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CASPER Crosswalk

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A new tool from the bollard box to help with pedestrian safety ....

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Illuminated Bollards at Deer Park Washington State

The City of Deer Park in Northeast Washington State has joined the more progressive parts of the state and country in adopting roundabouts, and in doing so, taken the process a step further.
Here's how...

Recent articles have been published regarding the growing popularity and acceptance of roundabouts in lieu of traffic signals across the country and there's every indication that it's not going to change.  Design is the most crucial part of the roundabout which enables smooth navigation. Information follows close behind to ensure that the driver has the confidence and assurance that the lane that they are in is going to take them where they want to go.  Roger Krieger, City Engineer for Deer Park, WA and his design team have taken an informed innovative step in providing information using a tried and true application that is synonymous with roundabouts elsewhere in the world. 

They have adopted the international practice of using Internally Illuminated Bollards in place of pole or post mounted reflective object markers. 

The City of Deer Park, WA has two roundabouts within a mile of each other utilizing Traffic Sign Solutions Concourse style internally illuminated bollards, and have made them part of their design for future projects.  Apart from the illuminated benefits by being a light source rather than a reflective one, the bollards offer visible datum information in defining an island nose under the most inclement conditions. The bollards are also forgiving on impact, recovering from wheel-overs and sideswipes with virtually no damage to the bollard or vehicle. This reduces liability claims as well as insurance and maintenance costs.

Current, very recently published standards require a set number of locations for overhead lighting however there hasn't to date been any supporting research that advance overhead lighting away from roundabout makes the roundabout safer.  It is very conservative and thus can be very costly.  Whilst taking all factors into account, it is the Engineers creed to build the best possible project with the bottom line in mind - a budget.   This balancing act requires innovation, thus the bollard providing additional information but not a blanket lighting plan that may be too expensive within a budget.  By taking this path, the City of Deer Park has saved approximately $70,000 on each roundabout.

The roundabout is defined as one of the safest intersection forms in the world and the roundabout in Deer Park is proving no exception to that rule after one year in operation.

With the changes in traffic management practices globally, the search for practical solutions is being demonstrated by cities like Deer Park, who recently received the 2010 award of excellence from the American Public Works Association, Washington State Chapter, endorsed by the Washington State DOT and the FHWA (Federal Highway Administration) for their first roundabout intersection contained in the  the Crawford Avenue Phase V Project.  A second roundabout using the same technology has already been built.

With innovation and foresight like this, the ease of use and navigation through a roundabout will become second nature to the motoring public. Bravo! Deer Park!