Daily Archives: January 20, 2013

Infrastructure ideas just get dumped in my lap, Wreck-Free Sunday

I sometimes get amazing Infrastructure! ideas just dumped in my lap from the most unlikely sources. Seriously, this Instructible came in the morning e-mail dump and I’m just blown away with how easy it would be to execute, how it manages to do all the things that a system of this type is supposed to do, and how it does it better than anything else out there.

This project takes the concept of the HAWK crosswalk warning system ans turns it upside down and sideways. so that not only are drivers alerted that pedestrians want to cross, they are shown where the crosswalk is on the road, and where the pedestrians are in the road. How to Make a ‘Glowing Crosswalk’ Urban Prototype The prototype system was created to be a portable demonstration system, but the principles and much of the hardware would be the same for the permanently installed system. I particularly like the battery-backup so that the crossing works even if grid power is down, meaning even in a power failure pedestrians can safely cross the street (assuming drivers aren’t taking advantage of the chaos to be assholes).

I see this as being ideal for mid-block crossings that would be hard to notice otherwise, as drivers have become conditioned to only seeing pedestrian crossings at intersections. As I see it it would be far more useful than the HAWK system that sits at the side of the street and does not light the middle of the street. It has the potential to be far less expensive to install than the HAWK system, which runs between $77K and $125K depending on the complexity of the installation.

My riding has been ahead of projections so far this month, I was planning on a 2K mile year this year, and my “trend” line at BikeJournal.com is way ahead of that. Part of that is because I generally have a lot of places to ride to at the beginning of the year as I have to make many trips to banks to deposit checks that came over the holidays, and meetings for various church committees that form over the holidays to do things in the coming year, plus just the usual banging around I do for keeping the household running and doing what I do. Then I have less to do during February and March that I can do on my bike and I fall behind a bit, then things get real busy during the late Spring and Summer as I run all over town doing things and going places. Then I usually get most of my miles in for the year. Last year was a bit different because of me Dad getting sick and then passing, with several weeks away from home and a bicycle living in a town that had no use for either bicycles or walking. That is not likely to happen this year as I’m all out of parents. That last sentence was a lot more jarring than I intended, but I have tried several times to come up with some other way to say it and all of them are even more jarring.

I’m still trying to get the pictures to show in the build story for the winter face mask I made from the Halloween mask, but nothing seems to be working. I’ll take another stab at it today, maybe it will work this time…

PSA, Opus