Most of us agree that cycling is one of the most eco-friendly and healthy ways of transportation, although it can also be dangerous, even if you use bike lanes. Motorbikes swishing past, doors opening, parked cars that need driving around into the car lanes, are but a few nasty surprises you can come across even if you stay on the bike path. Most people agree that bike lanes should be separated from traffic. To make sure traffic also respects those bike lanes, Spanish designer Curro Claret (whose Hat Light was one of the very early posts on TreeHugger) designed the ZEBRA bicycle lane divider, made from recycled plastic.The ZEBRA, is a black oval plastic piece that is fixed to the floor on the line between the road and the bicycle path to avoid motorbikes and cars from entering. The white irregular stripes make it highly visible and quite an attractive piece. Zebra is very durable, low-maintenance and non-slippery.
How the design came about
Up until the production of ZEBRA, the local plastic PVC coating of electric cable went straight into landfill. Zicla, a company specialised in recycled materials, together with designer Curro Claret, wanted to create a useful product to turn this waste material into. The result: a 100% recycled and recyclable bicycle path divider that reduces waste in landfills and at the same time promotes the use of bicycles in town. By using recycled plastic rather than a virgin material, each piece saves 5,7 kilos of CO2, which is the equivalent of driving some 31 km in a conventional car.
The ZEBRA has won the 2009 Award of Design for Recycling, organised by the Catalan government. It is a successful design that in itself is eco-friendly and also helps promote sustainable transportation in cities. However, as Marcus Willcocks from Bikeoff (who wrote about an interesting proposal for a local bike path) rightly explains, this is only a temporary solution to making bike lanes safer. The ideal way is to build bike lanes, foot paths and roads all on different levels. ::Curro Claret ::Zicla