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Poland Unveils Solar Powered Bike Path That Glows at Night

Taking your bike out for a nighttime ride never looked so good. Poland’s first illuminated cycling path was created by TPA Instytut Badań Technicznych Sp. z o.o, a company which has also experimented with scented asphalt—think strawberry, citrus, and rose.  The company was inspired by a similar bike path in the Netherlands that was an innovative take on Van Gogh’s Starry Night. A significant amount of time was spent researching sustainable solutions that would not require additional light sources—the path in the Netherlands included LED lights. 

The result is a 100 meter (328 feet) pathway that glows blue after dark due to a special synthetic material that gathers energy throughout the day from visible, ultraviolet, and infrared light. These luminophores, or particles, then emit light in a variety of colors, but blue was chosen as it was felt to best integrate with the surrounding landscape, which includes nearby lake. The particles hold enough energy to glow for about 10 hours, plenty of time for adventurous bikers to cycle along the path.

At the moment the project is experimental, as it remains to be seen how the glowing surface will hold up against the elements and the wear and tear of daily use. Cost is also a consideration, as the materials make the path more costly than normal bike lanes. Research is ongoing to make the materials more cost effective and the board of regional roads remains hopeful that the solution will increase safety for cyclists. If nothing else, it should certainly bring out curious cyclists looking for a unique experience.  

Screenshot via YouTube

Screenshot via YouTube

via [Inhabitat, Upworthy]

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