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. Design

    Reviving the Utopian Urban Dreams of Tony Garnier

    While little known outside of France, architect and city planner Tony Garnier (1869-1948) is as closely associated with Lyon as Antoni Gaudí is with Barcelona.

  2. photo: An elderly resident of a village in Japan's Gunma Prefecture.
    Life

    In Japan’s Vanishing Rural Towns, Newcomers Are Wanted

    Facing declining birthrates and rural depopulation, hundreds of “marginal villages” could vanish in a few decades. But some small towns are fighting back.

  3. photo: A metro train at Paris' Gare Du Nord.
    Transportation

    Can the Paris Metro Make Room for More Riders?

    The good news: Transit ridership is booming in the French capital. But severe crowding now has authorities searching for short-term solutions.

  4. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

  5. Design

    How Advertising Conquered Urban Space

    In cities around the world, advertising is everywhere. We may try to shut it out, but it reflects who we are (or want to be) and connects us to the urban past.

×