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.
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