Forget the yellow brick road. Cyclists in a small city in Poland are now pedaling along an amazing blue sparkly lane built to improve safety for riders and pedestrians at night.
The beautiful glow-in-the-dark path on the outskirts of Olsztyn, north-east Poland, contains luminophore particles that light up for up to 10 hours in the dark after collecting energy from the sun during the day.
“It illuminates a very bright blue, which is gorgeous against the dark forest and river at night,” Igor Ruttmar, CEO of the company that built the lane, told ABC News this week. “The glow is a very nice complement to the area’s beautiful nature, lakes, small hills and countryside.”
The hope is that the environmentally friendly cycle route will help prevent accidents without the city having to resort to installing costlier street lamps.
Ruttmar said that bicycle and pedestrian accidents are “a problem in Poland, especially in the areas farther from the cities that are darker and more invisible in the night.”
At the current time the twinkling bike lane only covers a distance of about 100 meters, though if it proves effective then it’s likely to be extended.
The Polish path is similar in some ways to one that opened in the Dutch town of Nuenen, about 60 miles (100km) south of Amsterdam, in 2014. That one features swirly patterns inspired by the work of Vincent Van Gogh, who once lived in the town.
Artist Daan Roosegaarde, who helped create the design using special “electronic paint,” described the unique bike lane as offering “energy neutral landscapes that are both practical and poetic,” adding, “It’s like you’re cycling through a painting.”
The luminous paint has even been used to light up a section of highway in the country, providing drivers with an alternative to reflectors by guiding them along glowing green lines instead.
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