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Experiments to start in heating cycle lanes

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Tests are about to start with heated cycle lanes in two parts of the Netherlands in an effort to reduce winter accidents, the Telegraaf reports on Tuesday.

By stopping snow settling and ice forming, cycle lanes will become safer and there will be thousands fewer accidents, the paper says.

The tests, an initiative led by civil engineering group Tauw, will start in the town of Zutphen and in parts of Utrecht.

The system will work by using what the paper calls 'asphalt collectors' to collect the summer heat which will then be stored underground and used to warm cycle lanes in winter.


‘The result is cooler asphalt in summer and a warmer surface in winter,’ Marcel Boerefijn, the project’s leader, is quoted as saying. In the future, footpaths could also be kept ice-free using the same techniques, he said.

Boerefijn says the new surface and heat collection system will cost between €30,000 and €40,000 a kilometer – about the same as it costs to lay new asphalt.

Both road safety body VVN and the national cycling union are delighted with the initiative. Arien de Jong of cycling union Fiestersbond said the heated cycle lanes will lead to 7,000 fewer bike accidents every four-week frost period.

A good idea? Have your say using the comment box below.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

... what about not using the bike when there is ice. The inconvenience is just for few months and it would save money twice.

By MP | 23 October 2012 4:30 PM

€30K-€40K a killometer?!?! Who is going to pay for this? Last time I checked cyclists don't pay any road tax.

By AnotherExpat | 23 October 2012 5:17 PM

Good idea, bravo! Maybe create some jobs (For a change.)

While you're at it, make some bikes with airbags please, the one that inflates engulfing your whole body, cheers!

By The visitor | 23 October 2012 6:12 PM

It's a brilliant idea.

By Nadjib Amar | 23 October 2012 6:42 PM

They can afford 30-40k per kilometer to heat roads for bicycles, but no longer can afford to give grants to college students. Priorities? This place is starting to resemble my home country closer and closer every day.

By xpatrobert | 23 October 2012 6:54 PM

Here is a free tip for cutting cycling accidents: confiscate the bikes of every cyclist caught tweeting or otherwise riding with their head deep in a mobieltje, and make them pay a 'storage' fee when they collect it. If the police start to treat the cyclists as they do the motorists (boete...boete...boete) then perhaps those dangerous cyclists will start to respect the road a little more and pay attention to themselves and other road users.

Pedestrians also pay no tax and have thousands of accidents in icy weather: what's going to be done to ensure our safety?

By osita | 23 October 2012 7:51 PM

Or everyone could just buy a Fatbike and cycle through the winter.:)

By David Furmage | 23 October 2012 11:51 PM

@MP, Anotherexpat: Spoken like true car drivers guys.

Its a brilliant idea, i'm all for it. And if we have to fund it from extra taxes its still worth it in my opinion.

By Fietser | 24 October 2012 6:00 AM

You are saving on fuel, not polluting the environment and stay healthy. So better people who uses the car should pay for them.

By Another Expat | 24 October 2012 7:08 AM

This country is going out of control!

Prices for everything is going up and now we are going to have heated cycling lanes?

What about the road conditions for cars? Because the last few years every time there has been 5 minutes of snow its followed by a few WEEKS of icy roads. What about those accidents?

By B | 24 October 2012 7:25 AM

I suggest we consider heating up the toilet seats.
How annoying that is in winter!!! And I think it is a problem affecting more people than icy bicicle lanes...

By joanna | 24 October 2012 7:59 AM

Good idea but it should fund itself through fines, for example

Not having lights on you bike
Not using lights on your bike
Going through red lights
Riding on the footpath
Every scooter rider should pay at tax of 10000 euros a year to use the cycle path

By roman smajkiewicz | 24 October 2012 11:14 AM

I expect (hope) that some calculation must have been made on the savings on hospital/first aid treatments, and consequently on days off work, and thus on general productivity, and on care needed by relatives etc. It is not a silly idea as it seems and costs/benefits must be looked at in their entirety.I would have favoured starting the pilot for pedestrians as it seems that there is always a lack of salt in the winter and all the pavements are frozen

By the_expat | 24 October 2012 1:32 PM

So, is it also possible to come up with a solution for the trains so that the country's railway system doesn't collapse when there's snow/certain type of snow/tree leaves/ice on the changing points/heat etc etc etc? Or there isn't money for that?

By Alice | 24 October 2012 2:00 PM

I think they should start with public bathrooms at rest stops alone the freeway. They should also have manditory WC at gas stations and stores. I am tired of seeing people squatting everywhere because of the lack or bathrooms. Heated bike path LOL...What a strange place this is...

By Destiny | 24 October 2012 2:26 PM

How about using the money to heat the train tracks instead, so the whole country doesnt shut down and go into chaos after some snow flurries.

By kane | 24 October 2012 3:18 PM

@Fietser: Hey, as long as they don't ask the car drivers to pay for this insanity again, then I am all for it. Put your money where you mouth is and volunteer to pay for it by supporting the introduction of tax on cyclists or new bicycle sales to help pay for these "improvements".

By AnotherExpat | 24 October 2012 4:50 PM

This initiative looks a completely extravagant wast of money.

The only country where I have seen anti-icing on street/pavement is noth of Norway where there is ice for 5 months. Doing this in NL where ice is so unfrequent is a waste of money that could be invested otherwise for public goods.

Regarding accidents the biggest accident cause for cyclist is caused by the obstination of youngster to ride while listening to iPods. So better pay policement to ensure they do not do it rather than this.

By Mike | 24 October 2012 4:51 PM

In order to reduce the number of bike accidents in winter, it would be easier and cheaper to explain to the bike drivers that the driving code also applies to them and remind them of some common sense rules, like looking behind when changing lanes abruptly. Also applies for summer, spring and autumn.

Until this (and similar measures are applied), this is big waste of money which could be used for more useful purposes.

By frederic | 25 October 2012 8:07 AM

@Mike and the Car People:
the biggest cause of cyclist fatalities and injuries are distracted or drunken motorists. -FACT. The cycling infra in The Netherlands is unrivaled. You should be proud of it. Be proud for once that your country does something so well instead of deriding it!

What if all the cyclists were in cars? How would your commute look then? Also, are you all 100% positive that cyclists don't pay road tax? -I hadn't realized it was illegal to own a bike if one also owned or drove a car.

By Kevin | 25 October 2012 8:47 AM

Just put a roof over all the bike paths in NL. That way we can stay cool in the shade in summer, dry during the rainy days, snow and ice-free on cold days etc. There would be no urge to jump the lights and brave the elements which would solve most of the accidents. Come on! This idea reeks of wasting money on frivolous schemes when there are many people in desperate situations that could benefit from a little extra help from this money pot.

By jaycee | 25 October 2012 9:49 AM

@AnotherExpat: that's not how a society works, my friend. You don't get to pay tax for just what you want. If that's what suits you, you should look elsewhere.
In the meantime, this is a fantastic initiative, and heated roads, bike paths and foot paths are a thing of the future, and who doesn't see that should really get their head out of their... wallet.

By radu | 25 October 2012 10:50 AM

It's an experiment. An experiment that in the big scheme of things almost costs nothing. Yet when I read some of these comments one might think that this will rob anyone living here of their lively hood. Talking about putting things in perspective...

By pepe | 25 October 2012 1:42 PM

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