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Dr. Mark Rea
Dr. John Bullough
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In an effort to reduce traffic accidents involving pedestrians, the Lighting Research Center (LRC) joined with the New Jersey Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration (through the University Transportation Research Center at the City University of New York) to evaluate different crosswalk lighting systems. Traditionally, intersection lighting is provided by pole-mounted luminaires. While the luminaires illuminate the crosswalk and surrounding areas, they don’t always provide enough contrast between the pedestrian and his or her background.

The LRC’s transportation group conducted a study that looked at lighting solutions that would illuminate the pedestrian but not the background to increase contrast and improve pedestrian visibility and detection. Under the direction of John Bullough, scientists identified and tested a bollard-based approach, which uses short vertical posts containing linear light sources inside. The approach provided the contrast needed to distinguish pedestrians from their surroundings and was less expensive to install, maintain and operate than a typical pole-mounted system.