World’s first wooden bicycle path opens today in the Netherlands

The Dutch love to cycle, and thus there are bicycle paths, paved and unpaved, everywhere. Commonly, the paved ones are made of asphalt or concrete, like other roads. However, in Emmen, a city in the Netherlands, they have thought of something new: a wooden biocomposite bicycle path, consisting of wood fibres and bioresin, which opens today (7 July). 

The bicycle path consists of large slates made of biocomposite, which are natural and renewable raw materials. In this case, wood fibres and bioresin is used. The material is just as strong as steel or concrete, and are 100 per cent recyclable. The lifespan is the same as a concrete bicycle path.

The path is about 200 metres long and is a trial version. It is made up of 6 parts, each with a different composition and top layer. The test lasts 2 years, to see if the slates last, but also the cycle comfort, and whether the slates are ‘douchebag proof’. The first evaluation is at the end of the year. If the bicycle path passes the test, there might be a factory to create the sustainable slates for other projects.

For those of you who live in or around Emmen, the wooden bicycle path lies in the Dordestraat.

The bicycle path in Emmen is not the only one testing sustainable alternatives. Another Dutch city, Ede, has paved the road for the use of cementless concrete. Instead of cement, the making of which causes a lot of CO2, they use mineral waste and some other additives. Last year, a bicycle path made from recycled toilet paper was laid near Leeuwarden, in the north of the Netherlands. Finally, near Amsterdam, a bicycle path was laid made of waste glass and elephant grass. The glass is turned into foam, which is light and sustainable. The elephant grass functions as rebar.

Photos: Martin Laning (via / Sweco / /