Laser bike lane prototype

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009
By Yokota Fritz

The laser lit traveling bike lane is reality!

If the video is any indication of reality, this actually looks pretty cool.

Light Lane Website. Via Bike Portland.

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Great concept; needs work. Needs to be twice as bright, and twice as thick, and extend twice as far to the rear. Don't give drivers any credit, if you want to live.
*Maybe* needs to be brighter or thicker... idiots are idiots but striping has profound effects on most drivers. (Stripping does, too, but not in the same way...)
The video illustrates why a real bike lane, or a sharrow, is much better: it can help guide a cyclist to where he should be positioned on the road. The cyclist shown rode in the door zone next to parked cars and weaved around a lot. And ran a red light at the end.

One thing it didn't show, or at least I didn't catch, is how much the lines wash out in car headlights. It may be that it does almost nothing to alert cars because of that.

But one thing it could do: in states with a 3-foot rule, aim it at 3 feet, and combine it with video to capture a clear record and a license plate of cars that pass too close.
I've worked as a holographer and laser engineer for 29 years, and while neat, this device is not a good idea in my opinion. It seems to me, from a driver's perspective, that it would be more of a distraction than warning. On a bike, I want drivers looking at ME, not dancing lines on the road.

Better, in my mind, would be to mount a tiny laser light show generator on the rack, scanning imagery onto the rider's back. that would direct attention to the rider, not the road.

Rapid Robert
I like Robert's idea of a holographic laser show on the cyclist's back. Can we expand on that and do a full holographic Abrams tank? :-)

Good points about headlights, positioning and directing driver's focus away from the cyclist. I haven't tried stripping in front of drivers, though I know others have.
What about that study where they found you instinctively steer TOWARDS things you're looking at? The green laser would certainly atrract the eye, and that could cause people to drift TOWARDS you. Even worst with pictures projected on your back.

You want them to know you're there, not for them to stare at you.
Ever noticed how motorists are inconsiderate... Some cyclists are morons. Share your thoughts with me at my blog.
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