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Project Description

The Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute proposes to investigate promising lighting approaches, including those identified by NJDOT staff and described in the Request for Proposals, to assist NJDOT in the development of eventual specifications for illumination at crosswalks to maximize safety at crosswalks, both at intersections and at mid-block crossings.

The proposed investigation will occur through several tasks:

  • Review of the relevant literature
  • Development of concepts for laboratory evaluation and testing through computer simulation analysis in addition to those identified in the Request for Proposals.
  • Testing the concepts to identify 2-3 most promising approaches for field trial.
  • Develop mock-up configurations for evaluation in controlled field studies.
  • Identification of most promising candidate for limited field deployment in NJ.
  • Short-term evaluation and survey of system performance.
  • Development of approach for long-term study and initial plan for implementing into warrants for crosswalk illumination based on results.

The objective of the proposed research is to identify the most promising lighting concepts, and technological solutions, for the reduction of incidents involving pedestrians and vehicles in NJ crosswalks. Through the tasks outlined above the project team will identify systems that balance the visual needs of drivers and pedestrians (balancing visibility and glare) with cost and energy characteristics, ease of use, and potential for abuse of the system through prank use.

The characteristics of the proposed system will be refined through photometrically and photorealistic simulation calculations and renderings, scale model laboratory investigations, then by controlled field studies conducted outdoors on off-road locations, and finally through a limited mock-up deployment of the final candidate system on a crosswalk in NJ with evaluations to be conducted by transportation and public safety professionals and by a sample of pedestrians and drivers.

Based on the results of the proposed research tasks, the LRC project team will develop a recommendation that could eventually be incorporated into a specification for crosswalk lighting, with warrants for modifying the system based on specific site characteristics (e.g., age of pedestrians in the adjacent neighborhood, location of crosswalk in an intersection or mid-block, traffic and pedestrian density, etc.).