Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Sneak peek at See & Be Seen PSA

Posted by on November 14th, 2007 at 3:55 pm

Here’s a sneak peek at a new public service announcement made to go along with PDOT’s “See & Be Seen” campaign.

The short and sweet film (a love story about visibility) was created (and donated to PDOT) by filmmaker Savannah Teller Brown of Teller Films. It will debut tomorrow at PDOT’s monthly Bicycle Brown Bag presentation and will be shown at the See & Be Seen bike light parade tomorrow night.

Timo Forsberg of PDOT says he hopes this is just the first in a series of shorts to encourage safe behaviors.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you.

  • Kirsty November 14, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    Too cute! Look forward to seeing the whole film.

    Addendum – if only I had known about the direct correlation between number of lights on a bicycle and cute boys, I would have installed a minimum of fifteen lights on my handlebars the minute I got to Portland. Sigh!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • BURR November 14, 2007 at 4:55 pm

    I\’ve got to say, it\’s great that more people are lighting up, but those dinky little one LED headlights are not sufficient to be sure you are seen, especially with low batteries in them. I\’ve almost hit two cyclists running those lights in the last week, once in my car and once on my bike, because they were hard to see.

    European countries actually have standards for bike headlights, what a novel idea.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Matthew November 14, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    \”European countries actually have standards for bike headlights, what a novel idea.\”

    We do too.

    I feel the same way about some lights as I do about cable locks. Bike shops should only sell them to you after giving you a lecture about how they don\’t actually work.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Burk November 14, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    Very cool, looking forward to seeing the whole thing.

    I agree with BURR, I almost nailed someone with a white blinky light recently as well, and I\’m really looking for cyclists at night. I wish they did have some kind of standard for bike lights in Portland – maybe the shops could get together a recommended list?

    I do a fair bit of night riding and finally broke down and got an HID light. They are obscenely expensive but I am treated so much better in traffic that it\’s been very much worth it. Oh, and one more thing…

    If people could address these issues I stand a better chance of not soiling myself with another near miss:

    1) Please stick a couple fresh batteries in that light.

    2) The rear blinky on top of your backpack is only visible by satellite, please try and mount it to the bike/make sure it\’s aimed at oncoming traffic.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Dat November 14, 2007 at 10:15 pm

    Here are some photos of the filming of the first PSA.


    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Kronda November 15, 2007 at 9:14 am


    Do you ever say anything positive?



    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • steve November 15, 2007 at 9:44 am

    Kronda, do you ever say anything positive?



    For the record, that video looks like 2 twelve year olds made it in exchange for an energy drink. I hope the director is not on their way to LA or Austin. Film making, this sure ain\’t.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • mle November 15, 2007 at 9:47 am

    Re: bright bike lights, I really love my Vega by Light and Motion.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Paul Tay November 15, 2007 at 11:05 am

    Strap a small LED flashlight on left wrist. Flash it at motorists in any direction, as needed. Works great. But, try not to over do it and use it sparingly to get attention. Those LED\’s are pretty bright and blinding, even the small ones.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • bikewonder November 15, 2007 at 11:29 am

    Hey Steve,

    Sounds like you are offering to either film it or PAY for one to be done next time.

    We look forward to all your AMAZING filming ability. Then Jonathan can post it here and we will all get to make comments about YOUR work.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • BURR November 15, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    Kronda – someone\’s got to stand up against all the warm and fuzzy politically correct Portland BS and speak truth to power.

    Matthew – those are not true standards. A true standard would require a lamp to have a certain size or dimensions, a certain brightness, and standardized construction, as well as some requirements for side as well as frontal visibility and aim and focusing of the light beam itself.

    Here is the US standard for automotive lighting for comparative purposes with the one sentence Oregon Bike lighting \’standard\’ you cited: http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/12feb20041500/edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2004/octqtr/49cfr571.108.htm

    It also seems to me that all new bikes sold should be required to be equipped with a minimum lighting system, rather than no lights at all and a sticker warning the cyclist that his new bike was not designed to be used at night.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • rixtir November 15, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    I think BURR makes a good point, though. I always watch what cyclists are using for gear, and there\’s a wide range in terms of lighting effectiveness out there.

    I would encourage everybody to ask a friend to check out your visibility– are your lights bright or dim? Do you need fresh batteries, or a more powerful light? Have you positioned your lights so they can be effectively seen, or are they angled downward, or obscured by your bag?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • BURR November 15, 2007 at 6:12 pm

    More on bicycle lighting standards from Europe, where they actually take this sort of thing seriously.


    For an inexpensive helmet lamp, buy an 12 volt, 25 watt RV light bulb at Home Depot (about $3.50). Attach a standard light bulb socket and a lamp shade to your helmet using pieces of wire hangers. various bits and pieces of steel, and cable ties. Power it with a 12 volt sealed lead acid battery that you carry in a back pack. I got this lamp shade free at a party I was at, but I don\’t remember whose house it was because I had been drinking heavily. It wasn\’t the best shade to use as it didn\’t have the piece that attaches to the light bulb socket.

    The beam pattern is not ideal, as it doesn\’t illuminate the road at all, but it is a good \”Being Seen\” light. It cannot be powered by a dynamo. Not sure if it\’s legal or not, but admit it, have you ever not seen an illegally lit cyclist? Or have you ever seen a legally lit cyclist? Or have you ever not seen a legally lit cyclist? Whatever. I know it\’s a good light because I rode around my neighborhood and I asked my neighbors if they could see me and they all told me that they could, then they hurried their kids and pets indoors.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • BURR November 15, 2007 at 6:13 pm

    let\’s try that image again

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • BURR November 15, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    not working


    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • wsbob November 15, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    \”They are obscenely expensive….\” Burr

    Exactly. Doesn\’t make sense to me, but I\’m no expert on them. I looked up the Light and Motion lights that mle(#8)mentions. They\’re beautiful, but also seem to be very expensive, like more than a $100. My long term gripe about lights that to me, still seems valid today, is the diameter of the light/reflector. True, bike lights today certainly can be bright enough, but they\’re so tiny. Small size and compactness is probably going to always be appealing, but cyclists ought to have the option of a lightweight lamp reflector unit that has the illumination diameter of a car or motorcycle light.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • G.A.R. November 16, 2007 at 9:45 am

    Why is the car in the psa parked in the wrong direction? Could it be that these cyclists are going the wrong way on a one-way street? Could their carnal desires have overpowered even the first scrap of common sense?

    Seeing and Being Seen are two different dimensions and need to be treated as such. One lamp won\’t serve both purposes and shouldn\’t be expected to.

    Seeing: ahead only; steady light; 20- to 30-deg cone of light bathing the road.

    Being seen: all directions; flashing light; helmet light or wrist light (thwipp!) for alerting approaching vehicles.

    ORS requires only the latter, but it is insane and ought to be illegal to ride places like the oaks bottom connector without the former.

    Thanks to BURR for the links to the un-American lighting standards. After reviewing them they appear to be rants by cyclists about how inadequate these standards are and how silly it is that European countries make it illegal or insufficient to run small flashing LEDs, which are broadly acknowledged by everyone to be better than the lawful lights. I would like to hear more from Matthew #3 on American lighting standards, or is #3 simply a reference to the \”visible from hundreds of feet away\” stuff in the ORS.

    I love my Reelights (available at Clever Cycles). They\’re not enough, but they are a great addition and a sensible backup when other things fail. No batteries. Always ON. Slightly pricey. Switch to bolt-on skewers to prevent theft.

    We Three Kings From Southeast Are:
    It\’s too early now for Xmas decorations, of course, but in a week we\’ll be free to decorate with those high school locker lights in the wheels. I know you can get them from Walmart (cringe) and probably other places with a similar inventory. For a couple of bucks you get a string of a dozen or so lights with a battery pack. Duct tape the battery pack to your hub (leave the on/off switch exposed) and ziptie the light string around in the spokes. Excellent!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • SkidMark November 16, 2007 at 10:11 am

    The focus needs to shift from bicyclists making themselves more visible to MOTORISTS LOOKING FOR AND SEEING BICYCLES.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • G.A.R. November 16, 2007 at 12:31 pm

    In practice, I think these focuses are the same. The way to motivate motorists is by making it rewarding to see a bike.

    Not to put words in anyone\’s mouth, but enforcement–if that\’s the alternative we are talking about–is not rewarding. Accidents and enforcement lead to fewer new cyclists and more sentiment for banning or isolating cyclists.

    Making myself more visible and obeying the law rewards motorists for seeing me, even if I\’m going a little slow. A well-lit bike is festive.

    A bike that is predictable and visible leads a motorist to a strategy for success. A bicycle that is unpredictable or hard to see pushes the motorist to a strategy for survival. Which is better? Success is better.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Kronda November 16, 2007 at 6:53 pm

    BURR (12) someone\’s got to stand up against all the warm and fuzzy politically correct Portland BS and speak truth to power.

    I\’m not suggesting we should rest on our laurels…or even that we should *have* laurels. I just think it\’s nice to occasionally thank the representatives and officials who actually do work really hard to make biking better.

    The constant cudgeling method is one way to go, but I find the level of negativity you display in almost all of your comments depressing. Even Eeyore lightened up sometimes . In my experience, people find a little bit of appreciation now and then to be more motivating.

    Case in point: Roger Geller responded to my email about bike signs (see Jessica #11 above) by letting me know they have hundreds more they plan to install. He also takes that email to conferences and presentations and uses it to show other cities the value of installing infrastructure to make cycling safer.

    I think we\’re pretty lucky to live in a city where, when drivers start running us down and the police do nothing, our politicians actually give a damn.

    Kronda (AKA Warm & Fuzzy)

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • marc November 17, 2007 at 8:36 pm


    can you please share some of your filmmaking with us? i\’d love to see what you\’ve done.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Antonio Gramsci November 17, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    It\’s challenging to even find really effective bicycle lighting on the market. Even the best red LED taillights simply do NOT stand out well against a sea of car brakelights, particularly after factoring in glare from wet roadways and other light pollution on busy streets. A good resource for people willing to consider some DIY solutions is http://www.bicyclelighting.com

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Antonio Gramsci November 17, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    There\’s a balancing act to make between an emphasis on equipping bicycles for safe riding at night and an emphasis on requiring that motor vehicle operators be mandated to take full responsibility for bystanders in the vicinity of their machinery (which of course concerns all bystanders, whether other motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, or any others).

    Unfortunately, right now, our society is doing a poor job making that balance. The fact remains that automobiles are probably the only kind of heavy machinery in wide use within our society where the responsibility for safe operation does not rest solely or principally on the operator of the machinery, but instead is shifted onto bystanders, who usually enjoy no benefits from the operation of that machinery.

    There is a certain moral obscenity involved in such an aberrant standard for assigning responsibility. Please see:

    A \”NEGATIVE\” or \”ENFORCEMENT\” orientation towards handling safety problems, contrary to #20, can be quite effective. Mothers Against Drunk Drivers has demonstrated the efficacy of such an approach in the context of drunk driving. Please see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MADD

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • wsbob November 18, 2007 at 12:05 am

    DIY helmet light? Right! (checked out the link you supplied, Antonio)I wonder what Frank, the anti-helmet \”college professor\” guy would think of that idea.

    Recommended Thumb up 0