Heated Bike Lanes in the Winter. Wouldn’t that be nice in Montréal!

When it comes to cycling, the Dutch are always in the lead.  In Amsterdam, 33% of all commuting trips are made by bike; a rate that is somewhere between 10 and 40 times that of most North American cities. The car mode share is only 19%!  The City of Amsterdam, however, would like to continue to increase the share of bikes on the road, especially in the winter months.  One of the measures they are planning to take in order to achieve that goal is to install heated bike lanes for winter cycling.

Cycling in the winter is common in the Netherlands

The heating system doesn’t seem to even require the use of fossil fuels. It will work by using  ‘asphalt collectors’ to collect the summer heat which will then be stored underground until needed in the winter.   The scheme will cost up to €40,000 per kilometre to install – which doesn’t really seem like that much money to me.  Advocates of the project think that the expense is well worth it; the City will save money by using less salt and sand on the road (the use of both has severe environmental consequences).  But, more importantly, there will be fewer cycling accidents due to bad road conditions, and if all goes to plan, fewer cars on the road during the winter months.

7 thoughts on “Heated Bike Lanes in the Winter. Wouldn’t that be nice in Montréal!

  1. Fantastic idea. I don’t understand how the summer heat is stored in the asphalt? I wonder if it would work in colder climates like Montreal? I will forward to Mayor Trent of Westmount.

  2. Your article is getting countries confused. The heated bike lanes are to be installed in the Netherlands, whereas Copenhagen is in Denmark.

    I remain somewhat skeptical about the technology because, as you’ve said, 40000 Euro per km seems suspiciously cheap. But I’m happy to be proven wrong in my skepticism — heated bike lanes would be terrific for the Cartier Bridge path which supposedly can’t be cleared using normal snow removal techniques.(yes, I know that this particular technique would probably not work on a bridge).

    1. Thank you for pointing out my mistake Harald. I made the necessary corrections.

      The articles I have read have not explained the heating technology in great detail. I will do a little investigating in order to find out the feasibility of heating a path on a bridge. Perhaps it is possible….

    2. Thank you for pointing out that the image is from Copenhagen, Denmark and not the Netherlands AKA Holland.
      North Americans often get the two nations confused.

  3. Great idea!!! That would make riding your bike in Montreal so much easier!
    But… I don’t think it will ever happen.

    Until then, I would recommend you get a good bike, with good winter tires, with fenders at a decent price from the guys at Usedbikesmontreal.ca/a>. They have a wide selection of both summer and winter bikes. Their bikes for sale are cheap in price, they have beautiful vintage road bikes; Peugeot, Marinoni, Colnago, Vitus, etc…

    I strongly recommend you check them out before buying your next used bikes in Montreal!

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