Five special cycle lanes in the Netherlands
Being a cycling country, the Netherlands is perfect for mounting your two-wheeler and taking to the flat roads with clearly marked cycle lanes, tracks and paths.
You can find the pink concrete, the round blue road signs and the white bicycle markings indicating a cycling area next to almost any Dutch street.
However, some creative Dutch designers saw the potential for bike lanes to be much more than the traditional concrete or brick road. Developers came up with several innovative ideas to create interesting variants of the traditional stretch of road designated for cyclists.
Have a look at five of our favourite special cycle lanes in the Netherlands!
The solar panel cycle lane
Ride over solar energy on the world’s first cycle lane that’s paved with solar panels. This panel lane is the first test for roads of its kind, and was developed by SolaRoad. It is located in Krommenie, and is 100 metres long.
Huge solar panels were encased in concrete and covered with hardened glass to prevent wear and to make sure the cyclists don’t slip. The solar cells on the road’s surface soak up the sunlight and turn it into energy.
The lane can generate enough energy in one year to provide electricity for two households. The Netherlands has more than 450km2 of roads, making this a project with interesting potential for the future.
The heated cycle lane
Kiss painful tumbles on icy roads goodbye with the first heated cycle lane in Europe! As a test in progress by Easypath Nederland BV and TU Delft, 50 metres of road in Wageningen were made of concrete plates filled with a tube system.
The tubes store heat from the sun during summer, so that it can be used to thaw snow and ice during winter. They have yet to find out if this new safety measure will be effective enough to withstand the Dutch cold.
The wooden lane
In Emmen, Drenthe you can find the first modern wooden cycle lane in the world. It is 200 metres long, and it was developed to test the properties of a new material that consists of compressed plates made of wood chips and a biological resin. The substance is said to be particularly hard and to have a great resistance to wear and tear.
The self-lighting Van Gogh star lane
Between Eindhoven and Nuenen you can roll your bicycle wheels over a starlit road. A more than 600-metre-long strip of concrete is filled with little stones made of an artificial resin.
A special coating absorbs light during the day, and at night the energy is released, making the stones glow in the dark. The straight parts of the lane look like a mass of stars, while in the corners the stones were used to recreate the patterns from Van Gogh’s famous painting Starry Night.
The Starry Night cycle lane cost 7.000 euros to develop. Its self-lighting qualities save in electricity.
Van Gogh-Roosegaarde cycling lane
Courtesy of Stichting Eindhoven Marketing
The shortest cycle lane in Amsterdam
A tweet by neighbourhood police officer Frank Westerop made the papers in 2015, when he shared a picture of a cycle lane in Amsterdam that was two metres long. The lane is accompanied by road signs, explaining that the path does indeed start at a certain point, and ends almost immediately.
"Zou dit het kortste fietspad van Nederland kunnen zijn? Maar kort of lang, volledige bebording, dus begin en eind."
- Frank Westerop, August 19, 2015
This cycle lane may be the shortest in Amsterdam, but it’s by no means the shortest in the Netherlands. In Nieuwegein, road signs indicate a cycle lane of five cm long.
"Could this be the shortest cycle lane in the Netherlands? Short or long, it's fully indicating a beginning and an end."
Have you seen any interesting cycle lanes in the Netherlands? Let us know in the comments below!