Cool New Solar Powered Materials For Bike Paths

October 13, 2016 5 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Poland Tests a Self-Sufficient, Glow-in-the-Dark Bike Path. 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."

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.

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.

Imagine this kind of material being used on the S-Line Bike Path, or in embedded bike lane improvements in the emerging Brooklyn/Myrtle District.

Or perhaps in Boone Park, or down Riverside Avenue?  What would Springfield be like if Hogan's Creek were embellished with a parallel, self charging bioluminescent bike path?

Bike Path at Dusk.  You can see the little solar charged particles begin to light up.