In recent years, bike lanes have become an essential part of sustainable transit systems. They’ve made it safer and easier for cars, cyclists, and pedestrians to share the road. Well, a new development in the Netherlands will take the advantages a step further by installing solar panels on the bike lanes themselves. Is this a practical idea, an interesting yet not feasible design, or a complete waste of time?

Or two steps back? Since Henry Ford rolled out his first Model T more than a century ago, cars have not only influenced the economic and social fabric of America but have influenced the way we build our neighborhoods and cities. In recent years, however, concerns about climate change, energy independence, and peak oil have given us pause. We’ve begun to amend urban transportation systems with public transit and alternative transit infrastructure (including hybrid car priority parking, designated bike lanes, and pedestrian corridors) and it looks like those trends will continue. But in most cities throughout the nation, the car still reigns supreme.

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