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3.03.2009

Street Smarts: Bike Lanes & Paths

In today's society full of motorists, it isn't easy to find safe and dedicated bike lanes. Some cities can hardly call themselves "bike friendly". Even if they have bike lanes, it doesn't always mean that these are routes that are direct or go through busy downtown areas - things that would be especially important if you are a daily commuter going to work. If you do commute, it means you are probably on the road next to motorists who are in a hurry on their way to and from work. What about your safety and visibility? I am across two new things today to aid cyclists in the fight both to be seen and to have some rights to road.

The first is a virtual bike lane concept called Light Lane, dreamed up by Alex Tee and Evan Gant of Altitude. The idea is that a laser beam would project a bike lane barrier behind your bike as you ride at night, allowing not only the visibility that motorists need to see you ahead, but also creating that separate barrier and your own riding space, hopefully encourage motorists to give you a little room. As far as I could tell, this is merely a concept at this point, however, it is very interesting and something night commuters would find pretty useful.

The other is an option that leaves a more lasting influence. It has less to do with your immediate visibility or safety, and more to do with showing where bike lanes should be and alerting fellow cyclists where it is safe to ride. How is this possible? Contrail is how. It is a very simple frame mounted device that dispenses chalk onto your rear tire and them wherever you ride, you leave a thin chalk trail behind you. Of course, the more regular commuters who take the same path, the more obvious that route needs s dedicated bike lane. Contrail was conceived by Pepin Gelardi and Teresa Herrmann and designed for for the Power to the Pedal competition.



Photo credit: "skittle bikes" photo by Jessi Pervola



Photo Credit: Studio Gelardi

Thanks to the following blogs and sites for this material.

Cyclelicious


Streetsblog


Bike Hacks

Studio Gelardi

Dustbowl

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