In the summer of 2012 there was an open call for citizen-designed city improvements to be featured in the San Francisco’s Urban Prototyping Festival (Oct. 20th, 2012). I submitted a concept for a street light, called the Glowing Crosswalk, that improves the visibility and safety of pedestrians by creating an isolated field of light along the pedestrian pathway. The brightness of this light, relative to its surroundings, creates a point of high contrast that can attract the attention of oncoming motorists.
The design consists of four free-standing posts positioned on the sidewalk at the entrance to a crosswalk. Each post contains super-bright LED bulbs that project light onto the pathway in front of the pole. The lights are angled and housed in such a manner as to only illuminate the surface of the pedestrian pathway and the first few feet of airspace above. When a pedestrian crosses the street they are directly illuminated by these lights and become more visible to oncoming traffic.
I designed and built a functioning prototype in under two months and installed it on the streets of San Francisco during the UP Festival and most recently during Global Road Safety Week (May 6-12, 2013).
In order to spread this idea beyond the boundaries of San Francisco I created step-by-step instructions for how to make your own Glowing Crosswalk that won first prize in the 2012 Instructables Design Competition.