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Street furniture falls victim to April Fools'

Is it more Mario Kart, waterfront walking that requires a Bee Gees soundtrack – or is it the yellow brick road does neon?

Actually – it’s what we think must be the world’s first street furniture based April Fools' prank.

This futuristic disco pathway was thought up by Vancity Buzz, who claimed Vancouver could soon have 5.2 kilometres of its seawall path illuminated by fluorescent-painted rocks, proposed to light the way for pedestrians and cyclists in a bid to improve safety at night.

An impressive and convincing April Fool, I’m sure you’ll agree. 
 

Photo credit: Vancouver Park Board

While the concept of a multi-coloured sustainable pathway hasn’t hit the UK yet, or indeed, Vancouver, there is an existing sustainable pathway in the Netherlands, a solar-powered bike lane to be exact, and in fact, was the first of its kind in the world.

It might sound impossible to make this green way of travelling even greener, but the Dutch have done just that. The ‘SolaRoad’ in Krommenie, northwest of Amsterdam, is under a three-year testing cycle after its opening in November 2014. However, it seems to have made a positive impact in its first stages, having generated more than 3,000 kilowatt-hours of energy from 150,000 riders in its first six months of operation – enough to power a home for a full year! 
 
Initially only 230 feet long, the cycle lane will extend to 328 feet and it is hoped that the solar power generated will be used for street lighting, powering electric cars whilst on the road and houses.  

Very impressive, but this sustainable street furniture comes as no surprise to me. 
 
Why’s that you ask? Well, as you may have seen from our recent piece in Campus Estate Management, we’ve got form when it comes to innovative street furniture.
Our Solaris™ solar powered bollards illuminate walkways, cycle paths,  car parks, educational campuses and many other public spaces.

They can emit two levels of lighting; continual light after dark at a low level and a more intense brightness triggered automatically as a passer-by approaches the bollard. 
 
The solar cells are powered by ultra violet (UV) light as opposed to sunshine, so even on an overcast day the bollard can generate sufficient energy to stay entirely operative. When fully charged following eight hours or less of daylight, the bollard can provide continuous lower lighting for up to 10 days without further charging.  
 
Not too shabby, I’m sure you’ll agree! If you’re keen to find out more about our sustainable street furniture, just take a look around our website or call our friendly team on 01623 513 355. 
 

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