Deep in the heart of Texas
Inspired by projects in the Netherlands, and indeed probably also by this blog, the Texas A&M University (which looks like a fine institution despite being home to the George H W Bush Presidential Library) has installed the US's first glow-in-the-dark bike lane.
During the day, the bright green bike lane soaks up the sun. It's free ! No pollution ! And at night, thanks to the photo luminescent minerals in the paint, the path glows, lighting the way for cyclists.
Not only is the photo luminescent paint a US first, the intersection is also the first Dutch-style intersection without traffic lights in the country, designed to help solve the problem of how to get bikes in a separated bike lane safely across the street.
Add this soft green to the rainbow of colours cities are making bikes lanes of, I really quite like this. Wonder what it looks like on the full summer Texan sun ?
The university sees its campus as living labs [I guess this makes the students crash test dummies] and wanted to test both ideas at an intersection that is particularly busy, when lectures finish, literally thousands of students, in cars, on bikes and on foot use this intersection, creating delays and conflict.
Now cars stop further back than they would at a standard intersection, making both bikes and pedestrians more visible. The bike lane has a curb to separate it from traffic and the pedestrian crossing.
After installing the intersection in 2016, the university is now carefully studying how people use it, surveying the community about whether they feel safer, and considering whether to replicate the design in other parts of the campus.
The school has Federal Highway Administration approval for the coating, and they're hoping that it will become more widely-used across the country.
This is why we keep up our funding of Universities and the Sciences. And experimenting on students (here, take this pill and tell me how many colours you see) is a fine long-standing tradition. Go A&M !