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Currently Available Standards for Lighting of Pedestrian Areas

Recommended Lighting for Walkways and Class 1 Bikeways
Document Number: IESNA DG-5-94
Illuminating Engineering Society of North America

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This Design Guide consolidates references made in previous IESNA publications with certain new information for designing lighting systems for walkways and Class I bikeways. It defines pedestrian walkways by the method of separating the pedestrians from vehicular traffic. These methods are horizontal, vertical, and temporal. As described here a bikeway is any road/path open to bicycle travel -- shared (or not shared) with other transportation modes. There are three classes of bikeways exclusive of pedestrians: Class I "Bike Path" (completely separated from vehicular traffic); Class II "Bike Lane" (part of the roadway or shoulder); and Class III "Shared Roadway" (right-of-way shared with motor vehicles).


Recommendations for the Lighting of Roads for Motor and Pedestrian Traffic, DIN (Deutsches Institut fur Normung) 1995.
International Commission on Illumination, Division 4,
Lighting And Signalling For Transport.
Price: $77

Lighting of pedestrian crossings (sign 293 StVO) with additional lighting; general quality characteristics and guide values. This standard states those minimum lighting requirements which, in case of their nonfulfilment, make an additional lighting of pedestrian crossings necessary. At the same time it is layed down, how such an additional lighting must be designed in pedestrian crossings by the other traffic.


Road Lighting Part 3.1: Pedestrian Area (Category P) Lighting - Performance and Installation Design Requirements Supersedes NZS 6701: 1983 in Part, Which Will Remain Current. SNZ (Standards New Zealand)
AS/NZS 1158.3.1:1999 : Performance and installation design requirements

Prices (Excl. GST) (In New Zealand currency)
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Specifies requirements for electric lighting systems for local roads and other outdoor public areas, primarily to provide a safe and comfortable visual environment for pedestrian movement at night. Applies to areas that are devoted solely to pedestrian use and to other areas where there is a mix of pedestrians and vehicles or cyclists. A multi-level specification of lighting performance is given for selection having regard to attributes such as the degree of activity (of pedestrians and vehicles), the perceived risk of crime and the need to enhance the prestige of the locality.


An Informational Guide for Roadway Lighting.
Year Published: 1984

This guide contains information for the lighting of freeways in one section and for the lighting of streets and highways other than controlled access facilities as another section. There is also a section on the lighting of tunnels and underpasses in addition to sections on rest areas, signs, and maintenance.


FHWA In-Pavement Crosswalk Lighting Studies – In Progress

FHWA researchers have begun preliminary field data collection concerning an in-pavement crosswalk lighting installation that will occur in Arlington, VA at Memorial Bridge in early 2002. Researchers have already captured preliminary video data to determine the scope of what will be required for the before data collection at this location. The preliminary data have established that crosswalk markings and related signing at this location are not readily perceived by motorists at this location, and that pedestrians have to cross multiple lane that feed in and out of a traffic circle located at the Arlington entrance to the bridge. Findings from the before data collection will be summarized and discussed with FHWA highway research engineers. Following installation, FHWA researchers will collect after data at 3 month, 6 month, and 13 month intervals. FHWA researchers will also conduct laboratory evaluations later in 2002 of in-pavement crosswalk lighting systems to determine comprehension requirements, luminance requirements, etc. This research should result in the development of design guidelines for transportation engineers.


Ultraviolet Headlamp Technology for Nighttime Enhancement of Fluorescent Roadway Delineation and Pedestrian Visibility. Jonathan Dan Turner, Marsha Nitzburg and Richard L. Knoblauch. FHWA; no publication date provided.

http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/fourthlevel/pdf/ultraviolet_headlamp.pdf [PDF format]

MET’s note: This was also published as a paper in a Transportation Research Record.


Ultraviolet Headlamp Technology for Nighttime Enhancement of Roadway Markings and Pedestrians. Turner, D; Nitzburg, M; Knoblauch, R
Transportation Research Record No. 1636.
Date: 1998

Abstract: Motorists driving at night are two to three times more likely to be involved in a crash than during the day. Although, about half of the motor vehicle deaths occur at night, death rates based on miles driven are about four times higher at night than during the day. Nighttime driving also frustrates a large number of people, the majority of which are seniors. There is an effort under way to evaluate the use of supplemental ultraviolet (UV) automobile headlights to increase nighttime visibility. Research conducted in Sweden has shown very promising results, and a preliminary field research effort recently completed in the United States found that the visibility of pavement markings increased 25% with UV, and subjects generally favored its use. An extensive field study was conducted to determine the conditions under which driver performance could be improved with fluorescent traffic control devices and auxiliary UV headlights. Several static tests were done to evaluate fluorescent pavement markings, post-mounted delineators, and various pedestrian scenes under two headlight conditions (low beam only and low beam with UV). Dynamic tests included a subjective evaluation of two headlamp conditions and a performance test in which subjects drove an instrumented vehicle. The results of the field study indicated that pavement markings could be observed 30% further, and pedestrians could be observed over 90% further with the addition of UV. Subjects consistently evaluated the use of UV headlamps as beneficial.

Notes: This paper appears in Transportation Research Record No. 1636, Bicycle and Pedestrian Research 1998.




Some citations with abstracts, FROM THE TRB Publications Index


Pedestrian Visibility Under Automobile Low-Beam Headlight Illumination: With and Without Headlight Covers. Schnell, T; Aktan, F; McGehee, DV; Dvorak, M; Hunt, J; Reyes, A; Sorak, D. Transportation Research Record - Journal of the Transportation Research Board 1773
Date: 2001

Abstract: Pedestrians and bicyclists are the most vulnerable of all participants in traffic. Their safety at night should be a priority for headlamp designers, rule-making agencies, and consumers alike. A disturbing trend-- the use of very dark aftermarket headlamp covers on vehicle headlamps—is emerging. This trend is observed primarily in sports cars owned by young drivers. These dark headlamp covers, often referred to as blackouts, serve no real purpose other than that of supposedly enhancing vehicle appearance. For a driver using such headlamp covers at night, it may appear as though the overall visibility is not much affected. However, this perception is misleading and wrong, as will be clearly demonstrated. The objective was to quantify the detrimental effects dark headlamp covers have on pedestrian visibility. To do so, detection distances were obtained in the field using 15 observers who were approaching stationary pedestrian mockups. The independent variables were pedestrian size ( child, adult), diffuse clothing reflectance (dark, light), and illumination (with and without headlamp covers). Clothing reflectance turned out to have the strongest effect on the detection distance, closely followed by the factor of illumination. The conclusions that can be drawn from the work presented are simple. Nighttime pedestrians should not wear dark clothing, instead they should wear white or reflective clothing, and motorists should not drive with dark headlamp covers at night.

Notes: This paper appears in Transportation Research Record No. 1773, Part 2: Bicycle and Pedestrian Research.


Visual Target Detection Models for Civil Twilight and Night Driving Conditions (with discussion and closure) Zwahlen, HT; Schnell, T.
Transportation Research Record - Journal of the Transportation Research Board 1692
Date: 1999

Abstract: A luminance contrast-based computer visibility model is discussed and compared with the civil twilight method, which has recently been introduced. The civil twilight method attempts to predict the visibility of ordinary objects (reflectance 3 to 79%, average size) by using only the headlamp illuminance at the target. It is suggested that the one-factor approach used by the civil twilight method is insufficient to satisfactorily address target visibility in the field. Developers of more advanced visibility models generally attempt to design models based on the current state of the visibility research and with enough capability to obtain a reasonable degree of realism. The level of the benchmark illuminance (3.2 lx) used in the civil twilight method is considered by the authors to be too high, leading to very short detection distances for pedestrians under automobile headlamp illumination at night. The developers of the civil twilight method claim that the 3.2-lx visibility benchmark is based on systematic visual observations made by astronomers over a century ago. The use of the civil twilight method for pedestrian detection under automobile headlamp illumination at night is strongly discouraged by the authors of this paper, because the method may be misused by forensic experts if there is a need to produce arbitrarily short pedestrian detection distances, regardless of factors such as clothing reflectance, contrast, pedestrian size, windshield transmittance, and atmospheric transmissivity.

Notes: This paper appears in Transportation Research Record No. 1692, Traffic Signing, Visibility, and Rail-Highway Grade Crossings.


Identifying Locations with Potential for Accident Reductions: Use of Direct Diagnostics and Pattern Recognition Methologies. Kononov, J. Transportation Research Record - Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 1784
Date: February 2002

Abstract: Safety performance functions reflect the complex relationship between exposure, usually measured in annual average daily traffic, and accident count for a unit of road section over a unit of time. One of the main uses of the safety performance functions is to identify locations that experience more accidents than expected, thus exhibiting a potential for accident reduction. Overrepresentation in the number of accidents above the expected or normal threshold predicted by the safety performance function is only one of many indicators of a potential for accident reduction. Accident type, severity, road condition, spatial distribution of accidents, and lighting conditions are only a few of the many important symptoms of the accident problem. Two methodologies are introduced for identification of locations with potential for accident reduction: direct diagnostics and continuous pattern recognition analysis. Use of these methodologies revealed that existence of accident patterns susceptible to correction may or may not be accompanied by the overrepresentation in accident frequency detected by the safety performance functions.

Notes: This paper appears in Transportation Research Record No. 1784, Statistical Methodology: Applications to Design, Data Analysis, and Evaluation.

Descriptors: Accident prone locations // Accident exposure // Traffic accidents // Pattern recognition systems // Safety performance functions // Direct diagnostics


Pedestrian Safety in Denmark. Jensen, SU.
Journal of the Transportation Research Board No. 1674
Date: 1999

Abstract: The number of pedestrian injuries has decreased since the mid-1960s in Denmark. Danish travel surveys show that Danes walk fewer and fewer kilometers; hence, the injury rate for pedestrians has remained almost unchanged since 1980. Results are presented from a comparison study on road safety, modal split, demography, and so forth in 47 Danish cities. A result from the study is that modal choice of the urban population does not correlate with the number of urban road injuries per inhabitant. Combining travel surveys and crash figures points out high-risk road users. New studies are presented on the safety effect for pedestrians of audible warning devices, road lighting, and speed of motorized transport. Lastly, a literature study reviews the effect for pedestrians of 19 safety measures.

Notes: This paper appears in Transportation Research Record No. 1674, Pedestrian and Bicycle Research 1999.




The Suburban Pedestrian Crossing Dilemma. Smith, SA. TR News 164
Date: Jan. 1993

Abstract: The focus of this article is the crossing dilemma and the important role that medians, pedestrian refuge islands, and spot lighting play in maintaining pedestrian mobility and safety in suburban areas. Although pedestrian issues may not have received adequate attention from the traffic engineering community in the past, the needs to reduce traffic congestion and improve pedestrian safety demand that every mode of transportation, including pedestrian travel, be examined.



Influence of Pavement Surface Characteristics on Nightime Visibility of objects. Khan, MH; Senadheera, S; Gransberg, DD; Stemprok, R
Transportation Research Record - Journal of the Transportation Research Board, no. 1692
Date: 1999

Abstract: Vehicle headlights do not light enough of a roadway length for safe nighttime driving at higher driving speeds. Therefore, particularly on highways with high traffic levels, fixed roadway lighting enables safe nighttime driving conditions. Roadway lighting design has evolved over the years from the illumination method, which is based on the amount of light falling on the road surface, to the luminance- and visibility- based methods that are in use today. Visibility of an object on the roadway is directly related to the contrast between the object and its surroundings. In nighttime driving situations, the pavement acts as the background for most objects on the road. Therefore, reflectance characteristics of the pavement are important in visibility-based roadway lighting design processes. Currently, pavement reflectance characteristics are incorporated through four standard reflectance tables (r-tables) developed to represent portland cement concrete, open- graded asphalt concrete, seal coat, and dense friction coarse asphalt pavements. In this research, the computer program STV developed by M. E. Keck, which calculates pavement luminance and visibility level, was used for a sensitivity analysis to evaluate how the pavement type and the standard r-tables influence these parameters. The analysis was conducted for fixed roadway lighting situations without the influence of vehicle headlights. Results from the sensitivity analysis indicated that standard r-tables are not sufficient to model the whole spectrum of pavement surfaces encountered in practice. An analysis of pavement reflectance data collected by the Road and Transportation Association of Canada revealed that asphalt-based pavements tend to increase their specularity and brightness with age, whereas portland cement concrete pavements display a decreasing trend.

Notes: This paper appears in Transportation Research Record No. 1692, Traffic Signing, Visibility, and Rail-Highway Grade Crossings.





Maintained by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center with funding from
the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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