Glow-in-the-Dark Roads Replace Street Lights In Netherlands

Glow-in-the-dark roads have been a popular discussion of late. They seem to be gaining popularity by the day. Vincent van Gogh concepts have finally been translated into reality in the Netherlands. This past week, a glow-in-the-dark bike route kicked things off. Just so that it is clear, this project is part of a bigger plan to illuminate the infrastructure using solar energy.

Bicycle Path
Image Courtesy: Daan Roosegaarde & Heijmans

Spanning about one kilometer, the Van Gogh Bicycle Path comprises thousands glow-in-the-dark stones that are embedded within concrete. The idea of this component of Smart Highway project is to create smart roads that use road signs, light and energy.

Van Gogh Bicycle Path
Image Courtesy: Daan Roosegaarde & Heijmans

Only earlier this year, the Smart Highway introduced the Glowing Lines as part of the project in Oss. This added traffic lines which would glow for as long as eight hours using the sunlight trapped during the day. Fading light did come across as an issue but the lines still prove to be significantly more visible compared to road paint. Ofcourse, the downside is that it is a bit too distracting for someone not used to seeing it along the way. In all fairness, though, it has the potential to narrow down the environmental footprint that continually widens each day.

Netherlands Bicycle Path
Image Courtesy: Daan Roosegaarde & Heijmans

Roosegarde has been vocal about alternatives to non-renewable resources in order to conserve energy. Bioluminescent trees have been one such proposal for street lighting purposes. Roosegaarde does not intend to stop anytime soon; infact, plans are in place to expand the installation of illuminated paths to places like Japan. Others have not been shy of adopting the idea of these designs. Take Pro-Teq from the UK, for instance; thy tested their photoluminescent spray on the walkways in Cambridge last year. Surely, this idea has caught the attention of many and seems like one that will be reflected in the infrastructure of the future.