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Transportation

First Glow-In-the-Dark Road Debuts In Netherlands 187

Posted by samzenpus
from the shine-on dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A 500 meter (0.3 mile) stretch of road in the Netherlands has opened without the standard crop of streetlights lining its perimeter. The streetlights are believed to be unnecessary since the road markings were painted on with a mix of photo-luminescent powder, which absorbs sunlight during the day and radiates a portion of that energy back at night. Whether the modified road paint can withstand harsh weather or even provide sufficient lighting given insufficient exposure to sunlight during the day remains to be seen. The project was orchestrated by Studio Roosegaarde, which in the future plans to implement weather-sensitive road markings that would inform drivers when outside temperatures drop or rise above certain levels."
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First Glow-In-the-Dark Road Debuts In Netherlands

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  • by SimonInOz (579741) on Monday April 14, 2014 @03:05AM (#46744819)

    I used to live in the Netherlands, and I can confirm winters are cold and dark. Days are not very bright either. So an eight hour life (yes, I RTFA) for these very cool glowing roads is not going to cut it - nights comprise 16 hours of darkness in midwinter.
    It should work well in the summer, when days are brighter and nights shorter.

    But I think a backup is required, destroying the whole point.

    But it does look very cool, doesn't it?

  • by bickerdyke (670000) on Monday April 14, 2014 @03:15AM (#46744853)

    ...but the "Autobahn" in Germany never had any kind of electrical lighting (besides retroreflecting paint for the road markings) and even at night large parts of it are considered save enough to not have speed limits - even at night!

  • by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki.gmail@com> on Monday April 14, 2014 @03:29AM (#46744907) Homepage

    Those of us who don't live in cities have been driving fine at night without streetlights forever. No special paint needed. Cars have headlights.

    I'm guessing you don't actually live anywhere that has serious wear and tear on their roads, otherwise you'd know that by the time half the winter is over that the paint is already worn down to the point where it's useless. And of course, if it's raining good luck on seeing those lines at all. Luckily HID lamps have helped with this, but don't get stuck driving on any Canadian highway anywhere between the months of: January(sometimes if it's really bad, this can hit as early as early November) through June when there is: Snow, rain, slush, mud, slop, dirt, or less than 50% sunlight.

    And don't count on the shoulders to be a guide, because we don't really use them in most cases. Though if you're driving on a major highway like the 400 series(401,402,403,etc), some parts of the Trans-Canada, and a few other busy highways, we do have rumble strips.

  • Stealth Mode? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday April 14, 2014 @04:14AM (#46745057)

    Oh, wait, humans can actually see by starlight alone.

    Not if you have headlights on, are you supposed to turn them off when you hit this stretch of road? And park for about fifteen minutes to dark adapt?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 14, 2014 @04:32AM (#46745141)

    There is no speed limit for some roads, but there are still general rules about how fast you are allowed to drive (adjusting your speed to the conditions of the road, weather, etc.). You have to be able to stop in the part of the road that you can see for example, which excludes cruising along at high speeds with insufficient lights for your speed.

  • Re:Useless (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rtb61 (674572) on Monday April 14, 2014 @06:08AM (#46745415) Homepage

    Meh, I driven down thousands of kilometres of unlighted roadway, even unpaved roads, dodging roos and wombats like most Europeans would dodge rabbits. Simply adjust road speed to conditions. Road side illumination should be generally restricted to built up areas and be more about restricting nefarious activities rather than traffic safety.

  • Re:Useless (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@NOspaM.world3.net> on Monday April 14, 2014 @08:26AM (#46745927) Homepage

    There is a lot of important stuff you can't see by moonlight alone. Animals, for example, tend to evolve to be hard to see. At least with headlights there is a chance you will see the light reflecting from their eyes, or their shape against the background.

  • Light Pollution (Score:2, Interesting)

    by barakn (641218) on Monday April 14, 2014 @08:47AM (#46746093)

    Seeing as how all of the light is directed upward, this adds to light pollution, which some people blame a lot of problems on: http://darkskyinitiative.org/ [darkskyinitiative.org]

It is impossible to travel faster than light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off. -- Woody Allen

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