Strabag

The solar-powered lane is meant not just to be pretty, but also safer.

What’s it like to glide over a river of blue, bioluminescent algae? Ask a cyclist in the town of Lidzbark Warminski, Poland, which is experimenting with a night-glowing bike path.

The tech behind the fetching thoroughfare was created by TPA Instytut Badan Technicznych, a “materials technology competence center for asphalt, concrete, earthworks, and geotechnical engineering,” and installed by contractor Strabag. It’s about 6 feet wide and 330 feet long and cost roughly $31,000. The inspiration was a similar glowing bike lane in the Netherlands designed by Daan Roosegaarde as a homage to van Gogh’s  "The Starry Night."

Strabag

The solar-charged lane, which uses materials called phosphors, is meant not just to be easy on the eyes but on cyclists’ joints and noggins, ostensibly raising the level of safety during night riding. Here’s more on how it works from a Strabag press release (via Google Translate):

The material... is able to give light for more than 10 hours. This means that the path overnight emits light energy and re-gathers the next day. Importantly, the effect is due [to] aggregate properties used without ... additional sources of energy. For the construction of the path near Lidzbark Warminski [we] chose phosphors glowing blue, to be consistent with the [local] landscape.

As for that last part, it’s probably a reference to a lake that’s nearby—the town itself does not glow entirely blue. See a video of the path in day-and-night conditions here.

H/t Next Nature

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Life

    The (Legal) Case Against Bidding Wars Like Amazon's

    The race to win Amazon’s second headquarters has reignited a conversation dating back to the late ‘90s: Should economic incentives be curbed by the federal government? Can they be?

  2. A small accessory dwelling unit—known as an ADU—is attached to an older single-family home in a Portland, Oregon, neighborhood.
    Design

    The Granny Flats Are Coming

    A new book argues that the U.S. is about to see more accessory dwelling units and guides homeowners on how to design and build them.

  3. Transportation

    On Paris Metro, Drug Abuse Reaches a Boiling Point

    The transit workers’ union says some stations on Line 12 are too dangerous to stop at. What will the city do?

  4. Police cars outside the New York Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City
    Life

    The Great Crime Decline and the Comeback of Cities

    Patrick Sharkey, author of Uneasy Peace, talks to CityLab about how the drop in crime has transformed American cities.

  5. Harlequin books are pictured at a store in Ottawa.
    Life

    Want to Make It in the Gig Economy? Emulate Romance Novelists

    Their three keys to success: They welcome newcomers, they share competitive information, and they ask advice from newbies.