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Street Safety News


Crosswalk Systems Make
East Coast Campus Safer

The main road running through Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA is also a state highway. Students had suffered close calls and accidents in recent years. Administrators began aggressively looking for a way to improve pedestrian safety.

Mount Holyoke College, in South Hadley, MA needed to improve pedestrian safety on campus. Director of Facilities Planning and Management, John Bryant, describes their predicament, "Mount Holyoke College is situated on State Route 116, a busy two-lane road with six pedestrian crossings and one bus stop...there were occasional close calls, and some recent accidents where pedestrians were struck by vehicles."

College administrators decided to install a series of Traffic Safety Corporation (TSC) crosswalk lighting systems to help keep students safe. The college hired Berkshire Design Group to execute the project. Chris Wall of Berkshire Design Group explains the college's decision to use inpavement lighting, "We used the TSC warning light system on a job for Amherst College nearby. Mount Holyoke College saw it and liked it. They wanted to install the same design to improve driver awareness, and enhanced visibility of pedestrians in the crosswalk."

Berkshire Design Group called on their local TSC dealer, Gary Maccarone of Ocean State Signal, for support in selecting appropriate equipment for the site, "Based on the college's needs we came up with a plan for five identical systems configured with bi-directional TS-600s. The fully-flush fixture provides a flat surface for students, bicyclists, and skaters to safely cross over. They're ideal for snowy regions because snowplows won't damage them. Pushbuttons with audible caution message are used for activation, and flashing pre-warning signs were included for added visibility. This is a long-term safety solution; if they have further roadwork, or need to repave, fixtures can be removed and replaced thanks to our systems' reusable infrastructure."

Elm Electric's Brian Palazzi headed up the installation, "The experience was very good. By following the comprehensive installation manual, the job came together nicely. What was surprising was the on-site visit by Gary Maccarone, who sold us the system, and Charles Cunningham, the National Sales Manager for TSC. They arrived at the beginning of the project and stayed until the first system was installed and operating properly. Also, the assistance we received from Gary over the phone throughout the project made the install stress free. I knew that if I had a problem I'd have either the phone support that I needed, or a site visit if necessary."

The systems were up and running after a trouble-free installation. Mr. Palazzi describes his first impression, "Seeing the system up and running for the first time was exciting! I think the system would even get the attention of a driver on a cell phone...The overwhelming pedestrian traffic now has another line of defense when crossing the busy highway, and they like it. The general public uses the systems at either end, and they really like them too."

Mount Holyoke's Director of Facilities Planning and Management, John Bryant, considers the project a success, "Our goal was to draw more attention to pedestrians crossing Route 116. We wanted to create an atmosphere in which vehicles were driving through a pedestrian zone, rather than pedestrians walking across a busy highway...Drivers who frequent this section of roadway are becoming used to this type of crosswalk. As time passes, vehicles are slowing more and becoming more aware. Drivers are more cautious, and are slowing down with increased awareness. The key benefit of having the systems is increased safety."

An outstanding institution just got a little bit better thanks to an innovative application of Traffic Safety's inpavement crosswalk systems. They may have a few more graduates to contribute to the Alumni Fund. Smart guys.




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