29 October 2014

How many Brits cycle to work in the morning? I know a number of the UKFast team do, but I’d be interested to know what the national percentage is. I’m willing to bet it’s a lot lower than other countries – countries that are better equipped to accommodate cyclists; the Netherlands, for example, where several “smart highway” features are already being tried out.

glow_in_the_dark_bikeBy using a special type of paint that glows in the dark and is charged by daylight, they have already created road markings to improve on the reflective stuff we currently use. Now they are due to test glow in the dark cycle lanes, which will stand out much more clearly. Whilst they might look a bit futuristic, it’s an aesthetic I actually quite like and have tried out at UKFast Campus. As well as a tunnel with neon blue lighting strips, we’ve also got glowing lights in the desks that change colour when people are on the phone.

I think people often overlook the effects that lighting can have on our behaviour. In an office, it can completely change your mood. Imagine how much safer you would feel on the roads with your lane marked out in bright, glowing lines. As well as guiding you, they’d protect you from cars getting too close. If you look at how Britain’s cycle lanes are now, don’t be surprised to see faded painted lines and cars parking over them.

I love the innovation and imagination that’s gone into the new, glowing lanes in the Netherlands. Imagine how they will look in the dark, all lit up. I hear the designers are planning to test out the new lanes in a number of countries, including the UK. Personally, I can’t wait to see how they look and how effective they are in practice. What do you think? Do our cycle lanes need an upgrade?

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