TAG: Roads

The Future of Our Roads

solar.roadway

In the future our roads will be smarter and more useful because they be made with solar panels. At least that is what the company Solar Roadways has planned for our highways. The company has a prototype which is far different from the solar panels which we use on rooftops. It is not only strong enough to support the load of vehicles but can also generate a billion Kilowatt hours of power which is more than any country can produce in a year. These panels are brilliantly engineered into three layers: a road surface which is transparent enough to allow the sun’s rays to… read more

World’s First Floating Bicycle Roundabout

Image

Oh, Netherlands, what isn’t there to love about you? Sure, you’ve got freezing winters, scary-high mountains, and relative isolation from the rest of the world, but aside from that, you’re pretty amazing. What’s that? You’ve just created and built the world’s first floating bicycle roundabout? Why shucks, you’re making it harder and harder for me to justify not taking up permanent residence (side note: that is a total jk. I very much like the U.S., and if anything, I’d move to Australia or New Zealand, but I digress). Yes, The Netherlands, famous for all sorts of environmental breakthroughs and technologies,… read more

The Roadless Rule

National Park, Arizona

In 2001, the Roadless Area Conservation Rule was adopted by the U.S. Forest Service, protecting approximately 58.5 million acres of the nation’s remaining wild-lands. Under this rule, protected areas are safe from logging, mining, and other practices that damage the integrity of conservation land. Though there are access roads interspersed throughout these areas, allowing for multiple recreational activities, the rule keeps areas safe from the construction of splinter roads and highways, which can lead to erosion, pollution, and the loss of native species. Still, visitors are able to go hiking, sightseeing, fishing, and more amidst the unrivaled backdrop of unspoilt… read more

China’s Car-Straddling Bus

China Mega Bus

In mid-2010, China debuted a prototype design for a “straddling bus”; a giant train-like vehicle that would use existing street lanes and drive overtop of traffic. The massive vehicle would carry 1200-1400 passengers at any given time, stands 4.5m high with two levels, and can travel 60km/h. It would travel over existing streets because of its elevated design. The bus concept was created as a solution to China’s major congestion problems, and also as a means to reduce their exorbitant pollution levels. It would be powered by electricity and solar power, which presents a major innovation for such a large… read more

Ignorance breeds Damage

Illegal road repair in Africa

In Swaziland, we have a saying that goes “ignorance is akin to blindness”. The same can be said of people who unwittingly cause damage to the environment by engaging in activity which may appear harmless, when in actual fact will have adverse long term consequences. One such activity is occurring in numerous rural communities in Swaziland. In a bid to generate some income, many young men in Swaziland have been effecting road repairs on damaged gravel roads in their communities. What typically happens is that these young men will remove soil from the side of the road to fill up… read more