I had the good fortune to attend a sustainability conference last week, and in one of the sessions the speakers discussed an experimental stretch of road in Georgia called The Ray.
The short version is that the road has been designated as a proving ground for some very innovative new technologies that could have widespread appeal and huge benefits to people, the economy and the climate.
“We’re at a tipping point in transportation,” says Kelly (0ne of creative forces behind The Ray.) “In five to ten years, we won’t remember a time when we invested a dime in infrastructure spending for a road that only did one thing.”
For example. They are exploring the use of solar panels on the roadway. Why not use these huge swathes of pavement that sit in the sun all day to generate energy?
And they have installed a roll-over tire pressure gauge. You can just drive your car over it and get a read out on your tire pressure. Deflated tires contribute to accidents and increased gas usage.
Vegetation is being planted beside the road that absorbs water run off from the highway, preventing erosion, sequestering carbon emissions from auto traffic and creating fields of plants that can be harvested for incorporation into products such as compostable containers (if you haven’t subscribed to my other publication, Earth For All Ages…this is next month’s topic!).
Vehicle charging stations can be installed along the road, helping people feel more comfortable with what’s called “Range anxiety,” when driving their electric vehicle and wondering where to find the next charging station.
And they are exploring the possibility of installing small wind generators that can utilize the wind produced by passing automobiles.
They have a lot more ideas. I was impressed with the possibilities…and the power of creative thinking.
Wishing you all the best,