Glow-in-the-dark pavements that can capture the sun’s light during the day and then illuminate themselves in dark of night could soon be the way of the future in improving pedestrian and cyclist safety.
At least that’s the buzz following the launch of Australia’s first luminescent footpath in Gosford, NSW.
In a pioneering move that has attracted attention from local governments across Australia, Gosford City Council has taken possession of a 720 metre-long stretch of pavement that uses an aggregate mixed with natural phosphorescent chemicals to literally light-up the path for users.
And although putting-in footpaths is traditionally a local government affair, the installation of the now glow-in-the-dark pavement has attracted the prominent-backing financial of Canberra, with Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss praising it as an innovative and cost effective solution.
One of the reasons for the Mr Truss’ enthusiasm is that the rollout of the new path is part of the $146.5 million ‘Gosford Passing Loops Project’, a new rail infrastructure initiative to get rid of bottlenecks by letting let faster passenger trains safely overtake slower freight services.
The Gosford Passing Loops Project is part of the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor, for which the federal government is stumping-up $840 million of the $1.1 billion price tag to substantially bolster rail capacity.
Part of the challenge for the new project was how to maintain safe pedestrian and cyclist access both around and under the new rail build; but without breaking the bank.
“The glow in the dark technology will also be a more economical alternative to installing powered lighting to service the footpath,” Mr Truss said.
The ability to illuminate pathways that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive to electrically light is likely to be highly appealing to councils and their contractors as more people take to walking and riding pushbikes in line with the promotion of an active lifestyle.
“Local residents, commuters, school students and families using the nearby community facilities will benefit greatly from these paths,” said federal Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks.
Both the glow-in-the-dark footpath, and a connecting conventional path funded by the new rail loop, were developed in consultation with Gosford City Council according to Mr Truss’ office.
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