How Smart Street Lights Boost Safety in Small Cities
As small cities grow and evolve, street lighting has proven to be fundamental in preserving a sense of safety and security.
But all lighting is not created equal: lights connected to a larger system that are able to be monitored and controlled remotely are more reliable and efficient than their standalone counterparts.
Even in small communities, the benefits of smart lighting are big.
Anywhere between 24-40% of US roads today don’t meet the Department of Transportation’s recommended lighting levels, particularly outside of dense, urban areas.
With three out of four pedestrian deaths occurring at night, optimizing visibility with proper lighting at intersections can reduce crashes as much as 42%.
Intelligent lighting can be scheduled to dim and brighten automatically to ensure that visibility is always optimized for pedestrian and vehicle safety. That’s why smart lighting controls are eligible for the Department of Transportation’s more than $5 billion in Safe Streets for All Grants, which will be awarded over the next five years to improve streets and sidewalks across the US.
Improved lighting has also shown to reduce crime by up to 36%.
In a plan that will be completed next fall, the City of Memphis is upgrading over 84,000 streetlight fixtures across the city to fight violent crime. “No longer will criminals have safe harbor to operate under cover of darkness,” Mayor Strickland said of the project.
To reap the benefits of ample lighting, communities need access to reliable streetlights. But identifying outages and repairing them promptly can be a challenge, even in cities with fewer than 5,000 streetlights. Rather than having maintenance crews patrol for outages or waiting for citizens to call and report them, intelligent streetlights deliver real-time alerts on outages, sags, and swells that help cities identify and resolve issues faster.
Cities aren’t safe until they’re safe for everyone.
Today, black pedestrians are more than two times as likely, to be struck by a vehicle than white, non-Hispanic people.
Reliable lighting solutions with live status monitoring can help cities design for equity by ensuring that access to lighting is as reliable in historically underserved communities as it is everywhere else.
Distributing technology across the park system provides a real-time view of conditions and how parks are being used. At the same time, it builds up the baseline data and measures needed to guide future decision making.
Planning for What’s Next
Smart streetlights play a crucial role in creating a sense of safety in small cities. When equipped with sensors, these intelligent streetlights can enable the collection of valuable data on traffic flow, pedestrian movement, environmental conditions, and more.
Adopting a data-driven approach to strategy empowers city planners to make informed decisions, optimize transportation systems, and design more pedestrian-friendly spaces.
By leveraging the power of smart streetlights, small cities can improve safety and security, simplify maintenance, improve reliability and equity, and enhance overall livability for their communities.
At Ubicquia, our intelligent streetlight solutions have been transforming small cities for over seven years. Fast deployment and scalable solutions give cities the real-time visibility and control they need to grow with and protect their evolving communities.