[Image Courtesy of TPA Sz z.o.o.]
Safety is crucial for any bicycle user, particularly when riding at night.
Poland just unveiled a new type of bike lane for a safer and more enjoyable biking experience. Located in the Mazury region, these lanes glow bright blue during the night for both biker and driver safety. The path uses phosphor, a synthetic material that lights up after exposure to sunlight.
“The material we used for hte track gives light for over ten hours,” said Igor Ruttmar from TPA Instytut Badan Technicznych. “That means the road can radiate throughout the whole night and reaccumulate light the following day.”
Phosphor has traditionally been used in cathode ray tubes (CRTs) and plasma displays. They have sustained emission, which means they stay illuminated for extended periods of time.
This version of phosphor was produced by TPA laboratory in Pruszkow.
A similar bike path popped up in the Netherlands to replicated parts of Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” While that path inspired its Polish counterpart, the two paths use very different technologies. The Van Gogh path used LED lights powered by solar charges. Some of the swirling effects were enhanced with light-collecting paint. See the “Starry Night” video below.
Poland’s lane does not require a power source, and it’s still being tested. No one knows yet how long the phosphor will last before losing its charge, and the fate of the project will be determined at that time.
There is also the matter of price. Poland’s new bike lane costs considerably more than traditional lanes. If the material’s resistance to wear is shorter than expected, the company might not renew the bike lane post-testing phase.