08 December 2009

LED Lane Lights for Cyclists and Motorists

The City of Copenhagen has implemented LED lights in four locations aimed at reducing the risk of right turn collisons between cars/trucks and cyclists.

Copenhagenize Consulting produced this info film for the City to use and figured I'd blog about it here.

The LED Lane Lights, as they're called, are located on the last stretch of bike lanes leading up to a busy intersection. They operate through sensors under the asphalt. When cyclists are registered, the lights start flashing and alerting turning vehicles to the prescence of cyclists.

One sensor is located under the asphalt on the separated cycle track right at the light, in order to register cyclists waiting for the light to change. When the lights turn green, the lane lights start flashing if cyclists are present.

There is also a sensor under the asphalt 25 metres farther back. If the lights are green and a cyclist comes riding at speed towards the intersection, the sensors are triggered here and the lane lights start flashing, allowing the cyclist to continue through the intersection.

The lights are visible in one direction. They are aimed at motorists - and truck drivers in particular - looking in their side mirror. Allowing them to flash the other way, visible to the cyclists, is considered to be a distraction for those on bicycles. We would really prefer for them to watch the traffic ahead, for obvious reasons.

When the lights are about to change, the LED lane lights stop flashing and, as the cyclists roll to a stop, the cars can turn.

It's worth mentioning that cars generally stop for cyclists here. Our motorists are cyclists, too, and the massive numbers of bicycles here in the world's cycling capital has trained everyone to take care.

Nevertheless, the City continues to work towards increasing our already impressive safety record for bicycles.