Could polymer tufts make streets biker-friendly?

Dailies -


iTuft_Barriers.jpgThe result of a collaboration between 3M, BMW and the students of Politecnico di Milano, this concept proposes brushes of polymer tufts replacing Armco and surrounding street furniture as a way to make streets safer for motorcyclists. The idea is that the tufts could trap and cushion wayward riders and motorcycles, preventing high-speed collisions with the ground and particularly streetlamps, signs, bridge supports and other deadly obstacles.
The students suggest that the tufts could also contain ambient lighting
to highlight the presence of sharp corners and other hazards. A system
like these tufts could give the EU the safer crash barriers it’s
looking for after responding to pressure from pro-motorcycle lobbyists.
No word on how well the tufts restrain errant cars, but they could
potentially be used as supplementary barriers between the road and
deadly guardrails.

Another concept from the same program is aimed at making potholes and
sinkholes more visible to riders and drivers alike. It proposes
incorporating layers of high-visibility color into asphalt as streets
are paved. The idea is that as holes are created in the top layer of
the road, they’ll expose the bright color beneath, warning road users
of the potential hazard. If they did that in New York we’d have more
neon orange and green than black.


  • deltablues

    This is a much better solution than the miles-long wire rope dividers used on the interstates and alongside curves and bridges here in Arkansas.

  • aoelus

    Not like this would ever come about but at least someone is thinking about it. I would prefer a device that establishes a force field around my bike, preventing cars from entering it.

  • Ben Part

    Looks like they just made crashing fun.

  • the_doctor

    Looks like Master Chief fell into some vertically stacked florescent light bulbs.

    The idea of incorporating high-visibility colored layers into asphalt is actually a great idea for the benefit of motorcyclist, but i just know car drivers would be more inclined to swerve into a motorcyclist to avoid the neon potholes.

  • modelasian

    Who put the tiny motorcycle into my aquarium of sea anemones?
    The colored layers of asphalt is simply genius! I agree that car drivers will swerve to avoid a pothole, but that’s how it is now. At least a rider (bicycle, in my case) would have a better chance to see earlier what a car is going to swerve to avoid.

  • kiya

    One can only dream… this will happen someday, but not in our lifetimes..

  • Jason

    I can just imagine how crappy this stuff would look after a year. Imagine the plastic bags, cigarette butts, and vagrants that would get wrapped up in this stuff.