Florida's Crosswalk Lighting
System Boosts Walkability
The City of Melbourne, Florida recently joined the ever-growing list of cities choosing crosswalk lighting for increased pedestrian safety. The recent Crane Creek Promenade waterfront improvement project included a Traffic Safety Corp. system to improve walkability.
Melbourne, Florida recently undertook a project to beautify and enhance walkability along Melbourne Boulevard near the Crane Creek Promenade. A variety of improvements were made, including decorative street lighting, new sidewalks and most eye-catching of all, a new crosswalk lighting system.
The system of warning lights and flashing signs was installed at a crosswalk connecting parking near the waterfront to Homes Park across the road. The heavily trafficked mid-block crossing sees surges of foot traffic during weekend art fairs. Officials decided to install the warning lights to prevent pedestrian safety issues from developing at the new crossing.
The solar-powered system was designed to run completely off-the-grid, by using fixtures and signs with low power requirements. Choosing the renewable energy option helps keep lifetime operating costs extremely low. Flashing TS30 warning signs were placed at a distance from, and directly at, the crosswalk location. The flashing signs provide early warning of a crosswalk in use. These signs are particularly helpful at locations like this one, where drivers approach the crosswalk immediately after rounding a curve.
Five fully-flush TS-600 LED light fixtures were chosen for this installation because their self-cleaning lens design keeps them free of debris. This is particularly important on sloped crossings like this. Bi-directional fixtures both illuminate and backlight pedestrians while they cross at night. Light from both sides of the fixtures combine to create a wide array of flashing light for high visibility and driver compliance.
TSC dealer Cary Hudkins, Sales Engineer with Transportation Control Systems, describes the install, "It went really smoothly. One contractor was directing traffic while another basically did the entire installation. They put the lights in really quick. I was on site to help, but they only had a couple basic questions. Once they had answers, they went off and did the whole thing. On the first activation, it worked great - and it looked great, too." Jack Thornhill, Area Superintendent with The Signal Group Inc. performed the installation, "I was in the street, doing the wiring. It was a really easy installation, I had a fun time doing it. Basically, I wired it myself. TSC was really great, very informative, and when we had a question they provided a quick response. Without a doubt I'd like to do it again. I'd really like to see more of these systems."
Engineering Compliance Inspector for Melbourne, Martin Koehler, wasn't sure what to expect, "I was skeptical at first. I mean, it's a significant installation cost. But, people use it and cars actually stop. The benefit is worth the cost. When I first used it, I was like 'Wow! It actually works!' It gets motorists to notice pedestrians. They slow down when they see the lights blinking and stop when they realize a person is crossing. I've used it myself, and it worked...even at night."
The City of Melbourne is taking action to address pedestrian safety issues before they become problems. The solar-powered, long-life system of LED warning lights will continue to support safer crossings at the Crane Creek Promenade. This "off-the-grid" solution has earned them a position on the ever-growing list of municipalities using crosswalk lighting to keep communities safe and walkable for all pedestrians.