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How does lighting affect safety in cities and on the roads?

One of the objectives of the national project “Housing and Urban Environment” is to make people’s lives more comfortable and safer. Rosseti Group takes part in its solution throughout almost the entire country, modernizing outdoor lighting systems, introducing modern developments, and forming clusters of smart grids. This increases the reliability of power supply, makes our cities and roads more convenient and safe, and significantly reduces energy costs.

First street lights

The first street lamps in history appeared in London in the 15th century. A little later, Paris joined the British capital – residents were required to hang lamps at windows overlooking the street. However, Amsterdam is known for the first systematic approach to street lighting. Two and a half thousand lanterns were installed there so that the townspeople did not fall into the famous Amsterdam canals at night, most of them, as you know, are not fenced with railings. In addition, this made it easier to fight fires – in the light it is easier to coordinate the actions of firefighters. The experience of the Dutch capital was soon adopted by Berlin.

In Russia, the pioneer in this matter was, of course, Peter I. In 1718, he issued a decree on lighting the streets of St. Petersburg. In the autumn of 1720, 4 glass lanterns were installed on the Neva embankment near the Winter Palace. Hemp oil burned in them. So in our country regular street lighting appeared. In Moscow, the first oil lamps were lit on December 25, 1730, in honor of the imperial family. Then the light on the streets was lit on holidays, by special orders of the imperial court, later – according to special lighting calendars from September 1 to May 1.

In the 19th century, alcohol-turpentine lanterns appeared in Russia, then kerosene lanterns. In the evening, the city streets became lighter and calmer. Gas lamps were also installed, but they did not really take root in Russia, unlike European countries. Our compatriots in the 19th century did not understand how air could burn and were afraid of explosions.

The world’s first incandescent lamp was invented by Russian electrical engineer Alexander Lodygin, Thomas Edison created his own light bulb only a few years later (although it was brighter than Lodygin’s and less expensive to manufacture). This innovation quickly hit the streets. The appearance of electric lighting in Russian cities turned out to be an incredible event, it was greeted with enthusiasm. By evening, people gathered around the lamps and applauded their unusual bright light. Electric lights quickly supplanted all others. They changed the lives of the townspeople – before their appearance it was dangerous to go out in the evenings, the daily routine literally depended on the change of day and night. The more illuminated cities became, the more comfortable and safer their inhabitants felt.

Today, the Russian capital is one of the five brightest cities in the world along with Tokyo, London, New York and Paris. Almost a million lamps are lit in the capital every evening, they illuminate the streets and highways, courtyards and parks, architectural and landscape objects. However, not only Moscow can boast of a modern outdoor lighting system.

bright cities

“I heard about the outdoor lighting upgrade program. The whole idea of ​​dimming seems to be a good one. It is necessary to select the level of illumination depending on the time of day. And also proceed from the planned scenarios for the use of urban space. For example, a park should be better lit than a non-crowded street, – noted Professor of Moscow Architectural Institute Alexey Krasheninnikov. – Moscow and St. Petersburg are, of course, good. But I would like the creators of the program to pay attention to small towns. There are serious problems with lighting. Even on the main streets, lighting can be almost absent. We need to make competent engineering projects in small towns.”

Yaroslavl

Yaroslavl

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It should be noted that in Yaroslavl, Rosseti replaced more than 27.5 thousand outdated lamps with modern LED ones. This is almost 90% of the total number of lighting fixtures in the city. An automated system was installed that allows you to control the on and off of outdoor lighting, flexibly adjust the operating modes of light points and select the optimal level of illumination. A center for managing and monitoring the quality of street lighting has been created, which controls the operation of more than 12 thousand kilometers of power lines and over 3.5 thousand transformer substations. The modernization not only made the streets of Yaroslavl brighter, but also saved budgetary funds: the planned savings on electricity consumption amount to about 155 million rubles a year.

Kostroma is now also saving on electricity – almost 11.5 thousand modern lamps were installed there, as a result of which the illumination on the streets has improved, and the costs of the municipal budget for electricity have decreased by more than 60%.

Kostroma

Kostroma

A photo: Shutterstock

More than 1,600 modern lanterns and lamps appeared in Nizhny Novgorod as part of the work on the installation of architectural and artistic illumination of two bridges across the Oka – Molitovsky and Myzinsky. And in Voronezh, Rosseti is responsible for the improvement of Revolution Avenue, the main street of the city, passing through the historical center. In addition to providing a modern outdoor lighting system, power engineers organize video surveillance and the city broadcasting network, transfer air communications underground, and also do unusual work – planting trees and shrubs, building flower beds and bike paths, automatic irrigation systems and storm water runoff.

Since 2019, work has been underway on the construction and modernization of outdoor street lighting networks in the settlements of the Altai Republic. For 3 years of work, 286 kilometers of networks have been built and 434 streets have been lit in 58 villages. By the end of 2022, another 52 streets in 19 rural settlements of the region are to be illuminated.

Nizhny Novgorod

Nizhny Novgorod

A photo: Shutterstock

In the Sverdlovsk region, modern projects in the field of outdoor lighting in the Urals have been implemented – in 11 settlements, “smart” systems have been introduced to automatically adjust the level of illumination. More than 1200 lamps were installed in total.

But these are only separate projects, and a systematic approach is required to solve the problem globally.

“The problem of lighting cities is relevant, – noted member of the working group “Quality of everyday life” of the All-Russian Popular Front Svetlana Kalinina. – Now most cities are really dark. But we must understand that any corporations or private organizations do this based on the possibilities of financing the region or municipality. If it was government support, that would be great. And the state would specifically dictate conditions to them.”

Safe roads

Most traffic accidents occur at night, in conditions of poor visibility, the driver perceives the traffic situation incorrectly. In order to prevent a traffic accident, sometimes it is enough to implement a simple but very important principle: to see and to be seen. The organization of high-quality outdoor lighting on dark sections of roads can reduce the total number of accidents by a third, and in areas of special danger, such as intersections or “blind” turns, by almost half. Accidents involving cyclists and motorcyclists are reduced by almost 70%, and the number of accidents on the road – by 45%. In addition, even the safest place to cross the street – a pedestrian crossing – becomes a source of risk in the dark. When installing special contrasting lighting that attracts the attention of the driver, pedestrian collisions occur three times less often.

“If we talk about federal highways, then there is no lighting on them. You drive in absolute darkness. Literally some crumbs are illuminated there – 2-3% of all territories, – confirms our words member of the Public Council of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for Moscow, coordinator of the Blue Bucket Society movement Petr Shkumatov. – That is why 70% of accidents occur at night, although traffic congestion at night is much less. A person does not have time to orient himself in time – he flies into a hole or does not fit into a turn. This causes a great economic loss to our country. Roads are practically not used at night. All sane people leave the track when it gets dark. Truckers – including. Although, if the problem with lighting was solved, cargo could be transported much faster. A vivid example of this is the Moscow-St. Petersburg toll highway, which is fully illuminated. There is quite a lot of traffic there at night.”

Rosseti Group participates in the implementation of the Safe and High-Quality Roads national projects and the Comprehensive Plan for the Modernization and Expansion of the Main Infrastructure. The company provides power for lighting both federal highways and roads of regional and regional significance. At the federal level, it is worth noting the work on the new M-12 Moscow-Nizhny Novgorod-Kazan highway, where, as part of its construction, the network is being reconstructed, as well as the connection of infrastructure facilities.

Nizhny Novgorod

Nizhny Novgorod

A photo: Shutterstock

In the Leningrad region, several large-scale projects are being implemented at once – the reconstruction of the federal highways R-21 “Kola”, A-181 “Scandinavia” and A-120 “Saint Petersburg Southern Semi-Circle” with the expansion of the roadway. The lighting system, which is connected to the networks by Rosseti, makes it possible to make driving on the highways comfortable and safe. As well as on the section of the ring road around St. Petersburg, where the reduction in the number of accidents was achieved thanks to lighting and the creation of a single dispatch center for monitoring the roadway.

In the Moscow region, power engineers connected lighting systems for pedestrian crossings and outdoor lighting lines on such busy routes as A-108 Moscow Big Ring, M-5 Ural, M-2 Krym and the Central Ring Road. In addition, power has been provided for the launch of the Vnukovskoye highway, which will significantly improve the transport accessibility of the western part of the Troitsky and Novomoskovsky administrative districts with other districts of the capital.

In the Republic of Khakassia, the number of accidents on the Abakan-Sayanogorsk highway has decreased by about a third after modern energy-efficient lamps were installed and connected to the grid.

Kostroma

Kostroma

A photo: Shutterstock

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