Just about everyone agrees that bicycling is an environmentally friendly way to get to and from work, yet not many of us actually commute this way. A large part of the reason for this lack of bike commuters is the safety issue. Any cyclist who’s ever had a close call with a car knows that riding on a street with no bike lane can be a bit scary. But installing bike lanes is prohibitively expensive, and many cities simply can’t afford the cost of adding these life-saving safety features to their streets.
Knowing the dangers that cyclists face on the mean streets, the inventors of LightLane created this innovative safety device. Originally created for a design competition focused on increasing commuter biking, the concept rapidly gained popularity with the online bicycle enthusiast community.
The LightLane is a small gadget that attaches to the bike frame. It projects the boundaries of a bike lane onto the pavement via lasers, creating a familiar and easily avoidable boundary for car drivers. Rather than having to guess at how much room to leave between their car and the bike, drivers are given a defined border to stay outside of.
It is the hope of the designers that their creation will make it less scary for cyclists to ride their bikes at night, thereby increasing the number of people who commute on their bikes. Because it’s highly unlikely that cities without bike lanes will start installing them with any type of speed (due to their cost of $5,000 to $50,000 per mile), the LightLane gives cyclists an immediate solution to the dangers of urban cycling.
More than just lights, which may alert cars to the cyclist’s presence but do nothing to protect the cyclist, the LightLane makes it easier for drivers to maintain a safe distance from the cyclist while not impeding the bike’s performance in any way.