According to a recent BBC report
, the possibility of installing heated bike lanes is being explored by several towns in the Netherlands. In an effort to encourage year-round cycling and to reduce the number of accidents caused by icy bike lanes, the town of Zutphen and the province of Utrecht are considering using geothermal heat to keep the bike lanes snow and ice free.
The proposal isn't cheap – the costs are estimated to be $40000 - $80000 USD per mile. But, according to the engineer who designed the plan, the reduced number of accidents and their associated medical costs along with the reduced amount of salt needed keep the paths clear would make the proposal worthwhile.
The Netherlands are known for their bike-friendly infrastructure; in fact, for trips up to 7.5km the bicycle is the most popular method of transportation. With a population of 16.6 million, and an estimated 18 million bicycles, it's clear that the Dutch value their bicycles.
Heated bike lanes sound great for commuting, but we can think of even more possibilities. Heated dirt jumps, anyone?