Please Bring This to America: Heated Bike Lanes
While we’re still debating in the United States whether and where to build bike lanes at all, here comes yet another cycling innovation from Northern Europe to stoke your seething jealousy. Towns in the Netherlands are hoping to pilot-test heated bike lanes, or geothermal infrastructure at 20,000-40,000 euros a kilometer that would melt the snow and ice from your morning commute.
These Dutch policymakers are obviously tackling a different problem from their North American counterparts. On this side of the Atlantic, advocates just want to get people on bikes, period. There, politicians are trying to figure out how to keep them there year-round. What’s most amazing, according to the BBC, is that the Dutch are having a serious conversation about the costs and benefits of such a pricey investment:
The man behind the proposal, Marcel Boerefijn, said there would be savings from fewer accidents, less salt needed to grit roads and reduced car expenses. Mr Boerefijn said it was possible that the final net cost would be less than putting straw down on the paths.
Try to picture even the most ardent bike advocate in America convincing politicians of this with a straight face.”
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