PORTLAND – There is a new solar-powered device glued to a Portland street, designed to mark the line between bike and auto lane. And the city got it for free.
The solar-powered LED lights are embedded in lane markers, which look much like the standard reflective ones. But they light up when the sun goes down.
“This is our first test in Portland. I saw them in Denmark two years ago and was impressed with their ability to kind of delineate traffic and show where people are supposed to be,” said Dan Bower, Active Transportation Manager for the Portland Bureau of Transportation.
Saris, best known for its bike racks, is importing the lights from Denmark and allowing several cities, including Portland, a chance to try them out. PBOT workers glued 20 LED lights to the pavement with a strong epoxy near where Couch Street turns a corner and puts westbound traffic onto the Burnside Bridge.
The city will see how well they work and how people like them. And if they pass the test, the city may purchase them and place them along other streets and bike paths. Each light device costs $140 dollars.
Cyclists liked the idea of anything that makes them safer.
“Biking in Portland, even though it’s a really bike-friendly city, can be pretty dangerous. And fixing visibility issues can be part of that, so [the LED lights sound fine with me,” said cyclist Aaron Baker.