Make Your City’s Routes Safer
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Pedestrian safety on roads was already a growing concern before 2020, but the pandemic exacerbated this issue. In 2021, the United States witnessed a tragic rise in pedestrian fatalities, with 7,624 lives lost—a staggering 13 percent increase compared to the previous year, which recorded 6,721 pedestrian fatalities. Shockingly, from 2010 to 2021, the number of pedestrian fatalities surged by a worrying 77 percent, as highlighted in the latest GHSA report.
The increasing danger of pedestrian travel on US roads can’t be attributed to a single cause, but several significant factors contribute to this issue. Historically, as new communities emerged, governmental and regional planners designed broad, multi-lane arterial roads to facilitate high-speed travel. Over the years, these roads were consistently widened and had lanes added, often in an attempt to alleviate congestion. Simultaneously, local authorities greenlit commercial development alongside these thoroughfares.
Streets should be planned with pedestrian safety in mind, ensuring easy access to nearby businesses, whereas roads are primarily designed for efficient vehicular transportation from one point to another. However, a “stroad” (a combination of street and road) represents the worst of both worlds and poses significant dangers to pedestrians. Supporting data underscores this fact: According to the latest GHSA report for 2021, a staggering 60.4 percent of pedestrian fatalities occurred on such hybrid thoroughfares. These areas often lack essential pedestrian safety infrastructure, such as adequate lighting and frequent crosswalks, which explains why many of the fatal accidents occur during nighttime hours. In 2021, most pedestrian deaths happened after dark and on roads where there were no sidewalks.
How do solar street lights tackle this problem?
Solar street lights effectively address safety concerns in urban and remote areas by providing reliable and sustainable illumination. They tackle this problem through several key mechanisms:
- Enhanced Visibility: Solar street lights ensure well-lit streets, pathways, and public spaces, significantly improving visibility during the night. This increased visibility deters criminal activities and reduces the risk of accidents, promoting safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.
- Crime Deterrence: Adequate lighting in public areas discourages criminal activities. Criminals are less likely to operate in well-lit environments where their actions can be easily observed. Solar street lights act as a preventive measure, contributing to a safer community.
- Community Engagement: Proper lighting in parks, recreational areas, and walkways encourages community engagement, enabling residents to gather, socialize, and participate in evening activities. This fosters a sense of security and community cohesion.
- Energy Efficiency: Solar street lights are powered by renewable solar energy, eliminating the need for grid electricity. This not only reduces operational costs but also contributes to sustainability by lowering carbon emissions and minimizing the environmental impact.
- Low Maintenance: Solar street lights require minimal maintenance compared to traditional lighting solutions. They are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions and have a longer lifespan, reducing the need for frequent replacements and maintenance activities.
- Versatility: Solar street lights can be customized to suit various applications and locations, making them adaptable to both urban and remote settings. This versatility ensures that even areas with limited access to the grid can benefit from enhanced safety through solar lighting.
How to make city’s routs safer
Equitably incorporating these fundamental types of infrastructure into all communities is an excellent initial step towards establishing safer pathways to workplaces, schools, shopping districts, parks, and various other destinations. Here are some additional components of traffic safety infrastructure to consider for your safety initiatives.
Park and pathway illumination
Parks serve as communal gathering spots and, at times, as convenient routes through neighborhoods. Adequate lighting along park pathways and commuting routes enhances the feeling of safety while walking to workplaces, schools, or shopping districts. Consider installing solar lighting along pathways frequently used by students walking to school.
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Regardless of the presence of sidewalks, appropriate lighting can enhance visibility on streets. By using directional, warm-white street lights, glare is reduced, making pedestrians more noticeable. This ensures pedestrians feel safe when traveling during the early morning or after dark.
Discover additional information on street and roadway solar lighting.
Parking lot lighting
Even for those not walking home, the path to their car can be made safer with well-lit parking lots. Improved visibility benefits those heading to their vehicles and aids other drivers navigating through the lot.
Numerous safety features can be integrated to create a comprehensive solution, especially in areas with unique challenges. Additionally, consider adding video surveillance to solar poles to enhance the safety of your streets, parks, or parking lots.
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