Gimmick or godsend? My review of the NiteRider Sentinel with “Laser Lanes”

laser_rear

The light has two lasers that project a bike lane on the road alongside your bike.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

A bike light that creates virtual bike lanes wherever you go? That’s the promise behind the NiteRider Sentinel 40, a rear light that comes with a special “laser lanes” mode that projects two bright lines on the ground around your bike.

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Volunteers needed for first-ever Portland bike light count

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
The faces of Get Lit

All lit up.
(Photo: Jeff Bernards)

In case you haven’t heard, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) is working on a campaign to increase awareness of the need to use lights while biking. They debuted a hilarious video PSA a few weeks ago (and more are in the works) and now they’re teaming up with the City of Portland to do the first-ever bike light count.

The purpose of the count is to better understand what the current levels of bike light usage are, find out whether usage is going up or down, and so on. Here’s more from the BTA:

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BTA Video: Wear pants? Use lights!

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Shot from BTA’s new video.
– Watch it below –

For most of us, there’s only one night a year where we’d even think about hopping on our bike without our pants on. The BTA has put out a new video that uses this idea to encourage the use of bike lights.

They unveiled a hilarious new video the other day titled, Strategies for Getting Around Without Bike Lights (or Pants). It features Portland Mercury editor Wm. Steven Humphrey trying to get through his day without pants on — which is just as silly as trying to get around town in dark without lights on your bike.

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BTA, Police Bureau launch latest incarnation of bike light education program

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
riding along with Officer Hoesly

A Portland police officer gives
out a free set of bike lights
back in August 2006.
(Photos J. Maus)

As part of their ongoing Eye to Eye campaign, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) and the Traffic Division of the Portland Police Bureau have partnered up on an effort to increase awareness of using bike lights and being more visible while riding. Their efforts build on a history of bike light advocacy here in Portland that started over three years ago.

According to a press release issued this morning, the BTA will kick off the project tomorrow with an event at the “Seven Corners” intersection (SE Division, SE Ladd, and SE 20th). They’ll be serving “mocktails” (non-alcoholic beverages) and giving cyclists information about lights and visibility.

That event will be followed by a series of “targeted bike light education and enforcement actions” by the Police Bureau. The actions are slated to begin next week and the plan is for police officers to educate non-lit cyclists about light laws, pass out safety information, and install free lights (thanks to an ODOT grant) when necessary.

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