Multi-Modal Handbook



The illumination of a roadway and/or parking facility by a fixed source.



Parking and other site facilities


Lighting may improve the safety of a highway or street and the ease and comfort of operation. Statistics indicate that the night time accident rate is higher than that during daylight hours, which to a large degree, may be attributed to impaired visibility. Evidence shows that in urban and suburban areas, where there are concentrations of pedestrians and roadside intersectional interferences, fixed source lighting tends to reduce accidents. The general consensus is that lighting of rural highways seldom is justified except on certain critical portions, such as intersections and interchanges, and areas where roadside interference is a factor. (AASHTO)

Warrants are factual evidence compiled for the purpose of justifying the installation of roadway lighting. Warrants should be based on conditions relating to the need for roadway lighting and the benefits it may provide. Factors such as traffic volume, speed, road use at night, night accident rate, road geometrics, and general night visibility are important considerations in determining the minimum conditions justifying lighting. (ITE)

Lighting that supports pedestrian access to and from bus stops, as well as visibility for waiting bus passengers is highly encouraged. When possible, SEPTA places bus stops in locations where lighting is provided. Lighting should be considered as part of implementing SEPTA's Bus Stop Design Guidelines.

Attractive and appropriately sized street lighting fixtures are an important design element to consider during land development review. Where light pollution is a concern, the minimum amount of lighting needed for safety should be provided. In suburban areas with a higher density or level of traffic, an increased level of lighting may be appropriate for safety considerations. More energy efficient light fixtures are being developed every day. LED lighting technologies have advanced considerably in recent years offering significant energy cost savings with the long term operation of these fixture types versus traditional bulbs.


For more information regarding the effects of light pollution, please refer to the International Dark-Sky Association website.

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