83. Install Pedestrian Scale Lighting

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The Far Northwest District in South Bend has several types of light fixtures; some old historic fixtures that add character, some large cobrahead lights tacked on to telephone poles.  One is suitable for neighborhoods and the other suitable for highways.  Aesthetics aside, using the appropriate lighting in different situations impacts the safety and ultimately the use of areas.

First, it’s important to understand how pedestrian-scaled lighting differs from standard lighting. Distance from the ground, spacing, and type of light are all common differences.  These differences all impact lighting patterns and perception, changing the dynamics of how much light is needed.

In each of these differences above, the lighting is more relatable, increasing both actual and perceived safety.  This scale of lighting also alerts drivers to the presence of pedestrians, adding to the environmental benefit of the lighting. Change Lab Solutions also notes the preference pedestrians have for aesthetically interesting lamps, contributing to the overall streetscape furniture package.

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Street lighting in Fort Bragg, California, not only illuminate the roadway, but also illuminates the sidewalk. The lighting is mild, rather than blinding, meaning that bright glares won’t blind pedestrians from any potential dangers. This type of lighting contributes to a sense of safety, and a walkable environment, even in the evenings or early morning. (Photo credit: http://www.pedbikeimages.org / Ron Bloomquist)

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