City’s first inductive-lighting street sign installed at Garden of Gods-Centennial

       Larger and brighter cross-street signs - the first of their kind in Colorado Springs - have been installed at the intersection of Centennial Boulevard and Garden of the Gods Road.
       With the help of the signs' internal lighting, the intersection should be identifiable at a distance of 500 feet (compared to 100 feet previously), according to Terry Marcum, city traffic program supervisor.
       “They should help with way-finding, especially at night,” added Dave Krauth, the city's principal traffic engineer.
       The signs use inductive lighting, a less-than-10-years-old, non-filament technology that allows a bulb to last 120,000 hours (up to 20 years). By comparison, the bulbs in the flourescent-lit signs that previously have been used on street signs last only about 2,000 hours, Marcum said.
       One of the new eight-foot-long, 18-inch-high signs faces oncoming traffic at each corner of the intersection. The lighting box, including a cell that triggers the illumination at the onset of darkness, is is built into the sign itself, allowing the unit to be plugged into the electrical connections on the pole, Marcum said.
       Although the city is planning to try inductive-lit signs from a different manufacturer at another intersection later this year, for now at least the Centennial-Garden of the Gods has the honor of being the only one in Colorado Springs.
       “We're going to observe it for up to a year,” Krauth said. “There's not going to be a lot of maintenance, but we know we'll get a lot of citizen input if there's a problem. We'll kind of gauge it from that. We know the public likes the lighted signs.”
       On a recent site visit, it was evident that not all the signs' light sensors have the same sensitivity. Their lights came on at different times, several minutes apart.
       The biggest appeal for the inductive lights, according to both Krauth and Marcum, is their reliability. With the shorter-lived flourescent lights, “we got a lot of complaints from citizens about a high percentage of them being out.” However, the city has not always responded promptly to such calls, he noted, because, in terms of deploying manpower, a lighted sign being out is low on the priority list.
       The price for each sign is about $1,800, Krauth said. The funding is coming from the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (RTA) 1-cent sales tax. “With the RTA, we have funding to install these at more intersections,” Krauth said.
       A future city traffic enhancement is advance signs for larger intersections. Powers Boulevard has them now. “We'll be doing them all over town,” Krauth said.

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