Poland has beautiful solar-powered bike lanes that glow in the dark

More and more Americans are biking to work these days.

According to a study by the Accessibility Observatory at the University of Minnesota, the number of Americans who commute to work on their bicycles is up 22 percent over the past nine years.

“Though biking is used for less than one percent of commuting trips in the United States, biking infrastructure investments are much more cost-effective at providing access to jobs than infrastructure investments to support automobiles," Andrew Owen, director of the Observatory, told the University of Minnesota.


The rise in American cyclist commuters is good news. “Bike commuting is a cost-effective, healthy, and environmentally sustainable alternative to being stuck in traffic," Owen said.

However, the U.S. still has a long way to go to catch up to Europe, where commuting to work on a bicycle is very common. For example, in the U.S. 0.6 percent of commuters go to work on a bike, whereas in Copenhagen, Denmark, a whopping 37 percent of people take a bike to work.

via Helen K / Flickr

The layout of U.S. and European cities has a lot to do with the differences in biking populations. Much of the U.S. was built with cars in mind, but in Europe, most major cities sprang up centuries before cars were even a consideration.

Poland recently introduced some beautiful glow-in-the-dark bike lanes in the town of Lidzbark Warminski. Created by TPA Instytut Badan Technicznych, they're lit completely by solar power so cyclists can see where they're going when the sun goes down, and more importantly, drivers can see them.

“The material we used for the track gives light for over ten hours. That means the road can radiate throughout the whole night and reaccumulate light the following day," Igor Ruttmar from TPA told Civil Engineer.

The Polish bike lanes aren't the first of their kind in Europe. In 2014, artist Daan Roosegaarde, designed self-illuminated bike lanes based on the painting “Starry Night" by painter Vincent van Gogh. The artist was a resident of the region back in 1883.

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WITI Milwaukee

Joey Grundl, a pizza delivery driver for a Domino's Pizza in Waldo, Wisconsin, is being hailed as a hero for noticing a kidnapped woman's subtle cry for help.

The delivery man was sent to a woman's house to deliver a pie when her ex-boyfriend, Dean Hoffman, opened the door. Grundl looked over his shoulder and saw a middle-aged woman with a black eye standing behind Hoffman. She appeared to be mouthing the words: "Call the police."

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Rochester NY Airport Security passing insulting notes to travelers caught on tape www.youtube.com

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Coal mining is on the decline, leaving many coal miners in West Virginia without jobs. The Mine Safety and Health Administration says there are about 55,000 positions, and just 13,000 of those jobs are in West Virginia. The dwindling amount of work is leaving some struggling to make a living, but the Appalachian Beekeeping Collective is giving those coal miners a way to find new jobs and make a supplemental income as coal mining diminishes.

The Appalachian Beekeeping Collective trains coal miners and other low-income residents in mining communities to keep bees. Some coal miners are getting retrained to work in the tech industry, however beekeeping allows coal miners to continue to work in a job that requires a similar skill set. "The older folks want to get back to work, but mining is never going to be like it was in the '60s and '70s, and there is nothing to fall back on, no other big industries here, so all of these folks need retraining," former coal miner James Scyphers told NPR. "Beekeeping is hands-on work, like mining, and requires on-the-job training. You need a good work ethic for both."

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There was once a time in Florida where you could park your boat in your front lawn, but you were SOL if you wanted to grow squash and lettuce there. However, thanks to one Miami Shores couple, that's about to change.

Hermine Ricketts and Tom Carroll had been growing a front yard garden for 17 years, but in 2013, Miami Shores changed its city ordinance, making the activity illegal. The new city ordinance said that backyard vegetable gardens were a-OK, but Ricketts and Carroll couldn't keep a garden in their backyard because it didn't get enough sun. So the couple could either dig up their garden or face $50 in daily fines for letting it continue to grow. The couple opted to do neither and instead, they sued the city.

Ricketts and Carroll took their case to the Florida Supreme Court. Initially, the courts sided with Miami Shores, but the fight wasn't over. Florida State Senator Rob Bradley introduced legislation preventing "a county or municipality from regulating vegetable gardens on residential properties." Earlier this year, the Senate passed the bill 35-5.

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