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'Glow in the dark' bike paths set for the Netherlands23 November 2013, by Elzi Lewis
The ANWB has just announced plans to install luminous bike paths in various areas of the Netherlands.
About the lights
The new paths will feature luminous lines which glow bright green throughout the dark hours. Their special paint absorbs light continuously during the day, and then releases it for up to eight hours overnight.
The paths are the result of a collaboration between ANWB and the acclaimed Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde. Roosegaarde has already proved his commitment to social issues, with other projects including "vacuuming" China's smog from the skies.
Communication manager for construction company Heijmans, Marieke Swinkels, states that, "we are currently in the innovation phase; the exact plan is not yet concrete." However, the luminous lines have already stood up to thorough lab testing. This means that, once the exact locations for the paths have been chosen, then the project is all set to go.
Swinkels is also keen to emphasise that these paths really do maintain light for up to eight hours - unlike the quick-fading, "glow in the dark" wall-stickers favoured by children.
Getting it off the ground
This project should be seen as a smart move in relation to the environment, aesthetics and, above all, road safety.
Roosegarde has been working on the scheme for over a year now, and is happy to see his plans finally coming to fruition.
Van Gogh Bicycle Path by Daan Roosegaarde
"People crave the new, but sometimes they find it difficult to realise they must release the old too," he said.
The project is currently in the trial stages, as the ANWB is asking the public to nominate which bike paths they would like to see fitted with the lights. The route with the most votes will be the first one to be equipped with the special glow-in-the-dark lines.
Roosegaarde is also happy with this method, as it allows the public to directly influence their enivronment. He believes that it reflects a wider scheme of social involvement, wherein citizens now feel free to "take the initiative" to better their environment. "This project is also a part of that," he reflects proudly.