The Dutch love their bicycles, and they don’t stop riding for much. Because many residents don’t own cars they depend on the bikes to get them where they need to go all year round. That means riding in the rain, which we’ve seen firsthand and it didn’t look like fun. But it also means they need to ride in the winter, and that can be dangerous.
But some groups in the Netherlands are looking to solve the problem with heated bike paths. The Dutch Cyclists Union are exploring options to install underground pipes on their pavements to allow bike paths and roads that are used by cyclists to be usable all year. This would make the roads and paths snow free, which could reduce accidents.
Currently the towns of Utrecht and Zutphen are looking at what this will take, and the costs could be high – around $25,000 to $50,000 per kilometer. This would allow pipes to be installed 50 meters down, which could collect and store heat generated during the summer season to help keep the roads clear in the winter. Not a bad idea and one that could save money in snow removal.