyone wants to do more research the specific sign is called a blank-out no turn sign.

2006-05-05 10:49:57   Okay, this is really not hard evidence, but for example the College Town of Leuven (Belgium) has about 90000 people, but A LOT of bikes, I would contend more than Davis. Check this picture:

2007-06-15 11:54:05   Unfortunately biking has been (is?) becoming less popular at Davis - according to Census statistics the fraction of people biking has dropped from a high of 22% to 15% (1990-2000). This does not even beat the national average of the Netherlands (26%) or even Denmark (20%). I'm not sure which city in the world is most bike intensive, in the same article it states that in Groningen (a city in the Netherlands with three times the population of Davis) 37% of all trips are made by bike! We have some catching up to do...,_California