Picture of How to Make a 'Glowing Crosswalk' Urban Prototype
A “Glowing Crosswalk” is a traffic-calming mechanism that creates a path of light across an intersection in order to improve the visibility of pedestrians to oncoming traffic as they cross through the path. I created and exhibited a prototype of this urban design concept for the San Francisco Urban Prototyping Festival in October, 2012. This Instructable describes how to make such a prototype. Please note that this prototype was designed and built for a temporary installation only. Some modifications will be necessary to create a more permanent installation (not to mention various city permits and other legal approval).

This Glowing Crosswalk prototype consists of four, free-standing “light poles” that are to be placed in pairs on the sidewalk on either side of an intersection. Each light pole features three high-powered LED lights and a “push-to-cross” button switch. When a pedestrian approaches the intersection and pushes the switch on any of the poles, a radio frequency signal is sent to the other three poles and they all run an identical program in unison. The program cycles the lights through an “on”, “blinking” and “off” phase (similar to existing crosswalk light sequences). The following steps will describe the process for making one of these light poles.

The effect of the Glowing Crosswalk is a temporary field of light that not only illuminates the crossing path but, most importantly, illuminates anyone moving through the crossing path as the light reflects off their body, making the pedestrian more visible to oncoming traffic.
kurtnotkirk2 years ago
What a great idea! Got my vote!
oilitright2 years ago
Considering the number of crosswalk incidents this seems an interesting idea. In my area there are lights embedded into the pavement. Difficult to steal or vandalize without a jack hammer. Will theft be a problem with these?
Microbe2 years ago
Fantastic - culture jamming at its best.

My only comment would be to make sure that the lights on the other side of the street aren't in the walker's eyes blinding them while they are walking across a road :P
Color me highly impressed with this idea. I have linked to it from my blog
linnmarino2 years ago
Great idea. I'd love to see them in use here.
eschneck2 years ago
We have a school nearby that uses this system - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=my63CfUVOps

It's very effective too!
3366carlos2 years ago
nice, i need that in my car, so i can see my path when i approach it at night.
This is extraordinary! The Transportation Research Board may be the place to present this. The Annual Meeting for 2013 just concluded but perhaps you could present this at the 2014 meeting. It is a great venue for ideas to be presented to a large audience of decision makers from all over the country. Best of luck!!
billbillt2 years ago
This has been needed for a long time!...
ppedastsaar2 years ago
This Is a great idea! Get it on kickstarter and see it take off!
If you need a small town to test on, maybe Tartu, Estonia would be interested.
I truly love the idea!!
cmcgann2 years ago
Awesome! How would you go about pitching these to the city to allow testing for long term? I love these, and would love to try and get my city council to allow me to install them, and maybe even give me some funds to make them.
Thomas Deckert (author)  cmcgann2 years ago
Great question, Cmcgann! I'm working on communications with the Urban Planning Department here in San Francisco. It seems that progress in the short term will involve subsequent iterations of the prototype (refined for longer, unsupervised exposure) that can be deployed temporarily as a means of communicating the benefits of such an urban design concept to the powers that be. I would very much love to see the Glowing Crosswalk become a reality!
vincent75202 years ago
I vote.
Are they synced with the red traffic light ?… They should !…
The only minus I find is this project is that it requires new learnings from the drivers as they should learn to see a crosswalk made of light !…
ray742 years ago
Brilliant :)
This is an amazing idea. I love it.
artworker2 years ago
Very futuristic! Awesome design!
beatmakers2 years ago
i can't believe that this has not been used on a wider basis (or even thought of?) before. what an awesome idea that could improve the safety of all of our crosswalks.
Pointy2 years ago
Crap..that is a smart idea! =O Love it...
Lorddrake2 years ago
wow .. awesome job.