Discussion of Current TRAFFIC ISSUES
SUBJECT: Internally Illuminated Raised Pavement Markers
Internally Illuminated Raised Pavement Markers are also known as
In-Pavement Flashing systems.
Internally Illuminated Raised Pavement Markers were first
introduced nearly a decade ago in California. Today they are
used primarily in California, and in a few other states. In the
last few years their popularity has grown, but they are still
Internally Illuminated Raised Pavement Markers are used in a variety of ways
including to delineate curves to prevent cars from crossing the
centerline, and in crosswalks.
They are typically yellow and flash. Flashing yellow means use
caution and flashing red implies stop. Although stopping a
vehicle may be the goal, a pavement marker should not be used
as a STOP sign or traffic signal.
The cost for a crosswalk installation is about $30,000 but can
vary by at least a factor of 2. Not only is location, and availability
of installers a cost factor, but also traffic control, striping,
sand or hydro blasting, and so forth are cost factors. Multiple
installations at one time usually reduces cost per installation.
Internally Illuminated Raised Pavement Markers can either be
permanently set on flash or they can be turned off and activated
as the need arises either by a pedestrian push button for
instance, or a presence detector. The ones which permanently
flash can be either hard wired for an external energy source, or
they can have an internal battery.
It is clear that Internally Illuminated Raised Pavement Markers
will help the driver see either the curve in a roadway or the
crosswalk, at least some of the time. And this clearly is a
benefit. The devices are typically used above and beyond
conventional treatments in problem locations.
The technology is new and is still being improved. There will
be more and more applications and in varying designs and using
varying control mechanisms beyond what we see today.
Internally Illuminated Raised Pavement Markers are recognized in
the 2000 Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices
where they are referred to as Internally Illuminated Raised
Internally Illuminated Raised Pavement Markers are not a cure
all. They are not seen by everyone and some people may be confused
SUBJECT: Marked or Unmarked Crosswalks
The purpose of a painted crosswalk is to channel pedestrian
crossings to one location versus another. Sounds simple, right?
But, many pedestrians view a painted crosswalk at an
unsignalized intersection as a safe place to cross a street
because the pedestrian has the right of way and the car is
suppose to stop for the pedestrian.
Crosswalks come in two varieties. There are marked or
painted crosswalks, and unmarked or unpainted crosswalks.
There is a crosswalk at every intersection where there is a
sidewalk, whether painted or not, unless there is a sign
advising pedestrians not to cross. The definition of a
crosswalk is the "prolongation or connection of the boundary
lines of sidewalks at an intersection..." per the California
Vehicle Code Section 275.
Whether the crosswalk is marked or unmarked is important. There
is a substantial body of research that shows marking a
crosswalk, rather than leaving it unmarked, in many cases
increases the accident potential.
The reason this is the case is because a marked crosswalk is
relatively hard for a driver to see even during day light hours,
and is particularly hard to see at dawn or dusk, or at night, or
during inclement weather.
On the other hand, the pedestrian in a marked crosswalk has a
feeling of security since the cars are suppose to stop for a
pedestrian in a crosswalk, and thus the pedestrian may feel that
it is safe to proceed and walk out in front of an on-coming
vehicle. The pedestrian assumes the driver sees the pedestrian
and sees the crosswalk and will stop.
So whether to mark a crosswalk at an unsignalized intersection,
and particularly whether to mark a mid-block crosswalk, is a
Please visit again web site at www.traffic-engineer.com
1111 Town and Country Road, Suite 34
Orange, CA 92868