Roadscapes Stuff

Roadscapes Wednesday: Starpath / Smart Highway Glow In The Dark Roads


Roadscapes Geek Alabama

You know how hard it is to see the road in front of you at night.  Many states will place high reflective road paint and reflectors on the road to make it easier to see at night.  Some states will also place delineators on the side of the road so you can see the edge of the road at night.  Now, a company has invented something that will change night driving for the better.  The company called Pro-Teq has created Starpath.  The purpose of Starpath is to turn park paths into glow-in-the-dark thoroughfares that double as energy-efficient works of art.

Starpath is a sprayable coating of light-absorbing particles that harvests ultra-violet rays from the sun during the day and dramatically lights up like a starry sky at night.  The veneer is non-reflective, anti-slip and waterproof, and can be applied to cement, wood, tarmac or other solid surfaces.   Starpath was tested on all 1,600 square-feet of the paths at Christ’s Pieces Park, in the university town of Cambridge.  The park is well trafficked late into the evening by cyclist and pedestrians.

starry

Seeing that local city councils were increasingly shutting off park lights at night to save money, Pro-Teq developed Starpath to maintain public safety without the financial and environmental costs of overhead lighting.  The glow-in-the-dark spray also comes with additional benefits; Its non-reflective surface doesn’t seem to contribute to light pollution, which not only inhibits views of the nighttime sky, but can have dire consequences for local wildlife due to the constant illumination.

Overhead street lighting does provide one important benefit to urban parks, however, and that’s the deterrence of crime.  It’s not yet known if Starpath would provide enough light to do the same.  The Netherlands is also getting into the glow-in-the-dark highway trends by designing the Smart Highway.   With the promise of using super-charged glow-in-the-dark paint to illuminate highways during the country’s long, dark winters.  Not only will the paint light up to define the road and its lanes, but when the temperature drops below freezing, a bright snowflake design appears on the asphalt, warning drivers about the possibility of black ice.

In the coming years, The Netherlands is also expected to include a feature called the Electric Priority Lane, a brightly colored green lane enforced with magnetic fields; as electric cars drive on it, they’re charged with free renewable energy.  All of this cool road technology is getting great reviews over in Europe.  My question is when does this technology come to the Untied States?  Believe me, this technology is badly needed on our roads!

 

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