People. There’s something in the water in the Netherlands (and no, it’s NOT what you’re thinking). The Dutch just can’t stop putting in solar bike paths. It’s like some sort of virus, only, instead of phlegm, it produces cutting-edge engineering that cuts carbon emissions, encourages people to get out of their cars, and harvests energy for the public.
As if this wasn’t enough, the newest path, located in the town of Nuenen, actually glows in the dark.
The path, which first lit up on Wednesday night, is named after Vincent Van Gogh, who once painted in Nuenen. The head designer was inspired by Van Gogh’s famous painting, “Starry Night,” and was able to make his idea come to life with the help of an innovative Dutch construction company. Here’s Slate with the science:
The path is coated in photoluminescent paint that’s also embedded with small LEDs powered by nearby solar panels. The path essentially charges all day so that it can glow during the night, and it also has backup power in case it’s overcast.
It’s kind of like those glow-in-the-dark stars you used to (OK, still do!) have on your bedroom ceiling: The substance inside them soaks up light during the day so the stars glow bright when the lights go out. Similar concept, only with a tinge more scientific finesse.
You gotta hand it the Dutch: They’re on a roll when it comes to saving the planet with alternative energy — and now they’re making it mind-blowingly beautiful. Nuenen’s path is just the first step towards a longitudinal goal of illuminating solar-powered roads all over the country.