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  1. #1
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    Heated bike lanes

    Wtih the winter quickly aproaching some people here in the Netherlands were thinking what they could do agains the bike lanes freezing up.
    And they came up with the genius idea of heating them !
    I dont know what to make of it, but when it starts to snow and freeze, i will go there and take a look and snap some shots.

    Netherlands considers heated bike paths | The Raw Story
    BBC News - Heated cycle lanes to warm Dutch winter cyclists
    Last edited by Rabies010; 10-23-2012 at 01:24 PM.

  2. #2
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    That's so cool. America hates bicycles.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  3. #3
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    Not only America hates bicyclists.
    this summer i rode around Bruxelles (capitol of the EU) and i couldn't believe the state some of the roads were in.

  4. #4
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    Nice idea of applying an existing technology to provide better cycling amenities. This is one of those transportation spending items that has a great benefit, but the cost of implementing is a huge hurdle.

    Here in the states it is not uncommon, at ski resorts and hight end homes, to install a heating coil network within the concrete to keep the snow and ice melted. Very expensive, but extremely effective.

    Now, if one could figure out a way to use geothermal heating elements (versus electric powered ones) then maybe we're talking. Of course it would never fly here in the US where people would rather just drive their cars then deal with wintery conditions in on bike.

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    unless the heat is recovered from other souces rather than direct from natural gas, solar nucs or hydro....then it may be okay.

  6. #6
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    From what i have been able to find on this, is that they will use soem kind of cold/heat exchanger embeded in the asphalt.
    It will warm up the road in the winter and cool it in the summer, combined with the fact that they won't have to use salt in the winter, this will make the asphalt last longer.

  7. #7
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    agreed that it would make a lot more sense for these sorts of heating elements to utilize geothermal heat rather than tying them into the electric grid or nat gas pipelines or whatever.

    no kidding it's an expensive install. but when you think about the expenses associated with clearing snow and ice from roads/paths like running/maintaining plows and salt trucks, paying the people to run them, etc, etc, it probably wouldn't be a huge cost difference in the end.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    no kidding it's an expensive install. but when you think about the expenses associated with clearing snow and ice from roads/paths like running/maintaining plows and salt trucks, paying the people to run them, etc, etc, it probably wouldn't be a huge cost difference in the end.
    Biggest improvement would be the safety of the user.
    Every year lot's of people get hurt because of slipping accidents.
    I once took a nasty fall coming of a little bridge in the park, since then, i have a set of Schwalbe Ice Spikers.
    For this winter i would like a set of 45NRTH Dillinger's but the price.....

  9. #9
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    They do something similar in Gothenburg, Sweden on pedestrian walkways during the wintertime. It worked pretty well when I was there in February 2010.
    Free people must travel the road to productive social relations at the speed of a bicycle.- Ivan Illich

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    Sounds cool.

    Even though, I have to admit, I look for any excuse I can to throw on my studded tires and get weird looks.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wschruba View Post
    I have to admit, I look for any excuse I can to throw on my studded tires and get weird looks.
    Me too !
    Especialy when i riding at a high speed and getting close to a trafficlight.
    People expect you to fall down and get hurt, not that you come to an almost screeching stop.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    That's so cool. America hates bicycles.
    Over here in the country of BMW, Audi and Mercedes we're currently in a state of war. I've been cycling my whole life but it was never as bad as it is now. Early this year our transportation secretary made some very negative comments about those lawless cyclists. Ever since you can sense a difference. You're the outlaw and this gives motorists every right to tell you off (in their thinking).

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by quax View Post
    Over here in the country of BMW, Audi and Mercedes we're currently in a state of war. I've been cycling my whole life but it was never as bad as it is now. Early this year our transportation secretary made some very negative comments about those lawless cyclists. Ever since you can sense a difference. You're the outlaw and this gives motorists every right to tell you off (in their thinking).
    that's happening in pockets around the US, too. a lot of it is from people who don't understand bike laws. but a lot of it is because there are people who ride recklessly and lawlessly. I have a strong suspicion that those reckless, lawless riders are typically not the people who are advocating for safer bicycle facilities.

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    I'd be happy if I could get dedicated bike lanes that aren't littered with broken shards of glass. I wonder if gas continues to rise will more Americans be willing to look at bicycles as a serious alternative to driving cars all the time.
    ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → В А

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    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon76 View Post
    I wonder if gas continues to rise will more Americans be willing to look at bicycles as a serious alternative to driving cars all the time.
    If gas went up about another $1 per gallon and stayed there for awhile they just might, but since prices are already artificially high, and if they went higher it would seriously hurt the economy, I doubt it will happen. Seems to me that at this point in this country, it is now at a catch 22 situation, in that to get more cycling commuters we really need better infrastructure, but to convince municipalities and politicians to cough up the funds for the infrastructure, we need more cycling commuters (who vote).
    The ridiculousness of cycling clothes increase exponentially in relation to the distance from your bicycle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by junior1210 View Post
    If gas went up about another $1 per gallon and stayed there for awhile they just might, but since prices are already artificially high, and if they went higher it would seriously hurt the economy, I doubt it will happen. Seems to me that at this point in this country, it is now at a catch 22 situation, in that to get more cycling commuters we really need better infrastructure, but to convince municipalities and politicians to cough up the funds for the infrastructure, we need more cycling commuters (who vote).
    You guys are end up with either a direct gas tax or a value added tax sooner or later.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    You guys are end up with either a direct gas tax or a value added tax sooner or later.
    Bite your tongue. Although there already is a federal gas/diesel taxes, and state gas/diesel taxes. That isn't the artificial inflation of fuel prices but they don't help either.
    The ridiculousness of cycling clothes increase exponentially in relation to the distance from your bicycle.

  18. #18
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    Hahahaha, high gasprices, don't make me laugh !!
    Here in the Netherlands regular costs around $9.50 per gallon.

  19. #19
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    Yes but here in U.S. up until a few years ago gas and diesel were both less than $2.00 per gallon.
    The ridiculousness of cycling clothes increase exponentially in relation to the distance from your bicycle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by junior1210 View Post
    Yes but here in U.S. up until a few years ago gas and diesel were both less than $2.00 per gallon.
    I think that was an artificially deflated price. oil and gas are still heavily subsidized stateside and I think if they weren't, prices would be similar to Europe.

    I think what has happened (I have read this in a few places) is that even though gasoline demand hasn't changed a whole bunch here, it has elsewhere in the world. and because of that, the US has become a net exporter of refined products (like gasoline) to those countries. so higher demand elsewhere in the world has increased prices here. as I understand it, there's really nothing we can do about that.

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    The way I understand the problem the price of gas/diesel is refining restrictions. Despite what popular belief says, price of oil has little to do with the cost of finished product, but it is used as an excuse to adjust prices. The fact that while quite a few refineries have been closed over the last 40 years in the U.S., I don't know of even one refinery that has been built or brought online here in the last 30 years. Since those same refineries produce gas, diesel, motor oil, home heating oil, etc., they have to prioritize which products to produce, which means what ever product goes to the back burner that price will increase. While you always hear the whining about not being able to drill for more oil, if it can't be refined into usable form, it might as well not exist. Add in ill informed so-called environmental crusaders in state legislatures who pass restrictions demanding boutique fuel blends for use only on the third sunday, of the fourth month with a harvest moon, and that drives up prices even more.

    But back to the original OP statement, I think heated bike lanes would be great, but I don't see it ever happening widespread here in the U.S. except in the largest of cities, and even then not for a long, long time unfortunately.
    The ridiculousness of cycling clothes increase exponentially in relation to the distance from your bicycle.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by junior1210 View Post
    The way I understand the problem the price of gas/diesel is refining restrictions. Despite what popular belief says, price of oil has little to do with the cost of finished product, but it is used as an excuse to adjust prices. The fact that while quite a few refineries have been closed over the last 40 years in the U.S., I don't know of even one refinery that has been built or brought online here in the last 30 years. Since those same refineries produce gas, diesel, motor oil, home heating oil, etc., they have to prioritize which products to produce, which means what ever product goes to the back burner that price will increase. While you always hear the whining about not being able to drill for more oil, if it can't be refined into usable form, it might as well not exist. Add in ill informed so-called environmental crusaders in state legislatures who pass restrictions demanding boutique fuel blends for use only on the third sunday, of the fourth month with a harvest moon, and that drives up prices even more.

    But back to the original OP statement, I think heated bike lanes would be great, but I don't see it ever happening widespread here in the U.S. except in the largest of cities, and even then not for a long, long time unfortunately.
    I see what you're saying. yeah, I'd agree with that. it certainly plays a role (in addition to the factors I mentioned) in the prices of the end products. you can certainly see the refinery issues as a problem with the various refinery shutdowns over the past several years because of various problems (hurricanes on the gulf coast, for example, but not exclusively). it seems to me that speculation on the open markets drives up prices a good bit. if there's even a possibility of instability in an oil producing region, gas prices go up within days. that's not a reflection of the actual cost.

    but yeah, I definitely can't see heated bike lanes being implemented in the US anytime soon. not when there's crap like this occurring continually.

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  23. #23
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    I like the idea of heated bicycle lanes for those who ride in the cold weather states and countries, and I was glad to see bicycle lanes appearing here in my area (Texas City, TX) even though not all the major roads here have them yet, but they did make some effort in adding some for the city. And I noticed an increase in locals riding more bicycles here so I'm hoping to start getting some bicycles up and running to sell, preferring to make more single-speeds so they won't to cost as much.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThundaCrymz View Post
    I like the idea of heated bicycle lanes for those who ride in the cold weather states and countries, and I was glad to see bicycle lanes appearing here in my area (Texas City, TX) even though not all the major roads here have them yet, but they did make some effort in adding some for the city. And I noticed an increase in locals riding more bicycles here so I'm hoping to start getting some bicycles up and running to sell, preferring to make more single-speeds so they won't to cost as much.
    when was the last time Texas City had to de-ice its roads for anything? I could see heated bike lanes being a hit in Minneapolis, though.

  25. #25
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    I see the merit in this idea, but I like the challenge of weather-dependent conditions. I think drainage would be an issue too, that melted snow may create ponds on the path if it has nowhere to go. Also, waste heat (from industry, landfills, etc.) would have to be used to make it halfway justifiable in the face of global warming.

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    I may be wrong, but I think some of the bike paths on the west side of campus at University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana were the top of the utility tunnels carrying the steam pipes to residence halls. I did not ride all winter then as I was on a very good bus route and bike lights really were crap then (two or three D cells, not carbide, I am not *that* old). But I think I remember a late fall or early winter morning ride with the remnants of a light snow steaming into fog off the path into the lightening post-dawn sky.

    I have had the comment "You rode a bike here today?"

    "Yes."

    "What about the snow or ice?"

    "That's why I have studded tires."

    "They make studded tires for bikes"

    "Yep"

    The realization that a company could profit selling snow tires for bikes was a testimony that if I was an idiot for riding in the winter, I was one of many. Her facial expression was priceless.

    BrianMc

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    I think drainage would be an issue too, that melted snow may create ponds on the path if it has nowhere to go.
    I would think that when they will make something like this, they will provide proper drainage as well, or at least give it a slight angle so water could just run off to the side.
    And what would you rather have, a frozen slippery path or one with some puddles ?

  28. #28
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    My town has some geothermal lines that are warm and melt the snow above them, but none of them run under the bike lane like they should have considered when they installed them. They cross the street at a 90 degree angle and run through the field on the other side. There's a stripe of dry ground through the field, like a walkway through the snow...would have been a free heated bike lane if someone was thinkin'.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    My town has some geothermal lines that are warm and melt the snow above them, but none of them run under the bike lane like they should have considered when they installed them. They cross the street at a 90 degree angle and run through the field on the other side. There's a stripe of dry ground through the field, like a walkway through the snow...would have been a free heated bike lane if someone was thinkin'.
    I'll bet that who ever built those lines intended them for a direct purpose....

    So the lines go close to the shortest way.

    Most pipeline crossings are required to be close to 90 degrees, to reduced impact to the land being crossed....

    Maybe stands a chance in a land with a warm winter...

    I know of 12 inch water lines running 80 C.....the snow cover is reduced but certainly not eliminated.

  30. #30
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    ^^ After a good storm/snow it takes a few days...you'll see a sunken line in the snow, the next day maybe a sliver of ground, then eventually the ground is exposed and spreads out to a width of a couple feet. If you were doing it intentionally, I'd imagine you could engineer it to work a little better though... Not sure what the water temp is in the ones around here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    ^^ After a good storm/snow it takes a few days...you'll see a sunken line in the snow, the next day maybe a sliver of ground, then eventually the ground is exposed and spreads out to a width of a couple feet. If you were doing it intentionally, I'd imagine you could engineer it to work a little better though... Not sure what the water temp is in the ones around here.
    Insulating pipelines can easily doubel the price of the line...

    Dry soil is actually a pretty good insulator the total heat lost vs the heat carried by the line is often negligable...

    If that is a high pressure steam water line it is probably insulated with 4 inchs of insulation,

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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    when was the last time Texas City had to de-ice its roads for anything? I could see heated bike lanes being a hit in Minneapolis, though.
    it's a rare occasion that they have to be deiced here :3 But more towards Houston you hear about it more often during cold winters.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThundaCrymz View Post
    it's a rare occasion that they have to be deiced here :3 But more towards Houston you hear about it more often during cold winters.
    I live a few hours north of there and it's just hilarious when there's ice risk (or even snow...there's usually a few inches of snow every couple years). They dump PILES of sand on the little bridges in town and it takes half the year for the rain to wash it all away. no salt or plows, though. I owned my car a couple years up in PA before moving to TX. for the first couple of years, the mechanics were FREAKING OUT about the rust underneath it. they wanted me to climb under there with a hose and wash the underside of my car. lol.

    I can't ever recall extensive use of hot water or whatever pipes anywhere. my undergrad university had a few steam lines running around campus and they'd usually melt some of the snow, but that's the only place I can think of seeing that sort of thing. my current university might use them but the climate is too warm already that I can't tell by differential snow melt. if such lines do exist in a snowy place, it really would make sense to use them to warm sidewalks and bike paths.

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