16 January 2009

Instant Copenhagenizing with Lightlane


Now we're talking. The Lightlane is 'Instant Copenhagenizing' where the bike lane follows you wherever you may ride, projecting a bike lane with red lasers on the asphalt. The idea is from Altitude in the States. Until your city or town councillors dish up the cash for safe, separated bike lanes, this is fine alternative.

Thanks to Joanna Goddard for the illuminating heads up.

13 comments:

spiderleggreen said...

I think a better idea would be to have lasers that zap cars, when they come to close.

allez1961 said...

There are a lot of interesting comments about this non-existent item. While it looks pretty cool in the picture the concept seems pretty unusable in reality.
But here's an idea! How about an electro-magnetic pulse generator that would disable a cars electric system if it got too close!

chococat78 said...

Loving this idea!

Anonymous said...

Just imagine how close cars would get if you just project a "bikelane" that narrow.
Should be broader and reach further to the left about 1.5m would be sufficient and within german traffic regulations.
Still nonexistant Product that will probably never be produced.

Anonymous said...

It would take far too much watt-power to project an image like that - big, heavy, expensive batteries.

njh said...

Yes, I saw this and thought it was a great idea, got enthused enough to work out if it was feasible. My calculations are thus: a 1mW cheapie laser pointer produces a spot that is bright enough in road conditions at about 1mmx1mm. We would need about 4m of this to be visible, so about 4000 times the power (4W). However, looking around and it seems that semiconductor lasers are only about 5% efficient, so you're looking at 80W of electrical power.

(forget the bike symbol - completely impractical)

Then there are the other impracticalities - the fact that a car headlight will wash out the lines; the fact that most of the laser light will in fact reflect up into the sky, rather than towards the following cars; the difficulty in safely handling a Watt of laser light and potential licencing issues.

Other issues are the potential legal hazard of 'repainting the road', the fact that your new lanes imply a lane width to your left which isn't there (someone tries to pass for example) and the chance that being different opens you to road rage (aren't we against looking weird and wearing funny clothes?).

Incidently, I would use green lasers - 5 times more visible at night per watt.

Mikael said...

man, i love the fact that there are people on this blog who know this shit...! thanks!

JT said...

May be impossible... but I absolutely love the concept.

Joanna Goddard said...

thanks for the link! xo

Anonymous said...

It's an awful idea.
In countries without a bike culture (like the UK), bike lanes are generally a bad idea. They make car drivers think that the only space they need to give bikes is the width of the bike lane. More often than not (because the bike lanes put on UK roads are an after thought and are poorly implemented) that is not enough. Clearly with this idea, it's nowhere near enough!
I ride my bike every day and have done for 3o years and I don't like bike lanes. The best bike lane is a road with sympathetic and careful car drivers.

Mikael said...

proper, separated bike lanes are the only, proven way forward for any blossoming bike culture.

Anonymous said...

Crap idea. Next...

Mikael said...

perhaps you prefer cars equipped with snowploughs to shovel cyclists out of the way?