If you have ever ridden a bike on a hot day, then you know how valuable brief moments of shade can be. Now, bicyclists in South Korea can experience 20 miles of relief from the sun in a covered bike path that also generates solar energy.
The 20-mile bike lane is covered in solar panels and is in the middle of a six-lane highway. According to The Green Optimistic, there are even a number of underground bridge crossings that allows cyclists to get safely onto the bike lanes without having to cross the highway.
The idea of a solar panel bike lane is not an entirely new one. Last year, Not Impossible Now covered a story about a solar bike lane that was built in the Netherlands. This project was done on a much smaller scale, covering only 230 feet. In addition, the solar panels were on the ground, not covering the lane. Although this bike lane did not provide shade, it did show how certain road surfaces could be used to generate solar energy and provide special lighting, Autoblog reports.
While the bike lane in South Korea does offer shade and protection from cars, it is not without its limitations.
“It is going to be noisy, turbulent when big trucks go by, and the air will be full of particulates and carcinogenic diesel fuel. And every now and then, some vehicle is going to crash through the safety barriers,” TreeHugger noted.
The solar panel bike lane may have its issues, but using available space to create clean energy is definitely a step in the right direction.