SEE IT: Celebrating the Liberation and Safety of the LPI

It's all legal: Notice the "walk" signal? That means cyclists can go ahead of cars — eliminating the possibility of a right hook. Photo: Clarence Eckerson Jr.
It's all legal: Notice the "walk" signal? That means cyclists can go ahead of cars — eliminating the possibility of a right hook. Photo: Clarence Eckerson Jr.

Happy anniversary, LPI!

Roughly one year ago, cyclists were given the right to use pedestrian signals (leading pedestrian intervals) to get a five- to 10-second head start on drivers. So why did it take Streetfilms nearly a year to talk to the two people most responsible for it?

Frankly, because not enough cyclists are taking advantage of the rule.

I can’t tell you how frequently I come upon an LPI intersection where cyclists are still waiting for the green light rather than going on the “walk” signal. So, given the cycling boom that’s occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, I felt it was a good time to re-promote this great law that makes it safer for bike riders by giving them a head start over drivers and turning vehicles.

Also, there are now more than 4,000 signals that give pedestrians and cyclists the head start.

So here’s my film, featuring Council Member Carlos Menchaca and “The War on Cars” co-host Doug Gordon, about what the law means and its journey to realization:

In NYC You Can Go By Bike on the Pedestrian Signal! from STREETFILMS on Vimeo.


Streetfilms: What’s an LPI?

A leading pedestrian interval, or LPI, lights up the pedestrian signal a few seconds before vehicular traffic gets the green. This gives pedestrians a head start into the intersection and makes it less likely that they will be hit by vehicles turning into the crosswalk. LPI’s are also known by their sassier nickname, Pedestrian Head […]

DOT Expanding Use of “Life Preserving Intervals,” With More to Come

One more tidbit from last Friday’s Regional Plan Association shindig: During the Q&A session at the “Cars vs. Bikes vs. Pedestrians” panel (a title that seemed unnecessarily provocative to moderator Trent Lethco, RPA board member and transportation consultant with engineering firm Arup, until he concluded that it “reflects realities”), I asked about leading pedestrian intervals. […]

With New Bill, Menchaca Hopes to Build a Culture of Safety on NYC Streets

Last Friday, Brooklyn Council Member Carlos Menchaca introduced legislation that would allow cyclists to cross with leading pedestrian intervals (LPIs) that give people on foot a head-start on turning motorists at intersections. LPIs have been implemented at more than 100 intersections in Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx. Menchaca’s legislation would not require the city to install separate […]

Making Safer Intersections the Rule, Not the Exception

New York City drivers often fail to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk. More LPIs would help reinforce the rule. When DOT installed a leading pedestrian interval, or LPI, by a Lincoln Tunnel exit on 34th Street last month, nearby residents were thrilled. Cars turning onto 34th from Dyer Avenue — a tunnel off-ramp — […]