Heat the Streets of Saint Paul

by MartinJohn Heubach | Feb 18, 2013
| 1 Comment

Summary:

Geothermal and solar technology has advanced to a degree where it is economically and physically feasible to heat the streets, bike paths, and sidewalks of Saint Paul during the winter months.

There would be many benefits to all residents and visitors of Saint Paul if such a system were put in place:
1. Lower the risk of traffic accidents
2. Reduce or eliminate the cost of road salting.
3. Reduce the stress on asphalt and concrete streets caused by expansion and contraction during temperature shifts. Less pot holes, longer lasting roads.
4. Increase bicycle access during winter months.
5. Provide safe walking paths and encourage pedestrian traffic.
6. The energy not used by the streets and sidewalks during Spring and Summer can be added back into the grid.
7. Eliminate Snow Emergencies, tickets and towing.
8. Side streets would remain at full-width all year long with the reduction of curb ice. (Side-mirrors everywhere, rejoice!)
9. Reuse of industrial by-products to power the system (that normally would have been allowed to wastefully dissipate).
10. Increase taxpayer value and remain competitive in a global economy.

This technology is already being used in other cities!
http://www.toledoblade.com/Culture/2011/02/20/Heated-surfaces-mean-some-...
http://www.hollandbpw.com/Green_Initiatives/Pages/Downtown_Snowmelt_Syst...
http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/bulletin/good-idea-heated-bike-lanes-for...
http://www.cnn.com/2011/TECH/innovation/01/19/smart.roads/index.html
http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/energy/stories/radiating-roads
http://cms.bsu.edu/About/Geothermal.aspx

About You

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About You

First Name

MJ

Last Name

Heubach

City

Minneapolis

County

Hennepin

Country

United States, MN

Website (if you have one)

Names of others who helped contribute to my idea

How did you hear about the Forever Saint Paul Challenge?

The newspaper

About Your Organization (if applicable)

Organization Name (if applicable)

Organization Website

Organization Phone

Organization Address

City

Organization Country

United States

Your idea

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Title of your idea

Heat the Streets of Saint Paul

Give us the highlights of your idea for making Saint Paul great (2,000 characters maximum or approx. 250 words)

Geothermal and solar technology has advanced to a degree where it is economically and physically feasible to heat the streets, bike paths, and sidewalks of Saint Paul during the winter months.
There would be many benefits to all residents and visitors of Saint Paul if such a system were put in place:
1. Lower the risk of traffic accidents
2. Reduce or eliminate the cost of road salting.
3. Reduce the stress on asphalt and concrete streets caused by expansion and contraction during temperature shifts. Less pot holes, longer lasting roads.
4. Increase bicycle access during winter months.
5. Provide safe walking paths and encourage pedestrian traffic.
6. The energy not used by the streets and sidewalks during Spring and Summer can be added back into the grid.
7. Eliminate Snow Emergencies, tickets and towing.
8. Side streets would remain at full-width all year long with the reduction of curb ice. (Side-mirrors everywhere, rejoice!)
9. Reuse of industrial by-products to power the system (that normally would have been allowed to wastefully dissipate).
10. Increase taxpayer value and remain competitive in a global economy.
This technology is already being used in other cities!
http://www.toledoblade.com/Culture/2011/02/20/Heated-surfaces-mean-some-...
http://www.hollandbpw.com/Green_Initiatives/Pages/Downtown_Snowmelt_Syst...
http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/bulletin/good-idea-heated-bike-lanes-for...
http://www.cnn.com/2011/TECH/innovation/01/19/smart.roads/index.html
http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/energy/stories/radiating-roads
http://cms.bsu.edu/About/Geothermal.aspx

Website address (if applicable)

Innovation

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What makes your idea different or unexpected? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

This idea of Heating the Streets is unexpected because it is a solution to a common gripe about Minnesota winters. It's different than other proposals because it benefits all residents and visitors of the city, whether they commute on foot, wheels or use public transit. Let's invest in technology and infrastructure that gives back and makes Saint Paul a better place to live.

Impact

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This Entry is about (Issues)

How will your idea make a difference in Saint Paul? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

Heating the streets and pavement of Saint Paul will make a huge difference during the cold winter months. Clean streets will encourage residents and visitors to get out and see the many attractions our city offers without the headaches and safety concerns caused by the build-up of ice and snow.

The municipal use of geothermal and solar power will also cement Saint Paul as a forward-thinking, practical and economically responsible city to live and do business.

Sustainability

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Why do you think people will recognize or remember your idea after it comes to life? How might it inspire others to do something similar in their community? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

The citizens of Saint Paul will notice a difference during the first snow fall after the project is completed. There will be less accidents due to inclement weather and a smoother commute. Roads will need less salt and pedestrians will not need to scale snow mounds while crossing the streets at intersections. Saint Paul will be the winter bicycling mecca. Residents will not need to worry about their parents or children slipping on the ice and getting injured, possibly missing work or school.

How does this project get paid for? The cost is offset by the long term savings in the city budget, created from the reduction of repairs and maintenance to city streets caused by the cold weather. Partnerships with private industry could also help finance the initial startup costs.