Not All In-Pavement Flashing Pedestrian Crosswalk Systems are Created Equal!
Flashing in-pavement markers, or IRWLs (In Road Warning Lights) started being installed over 15 years ago. Some systems were converted runway lights designed for airports where continual maintenance is expected and required. Others were (and still are) manufactured by small companies founded by entrepreneurial inventors who saw a new way to improve safety. The LaneLight LED enhanced flashing crosswalk system was designed by traffic product engineers and extensively tested prior to it's release to the market.
Most states do not have set standards for in-road warning lights other than the guidelines in the MUTCD Section 4N, describing allowable locations, maximum marker height (less than 19mm or .75 inch), yellow color, flash rate, and marker placement. Do your homework to be sure you're getting a flashing in-road warning system that will provide many years of trouble free service. Get in touch with several current users of the system(s) you're considering to see how they have stood up in the roadway 1,2, or 3 years after the installation so you're not caught in an unending cycle of repairs and light head replacements.
A LaneLight marker has a very low profile (less than 3mm above the road surface) and optionally it can be installed flush with the road surface in snow plow regions. Competitive lightheads typically have a much taller profile leaving them more prone to damage from impact and more likely to be a trip hazard for the pedestrians you're trying to keep safe. LaneLights have absolutely no plastic parts exposed to vehicle traffic and do not use any buried, inaccessible connectors. Many competitive systems require buried connections and have light heads that are primarily made of plastic making them more prone to failure.
LaneLight is the only in-pavement marker to be independently tested and certified to meet strict standards for impact, vibration, environmental, color metrics, light intensity and distribution by BASt, the Federal Highway Research Institute in Germany.
LaneLight systems come with a standard 5 YEAR warranty, the longest standard warranty available in the industry.
Real World Visibility
All In-Road Warning Light manufacturers will state values for visibility, many in candela (cd) or candela per meter squared (cd/m²). There seems to be much confusion as to how these measurements are derived. One cannot simply take the candela rating for each LED as specified from the LED manufacturer and add them together to get the light output per marker.
LaneLight markers each emit over 3.5 million cd/m², with optics designed to create an effective distribution of the light. This value is provided and attested by BASt, the German certification agency, as part of the above testing. LaneLights are visible at 3000ft, while many competitors are only visible up to 500ft.
Review other installations and make inquiries regarding performance and durability when you're considering a LaneLight system to a competitor. LaneLights are extremely reliable and we work hard to ensure that all our customers are satisfied.
There is NO trenching required. Each marker requires a simple 3 inch deep, 7 inch radius hole. The markers are connected to each other and to the controller by a 2 1/2 inch deep, 3/8 inch saw-cut similar to what you would use for a loop detector.
Every in-pavement system, wireless or wired, will require at least partial closure of the road to traffic while work is being performed. Most LaneLight crosswalk systems can be installed in one day.
There are no batteries in LaneLight markers. Wireless in-road systems will require battery replacements so be sure to consider the ongoing maintenance costs associated with purchasing batteries or new heads, road closures, and the removal and re-installation process.
Wireless RF systems are also susceptible to interference that can come from many hidden sources, including underground power lines.
NO water issues
LaneLight marker bases are completely filled with re-enterable gel during installation. All wire connections use silicon-filled connectors, and military-spec cable glands are used. The proprietary LaneLight control cable contains a water-blocking tape designed to prevent any water ingress into the conductors. The conductors themselves are a non-corroding, marine grade conductor.
Near Zero Maintenance
When correctly installed, LaneLight systems are designed and engineered to provide many years of trouble free service with little to no maintenance.
IS FUNDING AVAILABLE?
The US government provides a number of grant programs for pedestrian safety.
Safe Routes to School program has been used to fund many projects--funding available from state, federal, and private sectors. Community leaders, parents and schools across the U.S. are using Safe Routes to School programs to encourage and enable more children to safely walk and bike to school. The National Center for Safe Routes to School aims to assist these communities in developing successful Safe Routes programs and strategies. More information is available on the Safe Routes to School website. www.saferoutesinfo.org
Read ITE Journal Article concerning a LaneLight installation with Safe Routes to School in Pasadena, CA.
Bike/Ped Infrastructure Dollars Available To States, Cities and Counties through ARRA Energy Efficiency Grants
The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECGB) program is a new program created in late 2007 and funded for the first time through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The program provides funding for local governments, states, territories and Indian tribes, to support projects that reduce energy use, decrease fossil fuel emissions, and improve energy efficiency in all sectors, including transportation. Because the funding comes through ARRA, additional goals have been added focused on job creation and economic stimulus.
Two of the goals of EECBG funding are right in line with bicycle, pedestrian, and Safe Routes to school programs projects and could be beneficial to communities who want to develop bicycling and pedestrian networks and improve access to work, school, and retail:
- Prioritize energy efficiency and conservation first as the cheapest, cleanest, and fastest ways to meet energy demand.
- To maximize benefits over the longest possible terms, entities should look for ways to link their energy efficiency efforts to long-term priorities (especially community economic development, community stabilization and poverty reduction efforts).
ARE IN-ROAD WARNING LIGHTS PATENTED?
Under the MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, 2003 Edition Rev.1 & 2),
"Any traffic control device design or application provision contained in this Manual shall be considered to be in the public domain. Traffic control devices contained in this Manual shall not be protected by a patent, trademark, or copyright, except for the Interstate Shield and any other items owned by FHWA."
Click on this link http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/pdfs/2003r1r2/pdf_index.htm to go to the MUTCD website, to read the full introduction or to print this section.
ARE LANELIGHTS SNOWPLOWABLE?
With an ultra-low profile of less than 1/8 inch, LaneLight markers are fully tested to be snowplowable. In areas of heavy snowfall it is suggested that markers are installed 1.5mm below the road surface to further prevent any possible damage. Installation tools, which are a part of each system package, are available with this option at no additional cost.
HOW LONG TO LANELIGHTS LAST?
The roadway is a harsh environment when it comes to temperature, water, and vibration. Many competitive flashing crosswalk systems start out strong but unfortunately won't reliably pass the test of time. All of our systems come with an industry leading 5 year warranty so you can expect many years of trouble free service from your LaneLight in-pavement warning system.
REBATE PROGRAM: If you have a poorly functioning competitive in-road system that needs significant repairs or replacement contact us for information on our competitive system replacement rebate program.
DO YOU REPLACE EXISTING SPOT DEVICES IN-ROAD SYSTEMS?
YES. SPOT Devices is no longer in business because of their extremely high failure rates. If you have a SPOT Devices in-road system or any other competitive system that requires far too much maintenance get in touch with us today for more information on our competitive replacement rebate programs.
All of our systems come with an industry leading 5 year warranty so you can expect many years of trouble free service from a properly installed LaneLight LED enhanced crosswalk system.
HOW ARE LANELIGHTS INSTALLED?
Head to our installation info page for a video installation guide and other helpful installation documents.