New system going in on Burke-Gilman Trail will alert drivers to pedestrians, bicyclists
By: KIRO 7 News Staff
Updated: Oct 29, 2018 – 8:59 AM
A cutting-edge system is coming to one of the area’s most popular trails.
The goal is to alert drivers to pedestrians and bicyclists.
The new system, which will rely entirely on solar power, will be installed along the Burke-Gilman Trail next week.
University of Washington researchers will place smart sensors on light poles that will be exposed to the sun, so they can be powered independently and will function as a warning system for areas where the trail meets the road.
The reason for the system on the trail is borne out of other technology.
Warning systems for cars can often sense other cars but may not be able to sense pedestrians or cyclists on trails.
STAR Lab researchers from UW are going to put up the small solar-powered sensors, called “Smart Road Stickers,” to send safety warnings to both pedestrians and drivers via their cellphones, alerting them to one another.
The stickers will only detect cellphones that have the star labs detection app installed, but they also can communicate with vehicles. The app will send safety notifications on users’ phones and drivers will receive the alerts through their vehicles.
I got hit by a car on the Burke last week – traffic was stopped when I approached the fancy new crosswalk on Blakley so I proceeded and when I was in the middle of the crosswalk a woman in a blue van gunned her motor and ran right into me. Since I was only a couple feet in front of her she didn’t have time to pick up much speed so I just got knocked down, bruised, and my front wheel got tacoed.
Somehow I don’t think a text on my phone would have made any difference…