A little town in Poland is taking bike safety to new heights. In 2019, Lidzbark Warmiński, in northern Poland, engaged a local engineering company to install a solar-powered bike path that soaks up rays during the day and lights up at night. Built with the synthetic material phosphor, the rather short path -- it's just 328 feet (100 m) for now -- can shine with fluorescent light for up to 10 hours.
"We hope that the glowing bicycle path will help prevent bicycle and pedestrian accidents at night," said Igor Ruttmar, the president and CEO of the engineering firm TPA. "It’s a problem here in Poland, especially in the areas farther from the cities that are darker and more invisible in the night."
The path is similar to a project completed in 2014 in Noord Brabant, Netherlands. There, an artist used a paint that employs solar energy to craft a bike path that glows in the evening and looks like Vincent Van Gogh's The Starry Night. That path also relies on LED lighting to help keep cyclists safe.
Why drive when you can bike:
- A car requires approximately 20 times the financial outlay of a bicycle.
- There are about 500 million bicycles in China, and twice as many bikes worldwide than cars.
- While 30 percent of all trips in the Netherlands are by bike, only about 1 percent of trips in the United States and 5 percent of trips in the UK are bicycle journeys.