In Portland cars get priority by design

So I pull up to the top of east end of Steele bridge at intersection of NE Oregon and Interstate heading north. I get the “white circle” countdown timer, there are no cars at or entering the intersection from any direction. After a 15-20 second wait a car pulls up heading north on Interstate Av to a red light. After a short wait he gets a green light and proceeds north. I’m still waiting. It’s all computer controlled with loop sensors built into the pavement so why did the car get priority? A minor gripe I admit, but it seems cars are programmed a priority in many intersections in Portland especially during rush hour.


I kind of always assumed that was the case, since traffic signals and routes have only recently been exclusively geared for motor vehicles.

I just cross the intersections, anyway, when there’s no traffic; I have faith in my good judgment, am willing to take risks (I’m already putting my life in my hands riding my bike, anyway, right?), and am a situational scofflaw who doesn’t care about life’s journey — I just want to get to my destination.