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Old 04-16-2014, 10:50 PM
 
Location: Tennessee/Michigan
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Post News, Introducing the Glow-in-the-Dark Highway

What's flat, half a kilometer long, and glows in the dark like something out of a Tron movie? If you guessed a stretch of highway in the Netherlands, you're right. The N329 highway outside of Oss is part of a project to improve the common highway. The 500-meter stretch of road is painted with a photo-luminescent powder that gathers energy during the day and releases the green light at night, replacing the need for energy-consuming street lights. What else is in store for the "Route 66 of the future"? Newsy reports:

Introducing the Glow-in-the-Dark Highway - 'Route 66 of the future' meant to save energy
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:27 AM
Zot
 
Location: 3rd rock from a nearby star
468 posts, read 206,761 times
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How practical is it? 500 meters of glow in the dark highway may seem interesting, does it offer sufficient lighting to see pedestrians, animals, ice, snow, debris, pot holes?
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:10 AM
 
Location: DC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zot View Post
How practical is it? 500 meters of glow in the dark highway may seem interesting, does it offer sufficient lighting to see pedestrians, animals, ice, snow, debris, pot holes?
that would seem to be the reason for a 500 meter test.
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:08 PM
 
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Actually, the purpose isn't to light up pedestrians, animals or pot holes so they aren't testing for that.

The purpose is to provide edge of road boundary and lane separator indicators. Other project might be used to display road conditions such as icing and so forth.
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:53 PM
 
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An interesting idea and one that still needs works and testing.

I wonder how much per lane mile it costs to put down? And as the article pointed out, how durable is it? Other limitations are that it only remains lit up for 8 hours. Even down here, near the equator we have more than 8 hours of darkness..
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Old 04-17-2014, 02:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakster View Post
An interesting idea and one that still needs works and testing.

I wonder how much per lane mile it costs to put down? And as the article pointed out, how durable is it? Other limitations are that it only remains lit up for 8 hours. Even down here, near the equator we have more than 8 hours of darkness..
I don't think it turns off like a light, instead just glows dimmer. High traffic times would benefit and for the hours when it has faded, the vehicles still have headlights. With some kind of reflectors although in decreased numbers compared to roads without the treatment 8 hours is probably enough.

I can see a real benefit for entrances to and exits from limited access roads especially if the shoulder it tight.
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Old 04-17-2014, 06:00 PM
Zot
 
Location: 3rd rock from a nearby star
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack Knife View Post
Actually, the purpose isn't to light up pedestrians, animals or pot holes so they aren't testing for that.

The purpose is to provide edge of road boundary and lane separator indicators. Other project might be used to display road conditions such as icing and so forth.
I think then the function isn't different from contrasting paint lit by headlights.

It may look nice (most any newly paved highway does), but if it doesn't offer any advantage to existing paint, what is the purpose?
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:13 PM
 
3,652 posts, read 3,811,021 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack Knife View Post
I don't think it turns off like a light, instead just glows dimmer. High traffic times would benefit and for the hours when it has faded, the vehicles still have headlights. With some kind of reflectors although in decreased numbers compared to roads without the treatment 8 hours is probably enough.

I can see a real benefit for entrances to and exits from limited access roads especially if the shoulder it tight.
It isn't like those are not marked now or at least they should be. And yes, I am sure it just gets dimmer as time goes by as well.

The questions I want answered before I say yay or bay are: The cost to put this paint down instead of the current paint, the toxicity/environmental impact of the paint, and durability.

Current reflective road paint isn't necessarily cheap or non-toxic either. And it is metal based. I only know it is metal based because in 2005 we lost a firefighter in the state because a light pole over a mile away was knocked down and it energized the paint strip. When the FF went to help at an accident scene he stepped on the line and was killed. That is why now every so often you see a "break" in the strip on the side of the road for all new road paintings.
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Old 04-18-2014, 12:35 PM
Zot
 
Location: 3rd rock from a nearby star
468 posts, read 206,761 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakster View Post

The questions I want answered before I say yay or bay are: The cost to put this paint down instead of the current paint, the toxicity/environmental impact of the paint, and durability.
We have similar views on this news story.

One issue with so many green articles, is they don't go into sufficient detail about the technology. Questions like relative toxicity compared to paint, and relative effectiveness compared to paint (for example over time if the glow dims, is the road less lit by headlights than roads with contrasting paint).
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:51 PM
 
3,708 posts, read 2,248,233 times
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Perhaps not over thinking this is a way to go. They are testing this as a possible solution to address safety concerns as well as a cost saving thing. If we're going to be concerned about how much metal is in paint, how much metal is used to make street lamps? Pretty sure less metal is in paint than the manufacture of street lamps, all the wiring, then the metals used in switching gear, sensors and all that.

While the metal in paint reflective paint could pose some environmental issues, that is probably the least of the concerns, vehicles are dropping metal pieces on the roads on a daily basis, no one seems to care. One of the alternatives to using metal in reflective paint is ground glass.

Green articles are published to sell advertising, like so much of what is published. Someone picks up a wire story and finds the green angle.

If you trace back much of what is considered "green", often you find that it is anything but "green", it is mostly marketing.
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