Chicago gets first rubber sidewalk, solar bus shelter

Rubber sidewalk

Fans of green technology can walk with an extra spring in their steps today– the city has unveiled a 550-foot stretch of sidewalk made from recycled rubber and the city’s first solar-powered bus shelter. Both the sidewalk, which is part of a 12-month pilot program to test the material’s durability, and the bus shelter, which is the first of 100 to be built starting in 2007, are located across from the Chicago Center for Green Technology at Franklin and Sacramento Boulevards. The Chicago Tribune reports today on the city’s latest green initiatives. While each shelter– powered by solar cells installed on its roof– will save the city $200 in electricity costs, the rubber slabs initially cost more than twice as much as traditional concrete. They are designed to be removed easily, too, which could make them prone to theft (because, y’know, what teenage hophead wouldn’t want to steal a big block of rubber?), but the city argues that the benefits will come from easy maintenance and a reduction of wasted material.

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