Montreal Should Have Solar Bike Paths By 2017

Photo cred -

Montreal is well known for its bike culture, with oh-so many cyclists residing in the city and using Montreal's many bike paths nearly year-round. A green form of transportation, the city's love for cycling is definitely a boon to Mother Nature, though Montreal could still step-up its environmental game by creating solar bike paths to power the city while people bike all over them.

The small Dutch town of Krommenie is the first place to install solar panel bike paths, a project cleverly titled the "SolaRoad." Set to open today, the SolaRoad is a 230 feet bike path with solar panels stuck right into the concrete, with plenty of glass protecting the panels and a plastic layer for traction so bikers can safely ride right over.

Costing $3.7 million for only 230 feet, the SolaRoad isn't exactly cost-effective, though its the potential for the technology and idea that makes it such a unique innovation. Right now, the SolaRoad can to power 1-2 (or three) homes per year, though that number could grow exponentially if more SolaRoads are installed.

Once the construction process for the SolaRoad becomes a bit more streamlined and less pricey, the bike path-tech could be placed on any bike path. Sten de Wit, a member of the engineering firm who helped create the SolaRoad, points out how the technology doesn't take up space to provide energy (like a power plant) and is perfect for cities with dense populations and many bike paths, much like Montreal.

A SolaRoad in Montreal would be a great initiative, one that would truly set Montreal apart from other cities in North America. A solar bike path in Montreal seems like the perfect project to be completed for Montreal's 375th anniversary. All citizens are invited to propose a a project for the city's big birthday, so if you want to propose a SolaRoad, learn more about the tech here.

Looking for more? Click here for Montreal Needs “Wine Trucks” Badly >

For more on all things Montreal, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte