Blaze

Gleaming icons appear on the pavement well ahead of cyclists, giving them enhanced safety in blind spots.

New York might still have a problem with motorists blocking bike lanes, but Citi Bike users now have a flashy new tool at their disposal to help carve out their own space on the road.

The bike-share program is installing Blaze Laserlights on 250 Citi Bikes, giving cyclists a new safety feature by projecting green bicycle symbols on the pavement 20 feet ahead. With luck, these little laser shows will announce cyclists’ presence to drivers and pedestrians well ahead of time, especially when they’re emerging from blind spots like corners, alleys, and the sides of vehicles.

The Blaze pilot program will begin this winter, following an experiment with the same lights in London. Here’s more from Citi Bike:

Extensive research on the Laserlight on London’s bike-share fleet revealed that a cyclist with a Laserlight at night is even more visible than a cyclist in daytime.

The vast majority of London bus drivers surveyed said the light made it easier to notice and react to cyclists at night, while 75% of cyclists felt more confident cycling with a Laserlight.

The initiative also aims to grow ridership among women, whom studies have shown are more likely to ride in safer traffic environments with features like protected bike lanes and one-way streets. Results in London indicated that this outcome is likely.

For folks who’d rather pedal without lasers, you can turn that function off and just use the devices as white, 300-lumen LEDs. Here’s hoping Citi Bike finds a way to really secure the lights into the frames, as the 109-component gadgets retail for about $150 apiece.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a photo of a full parking lot with a double rainbow over it
    Transportation

    Parking Reform Will Save the City

    Cities that require builders to provide off-street parking trigger more traffic, sprawl, and housing unaffordability. But we can break the vicious cycle.   

  2. A woman looks straight at camera with others people and trees in background.
    Equity

    Why Pittsburgh Is the Worst City for Black Women, in 6 Charts

    Pittsburgh is the worst place for black women to live in for just about every indicator of livability, says the city’s Gender Equity Commission.

  3. a map comparing the sizes of several cities
    Maps

    The Commuting Principle That Shaped Urban History

    From ancient Rome to modern Atlanta, the shape of cities has been defined by the technologies that allow commuters to get to work in about 30 minutes.

  4. a photo of a man at a bus stop in Miami
    Transportation

    Very Bad Bus Signs and How to Make Them Better

    Clear wayfinding displays can help bus riders feel more confident, and give a whole city’s public transportation system an air of greater authority.

  5. a photo of a woman on a SkyTrain car its way to the airport in Vancouver, British Columbia.
    Transportation

    In the City That Ride-Hailing Forgot, Change Is Coming

    Fears of congestion and a powerful taxi lobby have long kept ride-hailing apps out of transit-friendly Vancouver, British Columbia. That’s about to change.  

×