Solar-powered bicycle lanes sought for Dún Laoghaire

Polish town testing system of illuminated paths to aid cyclists during night time


Councillors in Dún Laoghaire have called on management to look into installing solar powered, illuminated bicycle lanes, similar to ones currently being trialled in a town in Poland.

A glowing blue bicycle lane was installed near Lidzbark Warminski, in the north of Poland, last autumn on a trial basis after being developed by engineering company TPA Instytut Badan Technicznych Sp. z o.o.

During the day, particles in the path called luminophores absorb energy from the sun which then glow a deep blue for up to 10 hours during the night.

In an interview with ABC News, the company’s chief executive Igor Ruttmar said the luminous paths should help prevent accidents at night.

“It’s a problem here in Poland, especially in the areas farther from the cities that are darker and more invisible in the night,” he said.

This week councillors on the Dun Laoghaire area committee unanimously backed a motion from Cllr Shane O’Brien of Sinn Féin, which called on the council’s chief executive to investigate if such a project could be tried in the south Dublin locality.

“We have a number of cycleways that are treacherous at night,” said Mr O’Brien, adding that the lanes would reduce the risk of crashes involving objects or obstructions in poor lighting.

In a management report, the council said it would await the findings from the trial in Poland and then make an assessment on the merits of the project.

However, is said at this point it would be reluctant to attempt a similar trial for reasons including “concerns for night wildlife arising from the overnight luminous blue material through a park”.

The council’s senior executive engineer said although the surface would be bright the route would still be dark and require lighting near pedestrian routes. he also said there may be higher than normal maintenance costs.