700 million HUF was spent on the bike path network in Eger, and although the media was loud from the scandals that accompanied the project, it had successful parts as well. Not so long ago, Hungary’s first illuminated bike path was made, connecting Eger’s city centre with Felnémet. The bright idea came from a local entrepreneur, writes index.hu.
The idea of the Living Road Illuminating Pavement Sign® is at least five years old, the inventor, Tibor Farkas, said. Farkas is not an engineer, he has never been trained in the field. But since he’s an entrepreneur, he said, it’s his job to develop products sometimes, like this phosphorescent pavement sign. The idea hit Farkas when he missed a turn and fell while cycling in the outskirts of the town.
It was evident that installing streetlights in such places would be incredibly expensive, so he started experiments with painted signs. “We started to test the technology at our base in Eger. We painted the signs, and left them there during the winter, when it was snowing and the temperature dropped below 0°C to see how they react to the weather changes” Tibor Farkas said, but he was reluctant to tell more about his invention. The only thing he disclosed was that there is a kind of illuminating pigment in the mixture, which is able to shine for up to 12 hours, and it doesn’t need massive light to recharge. This special mixture became painted over the traditional sign.
Photo: Hungarian Road Kft
After Farkas found the correct combination of the ingredients, he got the copyright in 2011. Farkas got the design rights for 10 years, which means that during that time, only him and his company have the right to use the technique. Four years have already passed since. The one km long path between Felnémet and Eger could only get painted with the mixture because Farkas took charge and carried out the painting using his own company resources. It had to be done, Farkas said, otherwise his invention will never be known. This new segment now serves as a reference for the company.
The inventor-entrepreneur hopes that people will be satisfied, and with time, other cities will reach out to him. This painting shouldn’t be used on main roads, Farkas said, because cars’ reflectors are much better, but besides bike paths, the illuminated signs could be used in several unlit areas, such as in running tracks, or in cemeteries as well.
based on an article of index.hu
translated by Adrienn Sain
Copy editor: bm