The Netherlands is known for many things and they’re about to be known for one more: the country has introduced the world to a strip of highway that has dropped street lights in favour of glow-in-the-dark road markings that absorb light during the day. The project, the brainchild of Studio Roosegaarde, isn’t very large, covering a 500 metre stretch of road on the N329 highway in Oss in the Netherlands. But it certainly is pretty, according to reports.
The road markings consist of glow-in-the-dark elements that were introduced to the road paint, which are capable of staying lit up for 8 hours after the sun has set, but there was a much more ambitious idea for the project. Studio Roosegaarde was looking at adding weather markings to the road that would only show up in certain conditions – for instance, snow markings that would appear when the temperature dropped to a specific level.
Daan Roosegaarde, the founder of the Studio, said to Wired in 2012 “One day I was sitting in my car in the Netherlands, and I was amazed by these roads we spend millions on but no one seems to care what they look like and how they behave. I started imagining this Route 66 of the future where technology jumps out of the computer screen and becomes part of us.”
The project is now complete and while a Dutch road construction company hopes to continue with the luminescent roads, there are no new contracts signed. Glow-in-the-dark road markings could lead to savings on lighting however, so it would make sense for the Dutch government to continue the experiment. Plus, it would look pretty cool.