Demo Day presented Lynsie Campbell of LaneSpotter. Image courtesy of Lynsie Campbell.

Lynsie Campbell
Founder of LaneSpotter, a navigation tool that helps cyclists find safe routes

Lynsie Campbell is an avid cyclist and a self-described “serial entrepreneur.”

She started LaneSpotter — which the website describes as “a mapping and navigation tool, created for cyclists by cyclists; with a focus on safety” — after a ride with her then one-year-old son, who was strapped into a seat on her bike.

“As well as I know the roads here, I was not confident making decisions about routes I would take with him,” says Campbell, 40, of Regent Square. “Then it hit me: The majority of people are like me with my son; there is a major fear factor of riding on the roads in Pittsburgh.”

Bike maps are helpful, but they don’t always tell the whole story. “For example, on Forbes Avenue near my house, there’s a bike lane that, on a map, looks great,” she says. “But when you get on it, it’s a four-lane road in a 35-mph zone and it’s not a protected lane. It’s not a safe place for me and my son.”

She asked other cyclists for route advice, then thought: Why not create a map that puts all of this community-generated insider information in one place?

And so in 2017 LaneSpotter was born, which provides standard bike maps, but also includes alerts based on other cyclists’ knowledge. There are tips on dangerous areas, construction zones and even shortcuts and steep hills.

Campbell is also the co-founder of the online ticketing platform ShowClix. She also started a dog walking business while living in San Francisco for a few years.

But LaneSpotter is closer to her heart, she says, because it’s an “opportunity to do something better and good.” She credits Mayor Bill Peduto and his chief of staff Dan Gillman for focusing on bicycle and pedestrian safety, and says LaneSpotter comes at the perfect time in Pittsburgh’s evolution into a “Vision Zero” city, which aims for zero deaths on city streets.

LaneSpotter started in Pittsburgh, but has launched in Austin, Cleveland, Denver, New York City, Philadelphia, Portland, St. Louis, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.

Chris Togneri

Chris Togneri is a freelance writer living in Pittsburgh.