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Heated bike paths

Is the latest development, one in which bike lanes would be heated in the wintertime a bit over the top?

Dutch engineers are investigating the possibility of roadways being warmed up by heated underground pipes. According to them, this would result in more bicyclists choosing to ride during the winter, and would reduce accidents caused by snowy and icy roads. The cost is estimated to be between Euro 20,000 and 35,000 per kilometer of heated bike path. One of the members of the engineering team said that the pipes for the heated bike paths would have to run as deep as 50 meters down, which is why the cost per kilometer of lane is so high. Heat generated during the summer months would be collected and stored, and used to de-ice and warm the paths in the winter.

Even though the installation costs may be high, they will likely lead to cost savings. This is primarily because of less money being spent on the salt and straw used on roads during winter, but also because of reduced accident costs. This sort of technology could potentially be more effective/efficient/cheaper than current practices, but because of common misperceptions may never be adopted.

Written on: Dec, 27 2014
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