Next week, the Guardian reports, a 230-foot stretch of solar bike path is set to officially open in the suburbs of Amsterdam. Instead of asphalt, the path surface is a layer of tempered glass protecting crystalline silicon solar cells. The glass has a skid-resistant coating and has been tested to withstand falling steel balls. Approximately 2,000 cyclists are expected to use the path daily.
The solar panels are hooked up to the electric grid. The makers of the solar technology hope it can generate enough daily electricity each day to power two or three households. Future hopes include making enough electricity for traffic signals and street lights.
The path will cost $3.75 million and also melts snow and cuts greenhouse gases by 75-percent.
The Dutch are Europe’s number one cycling nation. A massive rise in pedestrian deaths sparked a protest movement against cars, led by a man who had lost his own child.
The government embarked on a country-wide investment in cycling infrastructure. Planners changed the way they designed towns and cities to ensure cycling was at the heart of everything.