Glowing Roads Debut in Netherlands

Look like a "fairy tale"

Apr 15, 2014
Outside Magazine

Anyone who's driven on I-70 East through Colorado in the black of night knows that traditional reflector strips aren't always enough to guide you safely along a dangerous road. Well, the good people of the Netherlands may have found a solution with snazzy new glow-in-the-dark roads. 

Originally proposed in 2012 by Studio Roosegaarde, the project finally came to fruition on a 500-meter stretch of the N329 highway in Oss. Speaking to Wired, studio founder Daan Roosegaarde described his vision for the project: "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 effect is achieved using a photoluminescent powder mixed in with the paint. "It looks like you are driving through a fairy tale," said one Netherlands news report. Although the road currently features just the side and center lines, future plans include room for snowflake designs that become visible when temperatures drop below a certain threshold, signaling icy conditions.  

Although Roosegarde and his partner in the project, Dutch construction company Heijmans, would like to expand the glowing-road project, there are no current plans for future contracts. Maybe their talents would be put to better use making glow-in-the-dark bike lanes here in the United States.